Mini is in the process of overhauling its range, and it unveiled the new Cooper hatchback and the third-generation Countryman at the 2023 Munich auto show. While additional models are in the pipeline, the BMW-owned brand has confirmed that the Clubman wagon won’t return.
“I wouldn’t say the space is filled, but we will not have a Clubman,” company boss Stefanie Wurst told Top Gear. She added that the brand will instead focus on crossovers and SUVs. “The Aceman is a smaller concept, but I think the five-door space (if not the six-door) is filled well by the Countryman and the Aceman. If you look at the sales numbers worldwide, the Countryman doubles the Clubman,” she added.
Her argument holds water: broadly speaking, buyers in the United States and in China — two very important markets for Mini — prefer crossovers and SUVs over station wagons by a significant margin. Even in Europe, where the wagon held its ground for much longer than elsewhere, the fight is seemingly lost: new SUV sales grew by 23% during the first half of 2023, and the body style now accounts for over half of the market with a share of 51%. It’s the first time this has happened. In contrast, that figure stood at 48% during the first half of 2022.
If the name Aceman doesn’t ring a bell, it’s likely because the model hasn’t made its debut yet. It’s due out in the coming months as a small crossover positioned below the new Countryman and offered exclusively with an electric powertrain. It was previewed by a concept in July 2022, and spy shots taken later that year suggest that its exterior design won’t significantly change as it transitions to a production model.
Pour one out for the Clubman, then, and act fast if you want to put a new one in your garage. Mini unveiled a Final Edition model (pictured) that’s limited to less than 100 units for the American market, highly equipped, and priced at nearly $50,000 in April 2023. While you’re at it, pour one out for the manual transmission: Mini has previously confirmed that it’s also ditching the stick-shift as part of its line-up overhaul.