- Money JCW Clubman.
- Basic price: $ 79,650.
- Power train and economy: 2.0 Liter Turbo Gasoline Four Cylinder, 225kW / 450Nm, Eight Speed Automatic, AWD, Combined Economy 7.7 L / 100km, CO2 177g / km (Source: Wright Car).
- Key Stats: 4253 mm long, 1441 mm high, 1800 mm wide, 2670 mm wheel base, luggage capacity 360 liters, 19 inch alloy wheels.
- We like: Incredibly good fun to drive, the most exciting mini is currently on sale.
- We don’t like: Probably a little expensive, busy admission.
- This road test was completed before the current Corona virus lockdown restrictions came into force.
Mini updated Clubman last year, Giving the JCW version a piece of power. And it looks fresh inside and out this year, it has given six doors another little update and, thankfully, we had a chance to run it before we went into lockdown.
How is this the most interesting mini?
Because the three-door hatch is very clear, and it’s technically a wagon with a set of van-style warehouse doors at the back. It’s also a JCW variant, which automatically makes it awesome.
Compared to the 2020 model, the power train has not changed. It is still a 225kW / 450Nm turbocharged four-cylinder coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which drives all four wheels. The engine is mated to JCW spec internals, a larger twin-scroll turbo and better cooling to produce 84 kW more than the lower Columbine Copper S.
Exterior changes include slightly different headlights and taillights with a union jack shape.
The new model also gets a multi-function display like the Mini Electric, which is better than the old analog gauge, as well as a head-up display and a redesigned steering wheel. The big round center console remains, with a thin rectangular screen in the middle and media controls at the bottom.
It’s a little unnecessary, but I know Mani loves her history and tradition. Let’s just ignore the fact that the clubman was actually a square nose hatchback and the back warehouse doors were actually a countryman design point.
Is this the most powerful mini available?
Of course, JCW is the equivalent of Countryman. The extra power brings it up to the latest hot hatch standards (sorry, hot wagon), and it feels great, mostly falls below the torque range and only increases power at 6000rpm.
The eight-speed automatic is fast and smart enough to be left alone, although there are pedals if you want to change yourself. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. Clicking the switch in Sport mode changes the gearbox parameters to more abrupt upshifts and long-held gears.
Thanks to all-wheel drive, there are huge reserves of grip, and even with the increase in power, you will have a lot of pressure to stick to any end. The chassis is very neutral without being too sterile, which can be negative if you like your hot hatches (sorry, hot wagons) more unrestrained.
The club is based on the same large UKL2 platform. Current BMW 1 Series (And the villager) Somehow JCW engineers lost weight to 1220 kg. Compare this to the twin-skinned M135i, which weighs about 1600 kg. Both use the same engine, platform and all-wheel drive. Does this make the JCW Clubman a better hot BMW than the original BMW hatchback? It’s hard to argue against this idea …
What about practice? Since it is, as you say, a wagon …
The rear boat capacity is not the largest at 360 liters, which is 10 liters less. Mercedes AMGA35. Offers, but it’s still enough for everyday things like supermarket shopping.
The back door is a bit weird, you have to open it first on the left, then close it on the right, and they open very fast, so be careful. And, because of this split rear window, the rear view is worse than a normal car, but you get used to it very quickly. There is also an inverted camera, so this is not the end of the world.
The seats in the back seats are suitable for most adults, although tall ones can be a bit hollow. And while the JCW Clubman is a hit on the highways, the tight suspension finds itself in the city, even in comfort mode.
Other than the firm ride, does JCW Clubman do anything wrong?
Especially not. I don’t know if I really like the interior or not – the center console is quite busy and the large circle contains a lot of unnecessary plastic.
I do like the two-way toggle switch though, and the big start / stop switch in the middle that glows when you put your foot on the brakes before startup.
With the exception of a few minor infotainment swallows (the rotary dial scrolls the menu incorrectly), and the fact that the intake vent on the bonnet is fake, there’s not much to complain about.
Any other cars I should consider?
Compared to the mechanically relevant BMW M135i, the JCW Club Man is a steal. If you go to the BMW 1 Series online configurator, the M135i starts at $ 102,235, which is very expensive.
The Mini also lowers the Audi S3 ($ 85,900) and the Mercedes AMG A35 ($ 87,900).