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Mar
30

MINI 4-Door Hatch Won’t Get JCW Version, Clubman Will

Normally, when it comes to launching a John Cooper Works model, MINI would wait about a year before releasing it. Of course, exceptions to the rule have happened in the past but when they did, it was because the JCW version was launched earlier not later than the aforementioned 12 months.

Therefore, looking at the MINI line-up today, you might be wondering where the JCW version of the 4-door Hardtop is today. It is quite peculiar not to have it inside showrooms by now and while it may seem like it’s just a matter of time right now, a recent interview with MINI officials at the New York Auto Show revealed that there’s more than that to it.

According to Autoblog, when asked about the JCW version, Patrick McKenna, the Head of Product Planning at MINI USA said that the four-door will continue to offer the visual package for those wanting a more aggressive look but not the complete ‘works’. You’ll also be able to get other performance-infusing accessories as well (such as a new exhaust or horsepower increases) but not the real deal.

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For now, the reasons behind such an approach are not exactly clear. One could speculate that it may be because the elongated chassis might not behave as a JCW model should but then again, the Clubman is apparently in line to get the hardcore treatment.

Speaking on the matter at the same venue, Ralph Mahler, MINI’s head product manager said that “the Works is always our top model. John Cooper Works is not just limited to small cars, it’s also for compact cars. Therefore, I wouldn’t see anything against bringing the Works to the Clubman. I think it would be a perfect match.” That’s as close to a confirmation as we’ll get before the car is officially unveiled.

The JCW Clubman model was actually spotted undergoing tests earlier this year and last year, so it truly is a matter of time before we see it unveiled. So what’s the explanation for this different approach?

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One argument for the Clubman is that it is competing in a completely different league. It has grown in size so much that it is now considered a compact model, which pits it against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf or the Audi A3. Now, depending on the specs we’re comparing, the Brit might be overwhelmed.

For example, the most powerful model you can get right now, the Cooper S has 189 HP which is more than the 1.8-liter turbocharged Audi A3. However, the 2-liter model has considerably more power and so does its brother, the Golf GTI. The JCW version would be a clear rival for these two, taking the battle on a whole new level.

The article MINI 4-Door Hatch Won’t Get JCW Version, Clubman Will appeared first on BMW BLOG

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