This week we pick up our new 2020 301 hp JCW Clubman. But that’s just one of three reasons we’re massively excited. We’re doing it at the BMW Performance Center where we’ll have a chance to hit the track in MINI’s first 300 hp car and see what it’s truly capable of. Finally we’ll be taking it back home to Chicago via a massive trip that will include one of the best roads in the world, the Tail of the Dragon.
As always we’ll be taking you along with us via updates on MF and on Instagram. But before we get there let’s talk about what we’re giving up and getting. Yes we’re trading our manual JCW Countryman in for a much faster and much less manual JCW Clubman. We’ve reported all year about of love of the JCW Countryman despite its flawed manual transmission. It will be missed but we’d be lying if we didn’t say 301 hp in a daily driver doesn’t sound exciting to us.
The B48 engine at the heart of our new Clubman is a monster. Technically known as the B48A20T1, this four cylinder turbo not only delivers 301 hp but an astonishing 331 lb-ft @ 1,750 – 4,500 rpm. To go from 228 to 301, this new version of the B48 features a number of physical changes over the 228 hp JCW version we know. Reinforced crankshaft, larger main bearings and new pistons fitted with a reduced compression ratio (9.5:1 vs 10.2:1) all allows for a larger turbocharger and increased boost. The intake airflow tract is also improved on the B48A20T1 for higher flow while the cooling system has been upgraded to keep it all at a proper operating temperature. That last bit will be crucial for all those looking to track this engine.
And yes, you can definitely feel the difference. In our early (albeit brief) tests the extra power transforms the JCW Clubman into what we’ve always wanted it to be. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Next week will offer us a chance to truly see what the combination of the 8 Speed auto, AWD and 301 hp will do for the Clubman.
Let’s Talk Specifications.
Rebel Green again. This will be our third MINI with the JCW exclusive color and we couldn’t be happier. Outside of a few special hues from BMW M and Porsche, Rebel Green is simply our favorite color in the autotmoiae world right now. Almost black in some conditions, it’s subtle yet distinctly different on second glance. What isn’t subtle will be the Chili Red top – our first on a MINI.
The overall spec is pretty simple – Iconic trim with a few added tweaks to keep things well simple (albeit well specced). Here’s a quick look at how are car is equipped:
- Color: John Cooper Works Rebel Green Body Color Chili Red Roof/Mirrors
- Wheels: 18″ JCW Grip Spoke Black Wheels
- JCW Leather Steering Wheel w/Multifunction Multifunction Steering wheel
- MINI Yours Interior Style: Piano Black Illuminated No Chrome Line Interior Trim
- Anthracite Headliner Dinamica/Leather: Carbon Black John Cooper Works Sport Seats 40/20/40 Folding Rear – – Seat Heated Front Seats
- Dynamic Damper Control/Sport Suspension
- 8.8″ Touchscreen Navigation Display MINI Navigation
- MINI Head-Up Display
- Active Driving Assistant
- Parking Assistant
- Comfort Access System
- Front & Rear Park Distance Control
- Driver Assistance Package
- Wired Charging & Enhanced Bluetooth Apple CarPlay Compatibility
- Harman/Kardon Sound System
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- Universal Garage Door Opener with Compass Panoramic Moonroof
- Piano Black Exterior
- LED Headlights with Cornering Lights
- Auto-Dimming Interior & Exterior Mirrors
- Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror Powerfolding Mirrors
- Rain Sensor and Auto Headlamps Ambient Lighting
The only thing we missed are the gorgeous new 19” wheels that are optional on the JCW Clubman and Countryman. Unfortunately they weren’t available at the time of ordering. Otherwise what we have here is a $47,250 car with more options than our Countryman for $1,500 less. Some of you might gasp at that number but the 300 hp figures changes the equation a bit. Looking around it’s hard to find a well designed, impeccably built and performance driven family car for under $50k – especially one with 300 hp and a true brand heritage.
Look for plenty of updates throughout the week as we get behind the wheel at the track and on the road.