The third model in the Mini range will only be unveiled at September's Frankfurt Motor Show, but official details on the estate have already been made available.
Building on the enormous success of the original Clubman Estate back in the 60s, the latest model will be available in two derivatives.
Mechanically identical to the current Mini Cooper and Cooper S, the S Clubman derivative is powered by the same turbocharged four-cylinder unit with direct injection used in the Cooper S. The Cooper Clubman uses the 1.6-litre engine with variable valve management introduced in the new Cooper earlier this year.
While immediately recognisable as a Mini, the Clubman differs from the little car as we know it. Longer by 24 cm, the cabin is noticeably longer and has an extended roofline that extends over three pillars.
The luggage compartment is also roomier than on the regular Mini models, swelling from 260 to 930 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
The rear is more distinctive, showing off new detailing at the light clusters and two rear doors with hinges on the outside. Each door has its own windshield wiper.
The Clubman's signature design feature is the Clubdoor, a second door behind the front passenger door that opens to the rear for easier access to those seats. This door, which is handle-free, can only be opened when the front passenger door is open.
Being a Mini, the options are seemingly endless. There are 30 exterior paint combinations and Hot Chocolate, a new metallic shade, has been reserved for the Clubman.
An option on the Clubman is a body-coloured roof with the C-pillars finished in black or silver paintwork.
The Clubman will likely become available in South Africa in the first half of 2008.