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Mini Classic Mini for Sale
Auto blogSat, 23 Mar 2013 10:59:00 EST
The light commercial vehicle market has exploded in recent years. With a too-large full-size van no longer the only option for small businesses looking for an enclosed cargo carrier, options like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit Connect and now this, the Mini Clubvan, are now available to suit every size need.
Unveiled at last year's Geneva Motor Show, the Clubvan will soon be on sale here in the US and we finally have details about what that transaction will cost you. Motoring File reports that the Clubvan's price will be $25,985, which includes the so-called "chicken tax" and a $700 destination and handling charge.
Other questions that were answered include whether or not the Clubvan can be ordered as a Cooper S or even John Cooper Works model, and the answer is no (why do need to deliver cakes that fast anyway?). Also, Mini has confirmed you can't take the shortcut of creating your own Clubvan by purchasing a standard Clubman and removing the rear seats. The factory Clubvan features steel side panels instead of vinyl coverings over the rear windows, as well as a fully flat load floor and a safety cage protecting front seat occupants.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone from Mini refer to 'go-kart-like handling,' I'd be retired, living on a beautiful piece of coastline somewhere in the Caribbean. Perhaps even on the shores of Puerto Rico, where Mini chose to launch its latest Cooper and Cooper S hatchbacks. As with so many frequently used phrases, though, there is indeed some truth to the cliché - while the Mini Cooper has never actually handled quite like a go kart, it has always had a certain directness in its movements, reacting to steering inputs with an immediacy and fervor unlike most any other automobile meant primarily for the street.
Combine those unique driving dynamics with a sense of fun that permeates the entire brand from pre-sales marketing to the actual sales process itself and you end up with a marketplace success. As an ex-Mini owner myself (a 2009 Cooper S Convertible), I can attest to the kinship felt between fellow Mini drivers who share in the knowledge that they are having more fun than the poor appliance-driving masses sharing the highways and byways of these United States. It's no surprise that the style-conscious US continues to be the marque's single largest market year after year.
This enviable brand perception hasn't been attained without its own fair share of flaws, however. Though the quirky design and massively customizable bits and pieces that have made up the Mini brand's interior philosophy since it was reborn in 2001 have proven somewhat endearing, the Cooper Hardtop's ergonomics have always been an unmitigated disaster. Plus, this is a very small car, with a rear seat that's practically uninhabitable by adult-size occupants. While that adjective seemingly goes hand-in-hand with the brand's name, the modern Cooper has never been as ingeniously packaged as its 1959 forbearer, which offered up as much interior space as possible through innovative engineering and minimalist design. Further, parent company BMW has positioned Mini as a premium brand, so the Cooper's diminutive size has never equated to low prices. And for being such a small car, the Cooper historically hasn't been well-known for its fuel efficiency.
Yesterday, we brought you the news of the existence of this Mini Paceman Adventure tiny truck, and the story of how it came to be. Long story short: it was a lighthearted collaboration between apprentices and instructors at parent BMW plants in Germany. The mini-sized pickup bed and off-road kit may not make the Paceman All4 actually practical, but we'd argue that they do make the one-off fairly loveable.
Apparently the Mini photographers agree with that "loveable" part. We'd heard that there were some better, higher-resolution images of the Paceman Adventure on the way, but we didn't expect there to be hundreds of them. But as you can see, the shooters went out and thoroughly documented the pickup, shooting it in several locations, still and moving, and documenting some of its construction as well. Find your favorite in the massive gallery of images, above.