The John Cooper Works Clubman is the hatchback Mini JCW’s ugly twin. It packs the same 208bhp punch and comes with a similar array of performance and styling additions, including an aero kit, 17in ‘Challenge’ wheels and 316mm Brembo brakes. It just doesn’t look quite so cohesive.
However, the Clubman does have the advantage of an 80mm longer wheelbase, and with it comes a tangible benefit when putting so much power through the front axle. There’s less scrabble, a little more composure and greater traction, allowing the throttle to be squeezed harder and earlier out of tight turns. The ride quality improves too; the Clubman fidgets and jiggles less, and as a consequence the whole experience is less frenetic.
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On the debit side, some of the wild entertainment dished up by the full-on responsiveness of the all-action Mini chassis has been lost, but you only miss it when pushing on down your favourite back road. Overall the Clubman is the more rounded package. Shame it looks so awkward.
|Max power||208bhp @ 6000rpm|
|Max torque||207lb ft @ 2000-5300rpm|
|Top speed||148mph (claimed)|