PUMPED AND READY TO GO

MINI CLUBMAN JOHN COOPER WORKS ALL4

Driven - - Driven - Re­port by BERNIE HELL­BERG | Images © MINI SOUTH AFRICA

IF YOU’RE A MINI PURIST, THE CLUBMAN JCW ALL4 MIGHT BAFFLE YOU. IT HAS THE TYPICAL FUN FAC­TOR OF IT’S COOPER BRETHREN BAKED IN, BUT IT IS BIG-ISH, AND QUITE POW­ER­FUL, SO WHY LET LOGIC IN­TER­RUPT WHAT IS GO­ING TO BE A GOOD TIME BE­HIND THE WHEEL? BERNIE HELL­BERG RE­PORTS.

De­spite its his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant name­plate, and po­si­tion­ing as brand co-flag­ship with the Coun­try­man, the new MINI Clubman is not as syn­ony­mous with the brand as its three­and five-door Cooper sib­lings.

Not that this makes it any less of a true MINI; it has the char­ac­ter­is­tic gokart-like han­dling, and in JCW guise, it’s a per­for­mance pow­er­house along the lines of the Volk­swa­gen Golf GTI. It also ticks the nos­tal­gic non-con­form­ist ret­rostyle box that MINI buy­ers love. Yet, if prod­uct plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment were a field ded­i­cated to the pur­suit of logic, the Clubman John Cooper Works All4 would not ex­ist.

PO­SI­TIONED FOR POWER

With its six doors and all-wheel-drive, the dropped Clubman JCW All4 mini­wagon is prob­a­bly the most niche new ve­hi­cle on sale to­day, but it com­petes in a world where price-equiv­a­lent per­for­mance hatches of­fer sim­i­lar qual­i­ties and more prac­ti­cal­ity. And it’s not cheap, not even close.

The Clubman JCW All4 au­to­matic costs R584,516 be­fore op­tional ex­tras. This places it above of its ri­vals; the Volvo V40 T4 R-De­sign auto (R496,712), Audi S1 Sportback qu­at­tro (R506,500), and the Volk­swa­gen Golf GTI (R545,900).

For that kind of money you do get a boat­load of road pres­ence – peo­ple seem­ingly can­not re­sist cran­ing their necks to take in the low-and-wide body, big black al­loy wheels at each cor­ner, bur­bling twin ex­hausts, and JCW body stripes.

It also gets the per­for­mance cre­den­tials promised by the John Cooper Works badge. It’s the equal-most pow­er­ful and torquey MINI with a 170 kW and 350 Nm 2.0-litre tur­bocharged petrol en­gine that, with zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 6.3 sec­onds, will out­pace both the GTI and the Volvo.

Be­sides be­ing pow­er­ful, the en­gine is punchy and ea­ger, and is matched with MINI’s ZF-de­rived eight-speed au­to­matic with steer­ing-mounted pad­dle shifters it

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.