One of the best reviews we’ve read yet; everyone’s favorite weekly auto mag finds a lot to like about the new large MINI:

>The new Mini Clubman came straight out of the Munich design department, if you listen to the designer. It was not a product-planning decision, not an executive decision, it was all design, baby.

>”It was design by dictatorship,” clarified the somewhat autocratic Mini chief designer, Gerd Hildebrand. “All else, this marketing, these focus groups, what have you, is bulls***.” So, if you don’t like the Clubman, tell Hildebrand.

>The “Dune Line,” an arch in the roof that extends from the A-pillar to the C-pillar, rounds out the length of the Mini Clubman, which has grown over the Mini Cooper by 9.5 inches overall, more than 3.0 inches of that in wheelbase.
The design team drew it up while thinking of new directions in which the Mini brand could go. There aren’t too many directions when you have such a small platform and such a sporty car. Our choice would have been a Mini Van, but that would have been just for the name. There are no plans for a Mini Van, by the way, as far as we can tell. But there were hints here and there that all-wheel drive might be in the Mini’s future. Word on the street is that Getrag already has put an all-wheel-drive system into three Minis and that everything works just fine. More on this in a minute.

>…We might as well nominate the engine in the Cooper S for all-time greatest four-cylinder ever put in a car. Is there a better one? Man, oh, man, it has power and torque all over the rev range, from 3000 rpm on, and it’s quiet and revs easily. It’s terrific.

>Maybe too terrific. It yanks the steering wheel right out of your hands with what feels like all 177 lb-ft of torque whenever you stomp on the throttle in a turn, which, given the wonderfulness of the engine, you will be doing all day long. So if they really are going to offer all-wheel drive, and we are halfway sure they are, then the sooner, the better. Sending some torque to the rear wheels is just what this powertrain needs. Spinning tires is so inefficient.

You can read the entire article below:

[ World’s Largest MINI ] Autoweek