Obtaining been a player in the tiny vehicle category because its 2001 reboot, Mini now seeks to take on the burgeoning premium sporty compact segment with this, the new John Cooper Operates Clubman.
With sales of the Mini brand reaching only nine-tenths of its 2013 higher in the U.S. last year, will this model bait new consumers into the brand’s retina-searing showrooms?
Like most siblings, the newest offspring gets some hand-me-downs but enjoys some new toys not shared with its older brothers.
The JCW Clubman squeezes 228 horsepower out of its turbocharged two.-liter four-cylinder, along with a comparatively brawny 258 lb-ft when compared to its far more mundane brethren. This energy will be shuttled by means of a standard all-wheel-drive technique offered by Mini’s in-shop brand of ALL4. “Nyah-nyah”, says this Mini to its older Clubman brothers, who make do with 134 hp in Cooper trim or 189 hp in slightly more high-priced Cooper S trim.
Seeking closer, the JCW Clubman reveals its parent’s capacity to recycle things employed by its older siblings. The identical two transmissions will be on supply — a standard six-speed manual and an optional eight-speed automatic — whilst the special barn-doored body is adorned with the common frippery associated with JCW editions. This indicates 18-inch wheels are along for the ride plus a more aggressive body kit that suggests much better engine and brake cooling. The new kid is hefty like his brothers too — around three,500 lbs. Nonetheless, with the newfound power on tap, it is expected to total the -60 mile per hour dash in about 6 seconds.
Subcompact crossover sales far more than doubled in 2015, stirring up the marketplace and giving automakers an entry point with younger buyers. A survey by Strategic Vision Inc. suggests the no-little ones/beneath-45 buyer set accounts for about a quarter of the sales in this segment (compared to much less than 20 percent for the business overall). Buyers also are surfacing from the other end of the spectrum, such as Boomers who no longer need to schlep youngsters around in a huge crossover or SUV. No doubt Mini desires a piece of that pie, as well.
Feel the term “subcompact crossover” and “Clubman” shouldn’t be combined in the identical sentence? You are right, of course, in terms of height: Buick’s Encore towers practically ten-inches above the Clubman. Nevertheless, this new JCW is within an inch of length and width (168.3 inches & 70.9 inches, respectively) when compared to the Encore, a model which, it must be noted, counts a lot of of its buyers as conquests from other brands. Mini’s own Countryman is about 5 inches taller than the Clubman, but is half a foot shorter in length.
The new model, then, provides Mini sales employees yet yet another all-wheel-drive selection to pitch at the swiftly growing chorus of buyers who want their traction with a dash of action.
The 2017 Mini John Cooper Functions Clubman is scheduled to go on sale this December.
[Photos: BMW of North America]