A German-owned and produced vehicle that maintained its English looks, we take a look into Mini Cooper Clubman John Copper Works. JCW is kind of like Mini’s M Sport division. All about power, speed and agility on the road. Looks impressive on paper, but is it really?
The exterior does not scream sporty as one would expect a hot hatch to (we’ll call it a hatchback for the sake of categorization purposes but it is in actual fact a wagon). It is rather relaxed yet very appealing. Our black test unit had a red roof and side mirrors which are quite eye-catching. As if that is not enough, the optional 19-inch wheels housed by large wheel arches, makes the Clubman JCW stand out.
The Clubman JCW is big, quite bigger than an average hatchback. It has a longer wheelbase than the closest competitor and is short in height, nonetheless, this works. It gives the car an aggressive stance and makes it appear as if it is ready to pounce on its all-wheel drive system.
What is lovely about Mini is that throughout the years they have kept their 60’s Morris Minor aesthetic throughout their vehicle. This brings back a sense of your childhood. Think Mr Bean and his little Mini, but all grown up now. Another noticeable fun feature is the back barn doors. They make accessing the boot convenient. You need to only open one of the doors to put something in. They also open up in such a way that you can just park your car and idle somewhere with a nice scenic view, watching the sunset.
We all know how busy Mini interiors are, and this one is no different. Mini maintains the large jukebox like interior with the large oval center console in the Clubman JCW. This may be irritating as it dominates most of the dashboard but true to Mini form, they have managed to make this interesting. The ambient LED lighting and the piano buttons below it are a good save. You can clearly see that you are in a performance-based vehicle when you see the interior of the car. Apart from the JCW branding, there are generous sports seats, a special leather steering wheel and silver pedals. This gives the Clubman as sense of occasion and personality.
Whilst the sued finishing gives the generous bucket seats added sportitness, this compromises practicality, especially if you have little kids. There is ample space for the driver and the front passenger, and the back passengers. The boot is quite large compared to the usual hot hatch. The Clubman JCW is really cute, quirky and goes against the norm. It’s like a teenager who just got emancipated, very carefree.
The Clubman JCW is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo-petrol engine that produces 170 kW and 350 Nm of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This makes the Clubman JCW quite quick off the mark and fun to drive as it is very responsive. You could be forgiven for thinking the car is much more compact than it is. It carries itself well, especially where it matters most, around bends and the odd winding road. The Clubman JCW is up against stiff competition in the hot hatch arena including the likes of class leader, the Golf GTI, Audi S3 and Ford Focus ST. Strangely we think the Clubman JCW trumps these competitors with non-hot essentials like space and practicality. We are uncertain however that it is on the same footing as the competitors when it comes to the delivery of speed, power and agility.
Leave a comment