Most potent Minis ever: 225kW Clubman and Countryman hit SA
JOHANNESBURG - With the launch of the new Mini Clubman and Countryman John Cooper Works performance models in South Africa this week, you no longer need to buy a car with a BMW badge to access the company’s most potent four-cylinder engine to date.
That, folks, is the same version of the 2-litre turbopetrol that’s fitted to the BMW X2 M35i and M135i models. It produces 225kW between 5000 and 6250rpm and 450Nm from 1750 to 4500 revs, which - to be specific - is a whole 55kW and 100Nm more than the previous Clubman and Countryman JCW models offered.
Acceleration times improve by up to 1.5 seconds, according to BMW’s quoted figures, with the new John Cooper Works Clubman estate model darting from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and the heavier Countryman SUV trailing slightly at 5.1s.
Compared to the standard 2-litre turbopetrol, the JCW engine has a bigger turbocharger, as well as a reinforced crankshaft, main bearing with an extended cross-section, specific pistons, connecting rods, and a new vibration damper with optimised cooling. A modified exhaust system promising a livelier soundtrack is also something you can look forward to when purchasing one of these potent new not-so-mini Minis.
Currently this engine is not available in the Mini JCW hatch, although it is set to make an appearance in the upcoming GP edition.
Putting all those ponies to the road is an eight-speed sports-tuned automatic gearbox, including mechanical differential lock on the front axle, as well as Mini’s All4 all-wheel-drive system and a model-specific sports suspension system. You will have to pay extra if you want adaptive damping, however. Engineers also made reinforcement modifications to the body structure, engine connection and chassis fastenings. There’s a beefed up braking system too, featuring larger discs and four-piston calipers at the back.
Wheels come in an 18-inch Black Grip Spoke design but as is usually the case with BMW’s catalogues, there is a range of options to choose from, sized up to 19 inches in diameter.
Other tell-apart features for the JCW models include a unique grille design with red accents, new LED headlights with Matrix high beam function and LED rear lights in Union Jack design in the Clubman model. JCW interior decor comes in the form of sports seats with integrated headrests, unique steering wheel and gear knob and anthracite headliner.
The JCW models also come with a 16.5cm touchscreen audio system with various MINI Connected online services, but a bigger screen and connected navigation is also possible if you attack the options list.
Mini John Cooper Works Clubman - R642 000
Mini John Cooper Works Countryman - R708 000