A $40,000, 301-HP Mini? What the JCW Clubman Buys You

The Mini John Cooper Works Clubman gets a new 301-hp engine for 2020—and a boost in price, too. After driving the updated JCW Clubman on the outskirts of Frankfurt we found the car was eager to take twisty roads and happy to drive at high speeds in the autobahn. But at $40,000, the JCW Clubman has a hard price to justify.

So, besides that powerful engine, what else does the 2020 Clubman in JCW form get you? Let’s have a look.

Standard All-Wheel Drive

All JCW Clubmans get a 2.0-liter engine mated to an eight-speed automatic that sends power to the front and rear wheels. The manual is gone for this year and there are no front-drive models, though this AWD system is front-drive biased and can split the torque 50:50 depending on the road conditions.

Bigger Brakes

More power means better brakes. At least in Mini language. The JCW Clubman gets upgraded brakes that, during our drive, provided good feel and stopping force. The brakes feel more responsive than the regular Clubman and the four-piston, fixed caliper discs on the rear did a pretty good job on the German country roads. Plus, they also look rad with the red paint.

Sport Chassis

The performance-oriented model gets a chassis that was specifically tuned to deliver a sportier drive. Besides being 10 mm (0.4 inches) lower than the regular Clubman, the JCW’s suspension was optimized in order to increase its rigidity. The electronically controlled dampers provide a more agile drive when Sport mode is engaged, but they can be tuned down when you want a calmer ride with Green mode.

18- or 19-Inch Wheels

The JCW Clubman comes standard with 18-inch wheels and a special design, but you can also opt for 19-inch wheels. Our test car had the 18-inch wheels with run flat tires and provided a stiff ride. We didn’t have a chance to drive on the 19-inch tires, but its two-tone design is compelling.

Sport Exhaust and Cooling System

The more powerful engine required Mini engineers to install a bigger cooling system, which is composed of two external radiators, an independent cooling module mounting, and a vent with increased volume. On the other hand, the sport exhaust delivers a strong note when Sport mode is on, as the sound gets amplified through the speakers. The double exhaust has a 3.7-inch diameter and is located on the left and right rear corners.

Bigger Front Fascia and Union Jack Design

As part of the additional radiators, the front fascia was redesigned in order to provide more air to the radiators. The open design also provides a sportier look compared to the regular Clubman. On the rear, the Union Jack taillights give the JCW Clubman a unique appearance and play well with the theme of the car. Of course, the stripes and JCW badges on the exterior are also part of the package.

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