03 MINI JCW CLUBMAN

CRITICISM LEVELLED

BY ē CHRIS THOMPSON

JUST LAUNCHED

The fastest Mini to set rubber in Australia

CRITICISM LEVELLED at the previous version of the Mini JCW Clubman often boiled down to it being not quite powerful enough to overcome the fact itís approximately 1.5 tonnes.

The new one is here to fix that. With 225kW and 450Nm at its disposal, the new JCW Clubman is able to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 4.9 seconds, which feels about right based on the driving conducted during its launch in the Adelaide Hills.

That power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed Steptronic auto, the same found in the BMW X2 M35i and M135i xDrive, which both use the same engine as the JCW.

But thereís more thatís new for the updated Clubman. For a start, itís visually different in a few key places, including a fresh fascia, larger exhaust exits due to an uprated system, and new ducts for cooling both at the front - two new radiators flank the main one - and at the rear. The wheels have been given a little more camber, and the ride height has been lowered by 10mm. It has also had its underside design revised for better aerodynamics, and it now sports JCW-specific steering knuckles.

All of this should mean itís a much better drive than its predecessor, right?

Well, yes, but thereís one more thing that the JCW Clubman really needed - adaptive dampers. And if you opt for the new ĎPureí variant, you get íem. Standard. Rolling on 18-inch alloys with Michelin 225/40 Pilot Super Sport tyres (instead of 19s with 235/35 Continental PremiumContact6s), the JCW Clubman is at its best.

LIKE: Now properly fast; adaptive dampers a must; Pure variant provides value