Welcome to the two most powerful road-going Minis ever – the new Clubman and Countryman JCW.
Power is up by a healthy 74bhp to 302bhp, and torque by 100Nm to 450Nm, thanks to a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that will also appear in the next BMW M135i. In both the Clubman and Countryman it powers all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox with an integrated diff lock.
0–100kph takes 4.9 seconds for the former and 5.1 seconds for the latter, improvements of 1.4 and 1.5 seconds respectively. Both cars are limited to 250kph.
Not shabby, and very good news indeed given the old Clubman and Countryman JCW were a bit… limp-wristed. They were mature, high-quality items, but their main problem was a lack of speed. Like the little Mini JCW hatch they had a reasonable 228bhp, but much-added weight from the extra metalwork and AWD systems made them slower and less involving. They certainly weren’t as fast as other, similarly priced hot hatches such as the VW Golf R.
The new Clubman JCW will cost £34,250, around £3,000 less than a Golf R Estate, which is a bit less powerful but just as fast. The Countryman, meanwhile, is £35,550 and will rival the likes of the Cupra Ateca and Audi SQ2.
Besides the engine, other changes include minor tweaks to the chassis, brakes and suspension. Adaptive dampers are available as an option.
Sales start in July. Fancy an odd SUV or estate-shaped Mini instead of a conventional hot hatch?