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Mini releases new Clubman details

The 5 door Mini with a very strange configuration

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2 doors on the driver's side, 1 on the passenger side and 2 on the back.

It was no secret that MINI would productionise the Concept Frankfurt, displayed at the show of the same name in 2005. What is a little surprising, though, is how close to the showroom model the concept really was. Today, we can bring you the first photographs and full UK line-up details.

Unsurprisingly, the front-end is unchanged from the MINI hatch, and the view from the front three quarters is not very unusual, with an elongated glasshouse and extra door well integrated, especially as the latter has no external handle. Move around to the rear and you'll see that the Clubman has a very different appearance to the regular MINI. The vertically split rear doors mimic the Frankfurt concept, which itself drew inspiration from the Morris Mini Traveller, Austin Mini Countryman and the Mini Clubman Estate from the '60s.

It's an unusual and striking effect, made all the more prominent by the new rear lights and the apparent availability of highlights in different colours.

You may notice that the Cooper S model also sports two exhaust pipes. Look a little closer and you may see the lack of an extra door on the left hand side of the car. That's right, just like the concept, there is only one extra door making the Clubman an actual five-door car - as opposed to one with four doors and a rear hatch.

Unfortunately, the extra door will be on the right hand side for all versions, regardless of the position of the steering wheel.

The interior will be as customisable as ever, with a few new Clubman-only options, but the big news is a welcome increase in rear leg and headroom, resulting in the Clubman being classed as a five-seater. Boot space is up 100 litres too, which should mean that the Clubman will appeal more to young families than the hatch ever could.

MINI knows its market though and will continue to sell the Clubman on its personality and individuality. Engine options will mirror the regular car's range, with 1.6-litre petrol, 1.6-litre turbodiesel and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines powering the Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S respectively. There are no plans at this stage to fit the MINI One's 1.4-litre unit to the Clubman.

Prices start at £14,235 for the Cooper, rising to £15,400 for the Cooper D and £17,210 for the Cooper S, a premium of about £1,200 over the hatch. We'll be driving the new car in September, just ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.