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New York show: Mini to debut new All4 on Clubman

Four fun: Mini’s Clubman All4 has the latest generation of the company’s new all-wheel-drive system, but it is not slated for Australian release.

BMW Australia says no to new Clubman All4 as it reins in the Mini expansion

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Mini logo20 Jan 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

MINI will debut the latest version of its grippy all-wheel-drive system on the new Clubman All4 at the New York motor show in March, endowing the Brit brand’s biggest model with a drivetrain that can switch automatically between all-wheel traction when needed and two-wheel-drive efficiency at other times.

However, the all-paw Clubman is not on the agenda for Australia where BMW Group Australia says it is capping in the ever-expanding Mini range to manageable levels.

Corporate communications manager Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto that the company was satisfied it already had the model selection to satisfy Australia customers.

Here, the previous generation Mini Countryman All4 will remain the only variant to offer AWD grip, albeit in an earlier and less versatile form, at least until a new Countryman comes around.

The new-generation Clubman wagon range – launched in Australia late last year – will remain at two versions, the standard Clubman Cooper at $34,900 (plus on-road costs) and hotter Clubman Cooper S at $42,900.

The revised All4 system reportedly employs multi-plate clutch to decouple the front axle from the rear in the interests of fuel savings in a so-called Green mode that comes with the optional Mini driving modes system.

When wheel slip is detected or if the driving heat is on, the clutch kicks in for all-wheel-drive traction that includes sophisticated torque vectoring to direct power to outside wheels and brake inside wheels for superior handling in hard cornering.

For buyers who want more, they can tick the box for the optional sports suspension or dynamic damper control.

Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are also available as an alternative to the standard 17-inch boots.

In Europe, the Clubman All4 will arrive with a choice of two engines – the Cooper S’s 141kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and the Cooper SD’s 140kW 2.0-litre diesel.

The petrol engine comes with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed automatic, with claimed 0-100km/h sprint times of 7.0 and 6.9 seconds respectively.

The Cooper SD diesel – available only with the eight-speed auto – can cover the 100k/h sprint in 7.2 seconds. Of course, it is the thriftiest version, recording 4.8 litres per 100km on the European combined test cycle.

So far, there is no word on a Clubman John Cooper Works performance flagship.

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