2017 Mini JCW Clubman: More Power and Grip to Lure the Crossover Set
Having been a player in the small car category since its 2001 reboot, Mini now seeks to take on the burgeoning premium sporty compact segment with this, the new John Cooper Works Clubman.
Like most siblings, the newest offspring gets some hand-me-downs but enjoys some new toys not shared with its older brothers.
The JCW Clubman squeezes 228 horsepower out of its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, along with a relatively brawny 258 lb-ft when compared to its more mundane brethren. This power will be shuttled through a standard all-wheel-drive system provided by Mini’s in-store brand of ALL4. “Nyah-nyah”, says this Mini to its older Clubman brothers, who make do with 134 hp in Cooper trim or 189 hp in slightly more expensive Cooper S trim.
Looking closer, the JCW Clubman reveals its parent’s ability to recycle items used by its older siblings. The same two transmissions will be on offer — a standard six-speed manual and an optional eight-speed automatic — while the unique barn-doored body is adorned with the typical frippery associated with JCW editions. This means 18-inch wheels are along for the ride plus a more aggressive body kit that suggests better engine and brake cooling. The new kid is hefty like his brothers too — around 3,500 lbs. Still, with the newfound power on tap, it’s expected to complete the 0-60 mile per hour dash in about 6 seconds.
Subcompact crossover sales more than doubled in 2015, stirring up the marketplace and giving automakers an entry point with younger buyers. A survey by Strategic Vision Inc. suggests the no-kids/under-45 customer set accounts for about a quarter of the sales in this segment (compared to less than 20 percent for the industry overall). Buyers also are surfacing from the other end of the spectrum, such as Boomers who no longer need to schlep kids around in a large crossover or SUV. No doubt Mini wants a piece of that pie, too.
Think the term “subcompact crossover” and “Clubman” shouldn’t be combined in the same sentence? You’re right, of course, in terms of height: Buick’s Encore towers nearly 10-inches above the Clubman. However, this new JCW is within an inch of length and width (168.3 inches & 70.9 inches, respectively) when compared to the Encore, a model which, it must be noted, counts many of its buyers as conquests from other brands. Mini’s own Countryman is about five inches taller than the Clubman, but is half a foot shorter in length.
The new model, then, gives Mini sales staff yet another all-wheel-drive option to pitch at the rapidly increasing chorus of customers who want their traction with a dash of action.
The 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman is scheduled to go on sale this December.
[Images: BMW of North America]
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
- Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
- ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
- ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
- ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.