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Mini ups straight-line ante in Countryman, Clubman JCW

Countryman, Clubman JCW upgrade to 225kW engine, making for quickest Minis yet

Mini logo16 May 2019

MINI has revealed the most potent pair of series-production models in its 60-year history, with the facelifted JCW variants of its Countryman SUV and Clubman wagon packing 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

 

The higher outputs come courtesy of a redesigned version of BMW Group’s B48 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, with this particular tune making its debut in September last year in the mechanically related BMW X2 M35i small SUV that rivals Audi’s 221kW/400Nm SQ2.

 

Modifications have been made to the crankshaft drive, while Mini said a new vibration damper has been added as part of “a newly advanced cooling system (that) has been developed so an optimum running temperature for the engine is guaranteed at all times”.

 

Peak power is produced from 5000-6250rpm, while maximum torque comes on tap from 1750-4500rpm. For reference, the pre-facelift JCW versions managed 170kW from 5000-6000rpm and 350Nm from 1450-4500rpm.

 

A new-generation ZF-sourced eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission also enters the fray with a mechanical differential lock, while the British brand’s front-biased All4 all-wheel-drive system carries over.

 

Thanks to the output boost, the Clubman JCW can now sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds – a massive 1.4s quicker than before – while the Countryman JCW completes the triple-digit run in 5.1s for an equally impressive 1.4s improvement.

 

Top speed for both models is electronically limited to 250km/h – another highpoint for Mini.

 

While on song, the pair’s soundtrack is enhanced by a newly developed sports exhaust system with twin tailpipes, but the noise is more subdued when cruising.

 

In order to cope with this extra performance, the braking system has been upgraded with 360x30mm front and 330x20mm rear discs, the latter clamped by four-piston fixed callipers.

 

The MacPherson-strut front and multilink rear suspension has also been tweaked, while adaptive dampers are available.

 

While no other changes have been made to the five-door Countryman JCW, the hot Clubman follows in the tyre tracks of its regular six-door wagon counterparts (with two doors at each side and a pair of split barn doors at the rear) which last month received new bumpers and LED headlights and tail-lights, with the latter optionally available with a Union Jack design.

 

GoAuto has contacted Mini Australia regarding timing and pricing for Countryman JCW and Clubman JCW.

 

For reference, the former currently starts from $59,900 plus on-road costs, while the latter checks in at $56,900.

 

Sales-wise, Countryman has fared better than Clubman this year, with 323 examples of the Countryman sold to the end of April – a 13.9 per cent decrease over the same period in 2018. The Clubman has only found 95 homes, representing a significant 29.6 per cent decline.


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