Saturday, November 10, 2007

Unusual objects through the front door - and a quick look at the new Mini Clubman

Toothbrush from smile.co.uk

It's been an unusual week for post.

First there was the pink toothbrush that smile.co.uk (an online bank I thoroughly recommend) decided to bestow upon its customers to encourage them to stay happy.

Table tennis bat from Mini Clubman

And then this morning a table tennis bat wrapped in clear plastic clattered onto the mat.

Despite two different people promising to send out an invitation to the launch event for the Mini Clubman around in Bavarian's Boucher Road showroom this afternoon, no invite ever arrived.

But at least the Mini marketing department managed to get their mailshot to existing Mini drivers out on the same day as the launch ... and they're right - it's like nothing I've received in the post before!

Never one to let the lack of an invitation card stand in the way of a freebie, I headed down to Boucher Road at 2.30pm for the launch. The "unusual" theme stretched to the food on offer in the opulent Bavarian showroom (the big one - not the tiny Mini one up the street). Crocodile and kangaroo meat on skewers sat alongside a bowl of juicy strawberries and a couple of chocolate fountains. And in a surprisingly non-alcoholic drinks table, smoothies sat beside pretty exotic fruit juices.

Mini Clubman being unveiled

Better say something about the car. It's basically a slightly longer Mini, which means that the boot is deeper, but no wider. The "unusual" features are the split doors at the back and the little side door behind the drivers door that allows better access for back seat passengers.

(Story goes that in mainland Europe the extra door is on the passenger side. But to avoid having to move the fuel tank for the UK market, we get the door on the wrong driver's side. No bad thing, as it will also make getting children in and out of a car seat mounted behind the driver much easier too.)

The boot of a Mini Clubman

The boot's a little disappointing. Unless you have a very dinky buggy, don't expect to get strollers or prams into the boot. However, if you've no children or they're a bit older, the boot does look a lot more useful for runs to the supermarket, with space for bottles in the back doors, and a flat boot floor that should make lifting boxes in and out of the boot much easier.

Mini Countryman at the Mini Clubman launch

They had a beautiful old Mini Countryman on display too - still in use too - along with the PSNI demonstrating satellite tracking of cars by chasing a Mini up and down Boucher Road!

Thanks Bavarian - it was fun ... and I'm still half tempted by the Clubman.

Mini Countryman at the Mini Clubman launch

1 comment:

John Self said...

As a Mini driver and a smile.co.uk customer, I shall be writing to my MLA to discover why I didn't receive any sports or dental equipment through the post!