2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman: First Look

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2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman

Manufacturer image

Competes with: Mazda3 Grand Touring hatchback, Ford Focus Titanium hatchback, Volkswagen Golf SportWagon

Looks like: The Clubman slipped into a Simpson racing suit

Drivetrain: 228-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; all-wheel drive; six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission

Hits dealers: December

CARS.COM — The Mini Clubman is joining a new club for a new model year: the John Cooper Works performance club, that is. With the regular Clubman having received a major redesign for 2016 that doubled its doors and expanded cabin space, the 2017 John Cooper Works Clubman gets a pumped-up powertrain and race-ready styling cues.

Related: 2016 Mini Clubman: Inside and Out

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Exterior

Structurally, the only thing that ostensibly changed for the Clubman's John Cooper Works incarnation is its 0.4-inch lower ground clearance, which Mini says makes for a sportier stance, enhancing aerodynamics and handling. Apart from that, cosmetic updates include a two-tone racing-striped paint job, John Cooper Works badging on the grille and rear cargo door, and All4 all-wheel-drive badging on the profile.

The regular Clubman's lower front fog lights have also been replaced by air intakes. Other sport-themed elements include dual chrome-tipped exhaust and model-exclusive 18-inch black wheels with five bullet-shaped spokes in place of the seven-bladed aluminum wheels.

Interior

The racing theme extends to the interior, as well, featuring a bathed-in-black cabin with red flourishes. The sport seats have integrated head restraints and suedelike seating surfaces with a stitched-in tile pattern.

Under the hood

Mini says the John Cooper Works Clubman boasts the most torqued-up powertrain of its entire performance lineup. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 228 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque; that's compared with 189 hp and 207 pounds-feet of torque for the regular Clubman's Cooper S version. The engine is mated to either a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission. A launch-control function optimizes traction for maximum acceleration off the line and Mini says the model can sprint from zero-to-60 mph in 6 seconds with either transmission, more than 2 seconds faster than the base Clubman Cooper S.

The John Cooper Works Clubman comes equipped with Mini's latest-gen all-wheel-drive system, as well as a standard sport suspension and Brembo performance brakes. Driver-selectable Dynamic Damper Control is optional, adjusting the car's suspension for spirited driving or comfort.

Mini says pricing for the John Cooper Works Clubman will be announced closer to launch. The regular Clubman starts at $24,950, including an $850 destination charge. The current John Cooper Works versions of the Mini Hardtop, Countryman All4 and Convertible start at $9,950, $12,600 and $9,650 more than their corresponding regular versions, respectively; all prices include destination.

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News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers.  Email Matt