The “big for a Mini, but still fairly compact”is getting the mid-cycle refresh treatment at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. Only a few years into its second generation, the changes are subtle, including style and lighting updates and a few revisions to the handling.
The Clubman’s six-door design — if you count the vertically split rear hatch twice — is unchanged for this new model year. That’s a good thing; I really dig the Clubman’s shape and the flexibility of its wagon-like silhouette.
It still looks like you just caught it doing something naughty, but there’s less glossy black plastic in the Clubman’s redesigned grill which now features a hexagonal grid pattern for Cooper S models. Flanking that grill, the surprised eyes of the Clubman feature revised halo-shaped daytime running lights. LED headlamps join the menu this year with the option to upgrade to four-segment LED Matrix high beams in certain markets, able to aim their throw around bends and automatically dip to prevent dazzling oncoming traffic. At the other end, LED tail lamps now a standard feature with the option to spec the Union Jack reflector design from the smaller Mini Hardtop three- and five-door hatchbacks.
Other new options include three new paint colors — Indian Summer Red, British Racing Green and Enigmatic Black — and a new exterior Piano Black package that replaces the external chrome trim with glossy black bits. A new Mini Yours customization program puts even more individualization options at buyers’ fingertips. Inside, there are a few new style options — Piano Black, Frozen Blue and Fibre Alloy — with ambient illumination for the door bezels, cockpit bezel, the cockpit trim and center console trim.
The Mini Connected technology suite features an always-on 4G LTE data connection and has been updated with the latest generation connected navigation software and remote services.
Lastly, the Clubman’s handling is potentially improved with new lightweight alloy wheels and a new optional sport suspension that lowers the ride height by 10 millimeters. Further upgrades come by way of an optional adaptive damper suspension that can be toggled between comfort and sporty drive modes.
The new Mini Clubman, which will likely carry a 2020 model year designation, bows at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show this week before hitting the road globally later this year. Pricing and economy likely won’t change much from the current model, but we expect to learn more closer to launch.