2020 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman: The UK’s 301-Hp Pocket Rocket

Strong points
  • High-performing engine
  • Excellent handling
  • Great looks
  • Standard AWD
Weak points
  • A bit pricey
  • Expensive options
  • Ultra-firm ride
Full report

FRANKFURT, Germany—301 horsepower. That’s how mighty the new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is in the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, a 32-percent increase in output from the previous models. This is backed by 332 pound-feet of torque, up 28 percent, and with the MINI JCW Clubman weighing just 1,550 kilograms, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is clocked at 4.9 seconds—nearly a second and a half quicker than before.

These performance improvements are the result of a larger turbo, lower compression ratio, revised intake and new exhaust system, among other things. By the way, this engine will also be found in the three-door MINI John Cooper Works GP.

On the pristine roads surrounding Frankfurt, the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman showed remarkable poise and control, not to mention pleasant rage at full throttle. The most impressive thing is the flexibility of the engine during spirited driving, with peak torque available from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm.

In corners, the John Cooper Works Clubman proves amazingly stable thanks to standard ALL4 all-wheel drive and a mechanical locking front differential. These components work hand in hand with the model-specific suspension to deliver flawless handling and super-sporty driving dynamics.

Photo: Fabian Kirchbauer

All or Nothing

Given the exceptionally slick pavement we drove on, the stiff springs and dampers didn’t pose a problem. On cobblestone roads, however, the ultra-firm ride significantly impacted comfort.

Incidentally, there are two suspension systems available with the 2020 MINI JCW Clubman. The one included as standard equipment is a classic setup, while the optional adaptive suspension would no doubt make the ride less jarring on rough stretches.

Photo: Fabian Kirchbauer

There are several drive modes that alter the car’s settings, but you have to choose between a seriously sporty mode and a considerably smoother one. It’s all or nothing. You can’t adjust some of the settings independently from the others, say Sport for the transmission, steering and throttle response and Comfort for the suspension. That would have been really appreciated.

Bottom line: this car makes no compromises. Consider yourself warned.

Photo: Alberto Martinez

More Upscale Styling

The 2020 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman visually stands out from its predecessor with a new front grille, LED headlights and Union Jack-style LED taillights. The brake callipers, tailpipes and 19-inch wheels are also unique to this model. As for practicality, the trunk can hold 360 litres of cargo; with the rear seats down, capacity increases to 1,250 litres.

On sale this fall across Canada, the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman starts at $41,090 before freight and delivery charges, which is nearly $3,000 above the base price of the outgoing model. The new 301-horsepower engine alone justifies this hike.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

New ModelsAll-electric MINI Cooper SE Unveiled with Around 250 Km of Range
As promised, the all-new 2020 MINI Cooper SE made its global debut today, combining all-electric mobility with the driving fun and expressive design that are typical of the British brand, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The car is motivated by a 181-horsepower motor shared with the BMW i3s …
New ModelsMINI Puts 301 Hp in New John Cooper Works Models
If you thought MINI’s John Cooper Works models had plenty of power already, prepare to be blown away. When they go on sale in Canada this summer, the new 2020 MINI JCW Clubman ALL4 and JCW Countryman ALL4 will feature the mightiest production engine in the British brand’s 60-year history, …
New Models2020 MINI Clubman Refreshed Inside and Out
If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive little car with a quirky personality, the refreshed-for-2020 MINI Clubman is coming soon with a number of cosmetic changes and technology updates. The most striking design feature is the newly styled front grille, which now extends almost fully across the bumper. Both the standard …
Test Drives2019 MINI Clubman ALL4: A Different Kind of Car
Looking for something unique in the small-car segment? Tired of the cookie-cutter sedans and hatchbacks that are just too bland to fit your groovy style? Then check out the MINI Clubman. Sure, it will cost more a month than a Hyundai Elantra GT , a Mazda3 Sport or a Volkswagen …
NewsElectric MINI Cooper SE Lands in Canada, Pricing Announced
Following its world premiere in July, the all-new, all-electric 2020 MINI Cooper SE 3 Door has finally arrived in Canada. A special launch event took place yesterday at the MINI dealership in Laval, Quebec. Aesthetically, the MINI Cooper SE is similar to the conventional, three-door variant. Designers retained some of …
NewsMINI’s Manual Gearbox Sticks Around for 2021
Good news for drivers who still want to play with a shifter and a clutch: MINI Canada confirmed yesterday that production has resumed for MINI 3 door , 5 door and Convertible models equipped with a manual transmission after a delay in availability during the 2020 model year. The company …
NewsCOVID-19: MINI Launches Virtual Meetups to Bring Fans Together
In order to promote togetherness and lift everyone’s spirits during these tough times we’re going through, MINI is launching a series of community events called MINI Virtual Meetups for family, friends and fans of the brand from across Canada and around the world. These special events start today with a …
NewsMINI is Planning a Larger SUV Than the Countryman
MINI is all about small cars, right? Of course, that didn’t stop the iconic brand from launching the Countryman , which many describe as a sub-compact SUV with a focus on adventure. The goal was simple: to attract more customers in big markets like the U.S. and Canada. Well, it’s …
NewsMINI Clubman Dropped From Canadian Lineup
MINI ’s 2023 models have arrived, but there’s one omission: the MINI Clubman . You know, the one with barn doors instead of a conventional rear liftgate. The company has indeed decided to axe the quirky compact as the lineup continues to evolve. “Fully aware of customer demand and market …