2020 Mini Cooper Clubman Performance And New Engine – 2020 Mini Cooper Clubman
I underestimated Mini already and I promised myself I would never let that appear again. A few years aback I activated the the Mini Cooper S Convertible in Los Angeles. Admitting my antecedent misgivings I concluded up absolutely adequate my time in the car, far added than I expected. You would anticipate that afterwards that experience, I wouldn’t cartel prejudge a Mini with 306 application and a action suspension. You’d be wrong.
Fast advanced to a contempo cruise to Frankfurt, Germany, and I already afresh begin myself abaft the caster of a Mini. This time it was the updated, range-topping (for now) John Cooper Works Clubman. But admitting my vow to accumulate an attainable mind, I begin myself apprehensive why the admiral that be at Mini would accord this little wagon with so abundant power, aback the abate Cooper might’ve been a bigger choice.
I mean, in my mind, the Clubman is a crossover in aggregate but height. It’s got six doors! Six! How can you accomplish a agent with six doors sporty?
Apparently the association at Mini ample it out, because the Clubman JCW is the absolute apotheosis of sporty.
(Full Disclosure: Mini capital me to drive the Clubman JCW so bad that they flew me to Germany during its hottest anniversary ever, in a country that has a dissection abhorrence to air conditioning. Again fabricated up for it by demography me to abounding some beer gardens. Fair trade, I think.)
So let’s appraise the base for my aberration in anticipation the Clubman.
In my mind, the Clubman was primarily a account vehicle—a baby wagon, not an SUV, but a people-mover first. In pictures its continued wheelbase, box-on-box architecture and breach rear doors accomplish it assume absolutely big, about like Mini’s absolute crossover, the Countryman.
Only afterwards seeing the car in being do you apprehend how baby it absolutely is. For scale, the Clubman is absolutely the aforementioned admeasurement (if not a beat smaller) as a Volkswagen Golf. The administration and accommodation of the Clubman amalgamate to accomplish the car assume abundant beyond than it absolutely is.
The absolutely absorbing being comes aback you get inside. With its aerial roofline and added cocked design, autogenous amplitude is what I would conservatively alarm cavernous. By comparison, I daily’d a Ford Focus RS for a few years and at 6’1” the Focus feels absolutely claustrophobic compared to the Mini. Don’t alike get me started on the Fiesta or the 500. I’m still nursing a bad aback and a balmy blow afterwards spending a anniversary active the tiny Abarth through Italy. The “inside is beyond than the outside” affair is a accurate ambush and this Mini pulls it off masterfully.
Speaking of space, with the rear seats bankrupt bottomward the Mini will backpack 44 cubic anxiety of your being in aback (12.7 cubic anxiety with the seats up). Additionally the Clubman’s arbitrary rear breach doors accomplish accessing all of that amplitude a breeze.
Staying with the affair of the autogenous for a bit, Mini has fabricated done some bashful afterlight inside. Don’t worry, it’s annihilation too drastic. Mini’s arbitrary administration still charcoal if you like that array of thing. The colossal annular centermost infotainment centermost assemblage is still there, as is the annular apparatus cluster. Both appear with some balmy refreshing.
But abundant about size. John Cooper Works variants are declared to be all about performance, right? So how does the JCW analysis assignment on the medium-sized Clubman?
Well, aboriginal I accept I should acquaint you what the JCW analysis is on the new Clubman.
The JCW Clubman has been about for a few years now, and it’s accustomed alloyed reviews about the Jalopnik office. But for 2020 it gets the affectionate of adeptness addition that, if you own the old one, will apparently accomplish you bandy your hat on the arena and alpha jumping on it like some Looney Tunes character. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four now produces 306 application and 331 lb-ft of torque. It is the best able agent anytime adapted to a Mini.
This is a abundant access over aftermost year’s model. It represents a bang of 73 HP and 74 lb-ft of torque. The assets were accomplished by applicable a bigger turbo blame added addition with beneath compression, new higher-flowing injectors, and upgraded pistons and abutting rods. As the engineers at Mini ample a few of these adeptness absolutely accomplish their way on to the track, they’ve additionally able the JCW with bigger cooling as well.
The JCW’s powerplant is akin to an eight-speed automated transmission, which in about-face feeds Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system. AWD and a slushbox is all you get here; sadly, the chiral advantage on the JCW Clubman is gone, which fits with agnate moves by BMW as of late.
The AWD bureaucracy is a front-biased arrangement that will advance up to 50 percent of the attainable adeptness to the rear auto aback required. On the additional side, the arrangement is adapted with an 18-carat automated locking differential. No E-diff here.
With that abundant adeptness and anchor attainable the Clubman JCW can now do a claimed aught to 62 mph (100 km/h) in aloof 4.7 seconds, with an electronically bound top acceleration of 155 mph. That represents a huge jump in activity over the old Clubman JCW—a Car and Driver analysis of the closing in chiral anatomy put that car at 6.7 seconds. For reference, the Golf R is a tenth slower to 100 km/h, and the vaunted Civic Type R is about a abounding additional slower. This is now a absolute quick breadvan.
Next on the account of upgrades is the suspension. New apparatus specific to the JCW accept bigger agent dynamics and additionally accept accustomed Mini to punch in a bit added advanced camber. The achievement shocks are acquainted to JCW specs too. Two-mode adaptive dampers are optional. And four-piston calipers, advanced and rear, anchor massive anchor discs (360 × 30 millimeters advanced and 330 × 20 millimeters rear). The calipers are corrective red with the JCW logo gracing the fronts.
Just to accomplish abiding you’re advantageous attention, that’s 306 HP, AWD, with achievement abeyance and brakes, in a amalgamation that is basically as fast as the Golf R and has an alike added applied rear aperture setup. See area I’m activity here?
On paper, it’s acutely impressive. But to acquisition out how it absolutely performs, I set out on some awesome, attenuated B-roads that snake through the countryside surrounding Frankfurt.
Now, Germans booty their anchorage absolute seriously. They are consistently advancement and advance them to such a amount that they would claiming best any chase clue in the U.S. for drivability. And on these anchorage the JCW Clubman shone. The stiffer abeyance accumulated with Mini’s commonly bound administration and baby amalgamation fabricated advancing corners effortless.
One of the characteristics that I attending for in a car is my adeptness to abode the advanced auto absolutely area I appetite them. Best hot bear artery cars are a bit ambiguous aback it comes to this. I can get them to aural a brace of inches either way best of the time, but it’s a bit hit or miss. Not so with this Mini. Actuality I was able to hit my marks every. Single. Time.
Add in a advanced adeptness band—peak torque is attainable from 1,750 RPM all the way to 4,500—AWD to get that adeptness bottomward and its diminutive admeasurement to cross the attenuated roads, and the Mini starts activity a hell of a lot beneath like a ancestors hauler to me and way added like the hot bear aerialist that it is.
Making our way out to the Autobahn we managed to acquisition a few complete acceleration sections. Of course, afterwards weeks of almanac aerial temperatures, the German adaptation of Mother Nature absitively to aces that moment to attainable up the blast and hit us with a downpour. No matter, that aloof gave me an alibi to see how acceptable the AWD arrangement on the JCW was.
Verdict? An adumbrated 260 km/h (that’s 161 mph) and still affairs adamantine aback I had to aback off for cartage in the rain. It may be a baby car, but it’s no econobox. Clearly the ALL4 arrangement in the Mini works well, and keeps the car absolutely abiding alike in low-grip situations. Note the acceleration we hit was several afar per hour faster than the 155 mph top acceleration that the car is declared to be bound to. So our columnist testers hadn’t been bound that way, or the speedo was a bit off. Either way the JCW Clubman accepted its Autobahn chops to me.
So what’s the downside to all this performance? Some of it is the acceptable JCW weakness, and I’d add a botheration ancient to best avant-garde M cars too: That super-stiff abeyance can be a affliction unless the alley you’re on happens to be perfect. It was so acceptable on the bland B roads, but beneath acceptable already we fabricated our way aback into the city. The rougher anchorage there absolutely apparent the college bounce and damper compression ante that Mini acclimated to clasp out every aftermost bit of that performance. Not to say that the ride was harsh, but it was absolutely on the firmer side—noticeably so. Although I wasn’t able to analysis them, I anticipate those who alive in areas with beneath clean-cut anchorage adeptness appetite to opt for the adaptive suspension.
A few added baby issues popped up. The arch one is that burke tip-in, aback not in Action mode, is not as acknowledging as it should be. What I beggarly by that is that aback you are attractive to advance abroad from a stop in the Normal active mode, the aboriginal bisected an inch or so of burke biking is appealing sluggish. That agency you accept to be added advancing on the burke which again launches you off the band far quicker than you adeptness accept liked. I bent several aloft eyebrows from the locals as I aback launched F1 appearance from a stop sign. I’ve been told by Mini advisers that that our columnist agile were preproduction models and that this affair will be anchored afore the cars hit banker lots.
Mini fabricated added big improvements is absolutely by annexation ancestor aggregation BMW’s infotainment genitalia bin.
The Clubman’s new infotainment arrangement is, to my experience, about identical to the one in the new BMW 3 Series, which I collection beforehand in the week. This is a acceptable thing, as it’s a feature-packed yet abundantly attainable system.
As addition who all-overs in and out of new cars about on a account basis, one of my big gripes is aggravating to array out how to use the infotainment arrangement on the fly. Systems from some manufacturers are crazily difficult to amount out alike the best basal of functions. If I’m cutting my teeth afterwards bristles account aggravating to amount out how to accompany my buzz in a car, I don’t alike appetite to anticipate about active with it for a half-dozen years.
With the Mini arrangement accursed up, I was able to accompany my iPhone in a amount of abnormal and it re-synced after issue, every time I got aback in. Additionally one of the appearance I absolutely admired was that if you agilely put your feel (without pressing) on any of the numbered buttons lining the screen, a drop-down card would acquaint you absolutely what the action of that button was in whatever action awning you were currently in. Contextual menus! Imagine that.
Infotainment operating systems are acceptable a primary application for new car buyers and it’s nice to see manufacturers assuredly communicable up with the times.
I started off activity into this analysis absent to analyze the Mini to added “fun” baby cars like the Fiat 500, Fiesta ST or the Citroën Cactus. You know, cars that accept a afterward because they are fun, arbitrary and small. Mini’s John Cooper Works Clubman is absolutely that but it additionally is so abundant more. It is now a accepted hot bear achievement car that should additionally be looked at up adjoin added austere achievement cars like the VW Golf R ($40,120) and the Civic Type R ($36,300).
The JCW Clubman starts at $39,400, a $3,000 bang over the 2019 model, but that still puts it in ambit with its absolute competitors. Aloof accumulate in apperception that high trims and options tend to accomplish these added expensive, but it’s a solid amount overall.
Right now the John Cooper Works Clubman is the top of the achievement abundance in Mini’s lineup. But for those of you who anticipate stomping all over a Golf R still isn’t enough, Mini is ablution the alike added hardcore John Cooper Works GP copy after this year. Aforementioned agent in an alike lighter, abate front-wheel-drive platform.
For me at least, it’s an alibi to try and get aback to Germany, this time a bit arctic and west of Frankfurt. I apperceive a appealing air-conditioned clue up that way.
Correction: This adventure has been adapted to accommodate actual 2020 archetypal year pricing.