Lost in all the excitement of the GP news last week was the 302 hp MINIs that are actually coming sooner. MINI will be launching an updated 302 hp JCW Countryman and Clubman in 2019 in a major way by adding 74 hp. The extra power will come from the B48A20T1 2.0L which generates 302 hp @ 5,000 – 6,250 rpm in the new X2 M35i. However more impressive is its torque – 332 lb-ft. @ 1,750 – 4,500 rpm.
The combination of those figures with improved xDrive/All4 and the Aisin 8G45 8 speed automatic will move the X2 M35i to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Compare that to the 6.3 seconds it takes the X2 30i (using the current 228 hp JCW engine) and you have an idea of what the JCW Countryman will do with the same power. With the current JCW hitting 60 mph in 6.2 sec it’s safe to expect we will see a 0-60 mph time at or below 4.9 seconds.
302 HP MINI JCW Countryman and Clubman – Technical Details
Because of its lineage, the B48A20T1 will be the first engine that MINI will ever use that’s been massaged by BMW’s M division. And when M gets involved, it’s a lot more than just more turbo boost. To start with the crankshaft has been reinforced and features larger main bearings. Then there are new pistons fitted with slightly reduced compression ratio (9.5:1 vs 10.2:1) allowing for a larger turbocharger and increased boost. The intake airflow tract has also been improved for higher flow while the cooling system has been upgraded to keep it all at a proper operating temperature.
To deal with the 332 ft lbs of torque BMW is making all wheel drive standard in the X2 M35i just as MINI will in the upcoming JCWs. Sadly the same can be said for the 8 speed automatic. Yes, the 300 hp MINI JCW Countryman will be the first JCW product (and only the second MINI ever) to not be available with a manual.
The benefit is performance. Leveraging the all wheel drive and 8-speed sport automatic transmission, MINI will offer An improved launch control allowing for consistent all-out sprints from a standing stop. More importantly for the first time ever, a front axle BMW M Sport likely rebranded for MINI) Differential makes its appearance and features Torsen-based limited slip capabilities with up to a 39% lock-up. The new M Sport differential is integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission which itself features steering wheel shift paddles, M Performance specific tuning, additional transmission cooling and updated gear ratios. Bet on the 300 HP MINI JCW Countryman to see these upgrade as well.
302 HP MINI JCW Countryman and Clubman – Launch Details
While we don’t pricing figures from our sources yet, we have some ideas. The current pricing for the MINI JCW Countryman is $37,900. Where do we expect this much faster version to fall? Clues can be found on the BMW side. The new X2 M35i with this same engine is priced at $46,450. That’s up $8,050 over the X2 28i (which happens to have the current JCW engine in it) by 17%. But we can’t just add 17% the case of the JCW and call it a day. The comparison doesn’t work so easily as the JCWs already have some of the components the X2 M35i (larger brakes and sport seats for example). Therefore we’d expect less of an increase and something closer to a $43k MSRP with well equipped models going over $50k.
$50k for a MINI? Obviously this won’t be just any MINI. With BMW levels of quality and refinement (remember the Countryman is ranked as the highest premium small crossover by Consumer Reports in quality) this is already a car that can go toe to toe with any other small crossover in the marketplace. Add a dramatic increase in performance and you could have a pretty compelling.
And that’s not to even speak of the Clubman which will be priced lower and have even higher levels of performance due to less weight.
We expect the updated 302 hp MINI Countryman & Clubman to be announced late spring/early summer with cars hitting showrooms in the second half of the year.