Mini Refines the Clubman and Countryman for 2019

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mini refines the clubman and countryman for 2019

Mini plans to launch updated versions of its two most commodious models this summer. While many of the refinements are incredibly boring (like a new particulate filter that adheres to new European emission mandates), there are tastier aspects to cherry pick. For example, the Clubman and Countryman gain receive upgraded transmissions in Europe — which hopefully carries over North America, as well.

The change replaces the standard automatic with a seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. Tragically, that unit has already made its way into the smaller Cooper hatchback and has proven excruciatingly slow in making its way across the ocean. Still, why you would buy a Mini 2-door and not option it with a contrasting roof and manual transmission is beyond us. The impractical little car’s saving grace is its fun factor and visual appeal, and you should probably lean into both if thinking of buying one.

The bigger ships in Mini’s fleet sacrifice some of that fun for practicality and a more mainstream appeal, which is why it makes sense for BMW Group to get the DTC into them as soon as possible. Offered exclusively on gasoline models, Mini claims the new gearboxes offer noticeably faster shift times at cleverer intervals — improving both performance and fuel economy.

“In addition to enhanced driving fun, the design principle adapted from motor racing also has all the comfort features of an automatic transmission,” Mini said of the DTC. “It ensures harmonious and acoustically barely perceptible changes in drive position, free of load change reactions in the engine — not just when sprinting but also when decelerating.”

The addition of the new transmission also allows the brand to implement stop/start functionality and an adaptive coast setting that works with the vehicle’s navigation to maximize efficiency. Gear selection can be achieved manually. However, paddle shifters are only available on the more-expensive Cooper S models.

Mini is also offering the Clubman with a new Connectivity Package, which encompasses real-time navigation with traffic updates, Apple CarPlay, wire-free cellphone charging, and a Harman Kardon audio system. This is all managed through a 8.8-inch touchscreen and Mini’s Touch Controller, which allows you two write in letters rather than than selecting them on a keypad.

Officially, this news is for European customers only. But it’s presumed the updates will eventually make the trip to North America — assuming the brand decides to keep selling cars here. If it does, it might want to get the lead out.

[Image: Mini]

Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Jul 05, 2018

    You keep saying "DTC" instead of "DCT" DCT = Dual Clutch Transmission DTC = Dynamic Traction Control (also a BMW acronym)

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Jul 05, 2018

    Until they create a rally presence with the Cooper it will remain a Hipster's bling

  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]