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Mini drops the ball with Clubvan concept

Mini announced its Clubvan concept for the upcoming Geneva auto show, but this new vehicle is merely a Clubman turned into a panel van.

Mini Clubvan concept
Mini will show off the Clubvan concept at the 2012 Geneva auto show in early March. Mini

There was a time when Mini's designers did crazy things to its standard models, then presented them as concepts at auto shows. Witness the Rocketman concept, which started out as a standard Cooper model, then added weirdly hinged doors and a big glass bubble at the rear.

But during the Geneva auto show next month, Mini will display what it calls the Clubvan, a new concept based on its Clubman model. And no, the Clubvan does not have disco lights, pumping music, and a crew of 24-hour party people dancing through the night.

The Clubvan is essentially a panel van. Mini covered up the rear side windows, painted a company logo on the side, then apparently went to the pub and called it a good day's work. In glowing text, Mini's press release suggests that the Clubvan would be a great delivery truck for urban boutique stores.

But no matter how many windows the company covers up, it won't make the Clubman any bigger, so most companies would be better served by something like the Ford TransitConnect.

Mini Clubvan concept
Mini demonstrates that you can put things in the back of the Clubvan concept. Mini
Mini Clubvan concept
Mini left the door configuration of the Clubman unchanged for the Clubvan concept. Mini