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MINI adds new ultra-sporty trim level to 2017 Clubman

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A larger and more impressive MINI Clubman debuted last year and, for 2017, MINI is indulging us with a sporty new John Cooper Works (JCW) Clubman ALL4 offering.

The new JCW Clubman ALL4 becomes the third trim level available for the Clubman model and builds on the unique appeal of the MINI brand, providing another exciting offering for enthusiasts to appreciate.

The 2017 MINI JCW Clubman ALL4 joins a JCW lineup that includes a 2-door hardtop, 2-door convertible and a Countryman ALL4. JCW models certainly add a heightened level of excitement to an already stimulating brand.

The Clubman is a roomy long wheelbase offering from MINI and it features six doors (around back are two swing-out doors instead of a tailgate). The Clubman is undoubtedly a wagon, but a downright sporty wagon, thanks to its low roofline and attractive physique.

The JCW Clubman ALL4 separates itself from its two Clubman siblings (Cooper and Cooper S) with a slightly lowered stance, racecar-inspired paint job, unique exterior & interior styling elements, a stiffer suspension system, Brembo brakes, and a much more powerful engine.

While the base Cooper version of the Clubman features a 134-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, and the Cooper S utilizes a 189-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the JCW ALL4 boasts a 228-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Like its siblings, the JCW ALL4 can be had with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission. But unlike its siblings, the JCW ALL4 is only offered with all-wheel drive (known as ALL4). Its two siblings can be had as FWD or AWD models. The JCW ALL4 delivers much more forceful acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in just 6 seconds – about one second faster than the Cooper S model.

MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system helps the JCW ALL4 deliver excellent rear-biased traction for launch, and sure-footed operation for foul-weather driving.

My JCW ALL4 tester came equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. Along with its short-throw shifter, the manual gearbox nicely augmented my tester’s pleasing performance.

The JCW ALL4 includes Performance Control. It allows drivers to adjust driving dynamics for increased control and responsiveness. An electronic differential lock helps maintain acceleration.

The JCW ALL4 delivers a firmly planted ride that might be too harsh for normal driving conditions, but opting for the available Dynamic Damper Control system ($500) provides the driver with the ability to adjust the dampers to an acceptable rate for touring.

In its firm setting, the suspension squats very little during hard acceleration and leans only slightly when taking corners at speed, making the JCW Clubman ALL4 exceptionally fun-to-drive.

Like other MINI models, the JCW ALL4’s cabin sports a rounded theme with round gauges, round center stack and round knobs and controls.

Clubman’s cabin is comfortable for a family of five or four adults. Inside, the Clubman features outstanding craftsmanship, premium materials and a high level of refinement. As you might expect, the cabin of the JCW ALL4 features sportier design elements and upgraded technologies. There are many standard and available technologies and the available 8.8-inch central display is now a touchscreen.

Pricing for the MINI Clubman begins at $24,800. The sportier Cooper S variant starts at $28,450. Pricing for the ultra-sporty new JCW ALL4 begins at $35,900.

Unique styling, abundant paint and trim choices, impressive craftsmanship, inspiring handling characteristics and plenty of available power make the Clubman a unique and pleasing offering.