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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forbes did a little write up on the Clubby.

BMW and MINI have at long last wriggled free of the Issigonis Straitjacket, Alex Issigonis being the man who conceived the original Morris Mini Minor of 1959, a car that stands as a brilliant example of English theoretical engineering, but that was never greatly profitable and proved deuced difficult to evolve in any significant way.

MINI is leaving behind the gloomy economic strictures of post-war Britain that forced the invention of the ten-foot-long Morris Mini front-drive package. By acknowledging that MINI should not be enslaved by its past, and by building upon new architecture shared with BMW products like the X1 compact SUV and the European market 2-series Active Tourer, MINI can develop a wider range of vehicles, reaching beyond the mixed batch of hatchback variants they have marketed since U.S. market relaunch in 2002. By leaving behind its special place in the U.S. as a maker of micro cars, MINI must now bear comparison with compact vehicles of mass manufacturers.

Emblematic of that change is the second-generation Clubman. The first Clubman arrived when I owned my Frank Stephenson-designed and practically perfect in every way 2002 Cooper S and, frankly, I thought Clubman was at best awkward thanks to odd rear body cladding, and the limited practicality of its passenger-side rear-hinged half-door. It was a valiant attempt to increase utility and thus expand market appeal of a B-class micro car while remaining snugly tied in the Issigonis Straitjacket.

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