First View: 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman by Henny Hemmes +VIDEO
By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
MUNICH - It will be no surprise that Mini has built a JCW variant of the latest generation Clubman. Nowadays, you do not have to choose a racy looking coupe or hatch to be able to go into the sport mode. From SUV’s to station wagons, every segment has fast variants. So, here is the Clubman, sporty packaged and with practical loading space, and the premiere of the first ever combination of the current 2.0-litre petrol John Cooper Works engine with the new generation All4 all-wheel drive.
The 4-cylinder TwinPower turbo engine produces 170 kW/231 hp, which is 29 kW/39 hp higher than that of the MINI Cooper S Clubman.
The 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission is an option. The combined EU fuel consumption is 7.4 l/100 km (automatic: 6.8 l/100 km, combined EU CO2 emissions: 168 g/km (154 g/km). Figures for the North American model are not yet availalable.
The Mini Community will undoubtedly have figured out already how fast the JCW Clubman should be. Now Mini has confirmed that the hauler will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (automatic: 6.3 seconds).
Important JCW features, such as a sports exhaust system, Brembo sports brakes, 18-inch Black Grip Spoke light alloy wheels and Dynamic Stability Control including Dynamic Traction Control, EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) and Performance Control are standard. Dynamic Damper Control and 19-inch light alloy wheels are optionally available.
It speaks for itself that the interior will be fitted with JCW sport seats and a slew of typical JCW details as well as the well-known connectivity possibilities.
The latest Mini JCW Clubman will be making its debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show on September 28th. It's expected in American showrooms in the beginning of 2017.
MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS CLUBMAN
Having conquered the small car category, the latest generation of the John Cooper Works model family now takes the premium compact segment by storm, too. In terms of its exterior dimensions and space, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is the biggest top athlete in the history of the British brand to date. The bonus in terms of roominess, everyday practicality and long-distance suitability offers a new range of opportunities to enjoy racing passion. The fact that the extremely sporty temperament typical of the John Cooper Works models reaches a whole new dimension in this model is due to the fact that the most powerful engine ever fitted in a MINI is combined with the latest version of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 for the first time. In the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman (combined fuel consumption: 7.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 168 g/km), the drive torque generated from a peak output of 170 kW/231 hp and a maximum torque of 350 Newton meters is distributed as needed between the front and rear wheels in every situation on the road.
The standard all-wheel drive system forms part of a precisely assembled overall package comprising not just the powerful 4-cylinder turbo engine, the sports suspension complete with 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, the Brembo sports brake system and distinctive body features for optimized aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake but also a model-specific cockpit with John Cooper Works sports seats. This guarantees enthralling performance when accelerating from zero to 100 km/h, for instance, which takes 6.3 seconds with both the standard 6-speed manual transmission and the optional 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, accompanied by the powerfully emotional sound of the sports exhaust system. Power transmission to all four wheels increases agility on spontaneous sprint maneuvers as well as when taking bends in dynamic style, ensuring supreme forward thrust even beyond the asphalt.
In addition to its outstanding sprint capacity, it is the fascinatingly precise handling of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman in sporty situations and its exceptional deceleration figures that characterize the car as a remarkable athlete. Its output bonus of 29 kW/39 hp as compared to the MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4 and a 25 per cent higher level of maximum torque enable the new top athlete to accelerate from standing to 100 km/h with a lead of 0.7 seconds (automatic: 0.6 seconds). On the interim sprint from 80 to 120 km/h, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman even takes a lead of 1.2 seconds. The individual style of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is also defined by its exclusive fittings. It is launched as standard with LED headlamps, the MINI Driving Modes, Park Distance Control, Comfort Access including touchless opening of the split doors, the Radio MINI Visual Boost, multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and cruise control with brake function.
The extremely sporty and at the same time versatile driving properties of the new John Cooper Works Clubman offer a varied range of potential uses that result from the distinctive body concept. Its appearance is distinctive even when stationary, not least due to the four side doors and the hallmark split doors at the rear, as well as five fully-fledged seats and a luggage compartment volume that can be expanded from 360 liters to as much as 1 250 liters by folding down the rear backrest. The car’s modern interpretation of the tradition-steeped shooting brake concept – giving it a top standing within the brand model range in the area of functionality – is combined with a challenging sporty aura.
Additional preferences in the areas of driving fun, comfort and individuality can be catered to with options drawn from the program of special equipment features available for the new MINI Clubman. These enable the exterior and interior of the car to be precisely geared to the owner’s personal style based on a wide selection of exterior paint finishes, seat upholstery options and interior surfaces. The features exclusively available for John Cooper Works models include the body finish in the variant Rebel Green, the red contrasting paint finish for the roof and the exterior mirror caps and sport stripes in the colors red and black.
In addition there is a choice of options such as 2-zone automatic air conditioning, panorama glass roof, a tow hitch with removable ball head and an alarm system including red LED status indicator in the fin antenna. In the area of driver assistance systems, the standard collision warning with city braking function can be expanded to include the Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial braking function, high beam assistant and road sign detection, as well as the rear-view camera and the Parking Assistant. The likewise optional Head-Up-Display in the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman offers additional display items that provide an even more intense experience of the car’s extreme sporty flair. In conjunction with the optional MINI navigation system Professional, the operating system comprises the Touch Controller in the centre console and also an 8.8-inch color display in the central instrument designed as a touchscreen. The latest and biggest John Cooper Works athlete allows use of the entire MINI Connected in-car infotainment range, too.
With its matured premium characteristics, its innovative body concept and its performance-oriented technology, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is well-equipped to tackle the challenges of both day-to-day traffic and race track driving. The race feeling can be sensed at all times, deriving from John Cooper Works motor racing expertise that has been accumulated over decades, as well as an equally tradition-steeped association with the MINI brand. It was the legendary sports car designer John Cooper who laid the foundations for the sensational sporting career of the classic Mini, culminating in three overall victories at the Monte Carlo Rally. Ever since then, the name has been the epitome of authentic racing passion and extreme driving fun in vehicles of the MINI brand.
Engine refined with motor racing expertise for enthralling performance. The distinctive character of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is mainly reflected in its superior performance figures. Its extremely sporty spirit derives from an engine which combines the qualities of the latest MINI engine generation with the performance characteristics that are typical of John Cooper Works models and unmistakably inspired by motor racing. Mounted transversely in traditional style, the 4-cylinder petrol engine draws its power from a capacity of 2.0 litres and features a specific version of the current MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. Integration of the turbocharger in the cast steel manifold allows particularly effective use of the exhaust gas flow dynamic due to short ducting. Petrol direct injection with centrally placed injectors between the valves ensures precise fuel dosage, thereby reducing not just fuel consumption but also the combustion residue. The response and efficiency of the engine are also optimised by the fully variable valve control based on VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS).
This progressive design principle is supplemented with carefully harmonized modifications which not only add a clearly perceptible increase in power but also ensure a power delivery that is initiated highly spontaneously and sustained continuously across a wide load range. Specially designed for the engine of the new John Cooper Works model generation, the turbocharger is made of a very heat-resistant material and has an appropriately large charge-air cooler. With charge-air pressure increased to a maximum of 2.2 bar, this provides the basis for vehement pulling power that is available over a wide engine speed range. At just 1 450 rpm the engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman reaches its maximum torque of 350 Newton metres, and this is provided within a range up to 4 500 rpm. The engine delivers its peak output of 170 kW/231 hp within an engine speed range of 5 000 to 6 000 rpm.
The increased charge-air pressure goes hand in hand with a reduction in compression, enabled by the use of special pistons. The cooling system of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is also adapted to the particularly high level of performance. It is extended with the addition of a second coolant radiator, externally positioned in the left-hand wheel arch. The power unit’s performance-oriented characteristics are supported by a sports exhaust that is likewise specific to this model. Its optimised streamlining reduces exhaust gas pressure, thereby enhancing the spontaneous power delivery of the engine. The engine sound typical of the John Cooper Works models across all load ranges is created with the help of a controllable exhaust flap and the special geometry of the rear silencer. The dual tailpipes of the sports exhaust system with their tapered chrome covers are the visually distinguishing feature.
6-speed manual transmission with engine speed adaptation, 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission with shift paddles at the steering wheel as an option.
Power transmission is taken care of as standard by a 6-speed manual transmission whose gear spread is perfectly matched with the engine’s performance characteristics. A model-specific gear lever knob and short shifts ensure fast and precise gear changing. In addition there is a gear sensor which enables active engine speed adaptation for particularly dynamic shifting. The 6-speed manual transmission is also characterized by low weight, high internal efficiency and shift comfort optimised by means of carbon friction linings for the synchroniser rings.
With its exceptional efficiency, the optionally available 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission also contributes to the drive system's high level of fuel efficiency. Meanwhile the wide spread of drive positions, the minimal engine speed jumps and the short shift times also support sporty and fuel-efficient driving. Operation is by means of a likewise model-specific selector lever. In manual mode it is also possible to change gear using shift paddles at the steering wheel. A Launch Control function enables traction-optimised acceleration with maximum dynamic performance from standing. The 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission also takes navigation data into account when automatically controlling gear shifts. If the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is fitted with a navigation system, the appropriate drive position is made available to match the route profile when approaching junctions or taking bends, for example. Unnecessary upshifting between two successive bends can also be avoided in this way.
All-wheel drive system ALL4 optimises traction, drive stability and cornering dynamics.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is the first top athlete of the latest generation to be fitted with the all-wheel drive system ALL4 as standard. The electronically controlled distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels allows particularly spirited acceleration manoeuvres as well as increasing agility when taking bends in dynamic style. What is more, ALL4 ensures supreme traction and optimized driving stability in all weathers and road conditions. Due to the fact that it is interlinked with Dynamic Stability Control DSC, ALL4 guarantees drive torque distribution that is adapted quickly and precisely to the given driving situation, thereby underscoring both the extreme athletic character and the versatility of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman.
The latest version of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 consists of a bevel gear on the front axle differential called a power take-off, a dual-section propeller shaft and a rear axle differential with an electrohydraulically controlled hang-on clutch. This engineering principle enables not just a compact and weight-optimized structure but also a highly efficient form of variable power distribution. In normal driving situations with active DSC, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman uses front-wheel drive as is typical of the brand. Here, there is a significant reduction in the loss torque that occurs due to the channeling of power in the power take-off and its transmission via the propeller shaft to the rear axle. Only when necessary does the hang-on clutch relay torque to the rear wheels within a fraction of a second by means of an electrohydraulic pump.
The need for this is determined by the DSC control unit, which permanently measures wheel rotational speeds, current longitudinal and transverse acceleration, road speed, accelerator pedal position, engine torque and steering angle as well as the settings of the dynamic traction control and the optional MINI Driving Modes. Based on this data, any risk of drive slip when setting off, in the event of a particularly intense load requirement or during dynamic cornering can be identified early on; in this way it is possible to anticipate and counteract any tendency to lose traction or any oversteering or understeering of the vehicle.
The intelligent ALL4 control system permanently calculates the ideal balance of power distribution between the front and rear wheels. So engine power is always channeled to wherever it can be most effectively converted into traction and driving fun. Traction-optimised power transmission enables the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. This figure is achieved with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and in conjunction with the optional 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission. The elasticity figure of 6.9 seconds for the interim sprint from 80 to 120 km/h measured in fifth gear of the manual transmission also makes for extreme driving fun in sports-car style in the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman.
MINIMALISM technology ensures top placement in the efficiency rankings.
Thanks to the high efficiency of the engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is both a high-performance athlete and a progressive one, too. Intelligent lightweight construction, optimized aerodynamic qualities and an extensive range of other MINIMALISM technology likewise ensure that it attains a leading position in terms of efficiency rankings. Standard features here include brake energy recuperation, shift point display, needs-based control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units, electromechanical power steering and map-controlled oil pump. The auto start/stop function can also be used in conjunction with the Steptronic transmission.
The likewise standard MINI Driving Modes enable activation of the GREEN mode, which supports an efficiency-optimized driving style. In models fitted with the Steptronic transmission it is possible to use the coasting function, whereby the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h as soon as the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal. This further reduces the number of fueling stops required. The average fuel consumption of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman as measured in the EU test cycle is 7.4 liters per 100 kilometers with the standard manual transmission and 6.8 liters in conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission. The CO2 emission levels are 168 and 154 grams per kilometer respectively.
Sports suspension, Brembo sports brake system, Servotronic and 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels as standard. The high-quality suspension technology of the new MINI JohnCooperWorksClubman has also been harmonized with both the car’s vehicle concept and its outstanding engine performance for precision and agility at the very highest level. The latest John Cooper Works model once again combines a single-joint spring strut axle at the front with a multilink rear axle at the rear in a version that is adapted to the specific model in terms of rigidity, kinematics and weight optimization. In conjunction with the car’s wide track, long wheelbase and low centre of gravity it offers a perfect basis for the handling properties commonly known as the go-kart feeling.
What is more, the standard sports suspension of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman features a particularly tight set-up of the suspension and damping systems. Asports brake system developed specially for the JohnCooperWorks models ensures that not only the acceleration figures reflect the car's thrilling performance-oriented character. Designed in collaboration with the specialist manufacturer Brembo, the 4-piston fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee consistently high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the John Cooper Works logo. The standard trim also includes 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Black Grip Spoke, which are exclusively available for the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. John Cooper Works light alloy wheels are optionally available in the silver-colored variant Grip Spoke in 18-inch format as well as in Course Spoke 2-tone design in the size of 19 inches.
For race feeling and ride comfort according to preference: standard MINI Driving Modes and optional Dynamic Damper Control.
The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also comprises the functions Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) - which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential - and Performance Control, which supports agile turning when taking bends at speed. The standard functions of the electromechanical power steering include speed-related steering support for maximum precision when cornering at speed and for comfortable maneuvering at low speeds.
Dynamic Damper Control is available as an optional extra. It offers a choice of two set-ups for the electronically controlled dampers, which can be accessed via the MINI Driving Modes. SPORT mode provides a set-up geared towards particularly dynamic driving situations, while in MID and GREEN mode the damper characteristics support a comfort-oriented driving style. The MINI Driving Modes are operated by means of a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever and also influence the characteristic curves of the accelerator pedal and steering, the engine acoustics and the shift characteristics of the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, if the latter is fitted.
Exterior: the tradition-steeped shooting brake concept at its most athletic.
The exterior design of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman interprets the shooting brake concept not just in contemporary style but also with striking sporty flair. The proportions of the latest John Cooper Works top athlete already make it unique –and it is also the largest such model, with a length 4253 millimeters, a width of 1800 millimeters, a height of 1441 millimeters and a wheelbase of 2670 millimeters. The dynamically elongated silhouette, the powerful shoulder contour, the long roof line and the steep rear with the likewise characteristic laterally opening split doors make it an exceptional phenomenon in the premium compact segment. Additional individualization options include the body finish in Rebel Green, which like the red contrasting paint finish for the roof and exterior mirror caps is exclusively available for John Cooper Works models, and also sport stripes in the colors red and black.
In order to optimize aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake, the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman not only has Air Curtains in the outer sections of the lower air inlet and Air Breathers in the rear section of the side panels but also a front apron in model-specific design. The large cooling air inlets occupy the space normally reserved for the parking lights and fog lamps in the new MINI Clubman. Among other things, these channel the airstream into an integrated cooling shaft for the brake system and to the additional, externally positioned coolant radiator belonging to the engine. The model-specific design of the side sills, roof spoiler and rear apron also helps reduce uplift forces at high speeds. Other exclusive features of the exterior include the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, which bear a red accentuation line along with a John Cooper Works logo applied against a black background, and the hexagon radiator grille with a characteristic honeycomb pattern and a red cross member bar at the bottom edge. The John Cooper Works logo appears here too, as well as on the right-hand split door.
The standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring that also uses LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the turn indicator. The horizontally arranged rear light units also comprise LED lamps.
Interior: five seats, versatile luggage compartment and exclusive sports car ambiance.
A look into the interior of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman reveals five fully-fledged seats, lots of space for luggage and high-quality display elements and controls in modern design. The four side doors enable convenient entry, while the capacity of the luggage compartment behind the split doors can be expanded by folding down the rear backrest, optionally available with a 40:20:40 split, from 360 liters to as much as 1250 liters. The mature premium style, generous space and clever versatility of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are combined with a model-specific ambiance in the style of a sports car.
The standard trim includes John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests as well as Carbon Black upholstery in Dinamica/fabric. The seats are also optionally available in a Dinamica/Carbon Black leather version with red applications. Other features that contribute to the ever-present race feeling include the John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons, the John Cooper Works door sill cover strips, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and cockpit displays with dark dials. The car's sporty and exclusive flair is underscored in the interior by means of the anthracite roof liner, interior trim in Grey Chequered and red design accentuations not just on the seat surfaces but also on the steering wheel rim, the gear or selector lever and the central instrument surround.
Comprehensive safety concept, exclusive comfort fittings.
In addition to the torsionally stiff, rigid and also weight-optimized body structure, a comprehensive set of standard safety fittings also contribute to the outstanding occupant protection of the new MINI John CooperWorks Clubman. These form part of the integrated MINI safety concept comprising six airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats including belt tensioners and adaptive belt force limiters at the front as well as ISOFIX child seat mountings at the rear. Other standard features include a tire pressure display function for each individual wheel and Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity, as well as the collision warning with city braking function. Meanwhile, impact absorbers and precisely defined deformation elements ensure optimized pedestrian protection.
Clear visibility when driving in the dark is enabled by the standard LED headlamps of the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. They can be optionally supplemented with a turning light function including adaptive light distribution. The individual style of the latest top athlete is also underscored by exclusive comfort fittings. In addition to air conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free telephone facility and electric parking brake that come as standard in all model variants of the new MINI Clubman and over and above the specific JohnCooperWorks fittings for the exterior and interior, other features include not just the MINI Driving Modes including LED ring for the central instrument but also Park Distance Control with sensors at the rear and a cruise control with brake function. Also included as standard: Comfort Access, also enabling touchless opening of the split doors by means of a foot movement under the rear apron, and the Radio MINI Visual Boost including USB socket and operation via the MINI Controller in the centre console as well as the 6.5-inch color screen in the central instrument.
Optional items include the Harman Kardon hi-fi system, the MINI navigation system and the MINI navigation system Professional. The features of the MINI navigation system Professional include not just the Touch Controller in the center console but also an 8.8-inch color screen in the central instrument. For the first time in a MINI, the latter takes the form of a touchscreen, so functions can now also be selected and adjusted by placing a fingertip on the screen. Other optionally available items include a panorama glass roof, 2-zone automatic air conditioning, seat heating for driver and front passenger, windscreen heating, electrically heatable and folding exterior mirrors, both interior and exterior mirrors with automatic dip function, and an alarm system including red LED status indicator in the fin antenna. The roof rails and tow hitch with removable ball head provide the perfect basis for expanding transport capacity. Further visual accentuation can be added with chrome exterior mirror caps as well as the Chrome Line fittings for the exterior and interior.
With the MINI Yours Interior Styles option available in three variants, the striking door trim design is highlighted by means of indirectly illuminated decorative strips. The optional lighting package with LED interior and ambient lighting also creates an atmospheric ambience. In conjunction with the special equipment feature MINI Excitement Package, this offers continuously variable colour changes and has also been extended to include a light display that is activated when opening and closing the car. On activation of the remote key, the MINI logo is projected onto the ground for 20 seconds from an additional light source in the exterior mirror on the driver's side.
More driving fun due to connectivity: modern driver assistance systems and unique services from MINI Connected.
In the area of driver assistance systems, one option is available in a version that is reserved exclusively for JohnCooperWorks models: the MINI Head-Up Display offers an increased range of functions in the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. In addition to information on road speed, speed limits and overtaking bans detected, current navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems and lists of telephone contacts and entertainment programs, it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multi-coloured engine speed scale. The engine speed display is supplemented with a shift point signal so as to enable particularly dynamic acceleration maneuvers, depending on the driving mode selected.
What is more, the standard collision warning can be optionally supplemented with the Driving Assistant system. This comprises camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function and also a high beam assistant and road sign detection. Other options to choose from include Park Distance Control with additional sensors in the front apron, the Parking Assistant and the rear view camera.
The unique MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is also available in its entirety for the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. The MINI Connected option offers extensive integration of smart-phones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driving experience by means of apps. The current version of the MINI Connected App serves as a personal mobility assistant that supports competent and efficient calendar management both in the car and on the smartphone. Its functions include appointment reminder, calculation of anticipated travel time based on current traffic data, route guidance, filling station and car park search, and last mile pedestrian navigation to the final destination via smart-phone. In addition, MINI Connected offers the exclusive applications Online Search, Streetwise, Sports Instruments and Force Meter as well as entertainment programs such as Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Deezer, Audiobooks from Audible, Napster/Rhapsody, TuneIn, Glympse and Life360.