The Mini Clubman is the biggest Mini to date to get the full John Cooper Works (JCW) treatment, meaning it now has ample speed as well as ample interior space. Due to make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show, the new JCW model gets a more potently turbocharged 2-liter engine than the one in the Cooper S Clubman. This one has an extra 39 hp on tap, meaning that it delivers 231 hp plus 35 0Nm of torque, which is accessible at just 1500 RPM – making it great for pulling away quickly from traffic lights or for around town overtaking.
It can pull off the 0-100 km/h dash in 6.3 seconds whether specified with a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission and will go on to a top speed of 238 km/h, indicating that it’s just as well suited to long highway journeys as it is to city-center commutes and school runs.
The Clubman is much longer than a standard Mini, it’s 2.35 m from nose to tailgate so to ensure that it still delivers go kart-esque handling, this is the first ever JCW model to boast all-wheel drive as standard, and when that works in concert with the retuned sports suspension and the electronic stability aids – including a trick electronic differential, the car should feel much, much smaller and compact from the driver’s seat.
When practicality is called for over performance, the new car retains the same interior layout as the standard model – five proper seats, 360 liters of storage space (which increases to 1250 liters with the rear seats folded flat) and rear split tailgate doors that open automatically for loading the trunk with one’s hands full.
However, there are also the usual JWC appointments, inside and out. There’s a leather-wrapped sports multi-function steering wheel, the front seats are trimmed in Dinamica and the pedals and footrest are stainless steel. Plus there’s the option of a performance optimised head up display (HUD) showing sporty as well as directional information.
Outside the car sits on 18-inch lightweight alloys, there are exaggerated air inlets where the parking lights would usually be found and there’s hexagonal radiator grille complete with honeycomb detailing. The final touch is the JWC racing stripes on either side of the hood.
The 2016 Paris Motor Show opens to the public on October 1.