What you’re looking at here is the most powerful factory-built Mini there has ever been – the new, 302bhp Mini Clubman JCW.
There’s a matching Mini Countryman JCW, as well.
Both are powered by a new version of BMW’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. That 302bhp is backed up by a suitably meaty 332lb/ft of torque – improvements of 74bhp and 74lb/ft over the previous JCW models.
Incidentally, we’ll also see the same engine in the upcoming, new-gen BMW M135i. And it seems that the Mini JCW hatchback makes do with its 228bhp motor for now.
Both Clubman and Countryman JCW come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and All4 four-wheel-drive as standard.
That four-wheel traction helps slingshot the Clubman JCW from 0-62mph in 4.9secs, while the Countryman JCW reaches the mark in 5.1secs. Both are limited to 155mph – so they’re the fastest Mini’s ever, as well.
Neither of the Clubman and Countryman JCWs are exactly light. In the previous model, their heft resulted in a less-than-scintillating driving experience. Hopefully the big jump in power for these new models will rectify that.
Mini has also added a new, rortier exhaust to the mix, along with some minor running gear tweaks, including bigger brakes. Adaptive dampers have been added to the options list, too.
The Clubman JCW is priced at £34,250 – a bit more than the equivalent SEAT Leon ST Cupra and a biggish chunk less than the VW Golf R. While both those rivals offer near identical performance, it’s worth bearing in mind that they are much better estates than the Mini.
Meanwhile, the Countryman JCW’s price of £35,550 is marginally less than the Cupra Ateca, and about £1,500 less than the Audi SQ2.
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By Graham King