The range-topping John Cooper Works versions of the Mini Clubman estate and Countryman SUV have been a bit of a tough sell for anyone crazing driving excitement. Both have, up until recently, used the same 231bhp version of the inline-four turbo as in the hatchback, but made to work against more weight and a four-wheel drive system.
Now, though, each has been afforded a boost in power. A big one, in fact: the new output is 302bhp, while torque has leapt by 74lb ft to 332lb ft. That’s a little more like it.
With the added poke, the Clubman now handles the 0-62mph dash in 4.9 seconds, representing a drop of 1.4 seconds. The Countryman, meanwhile, takes 5.1 seconds to do the same, which is 1.5 seconds brisker than before. This also makes it a tenth faster to 62mph than the Cupra Ateca we’re currently running as a long-term test car.
To go with the extra power, there’s also a new exhaust system compliant with the latest noise and emissions regulations, an eight-speed automatic gearbox with an integrated mechanical limited-slip differential to help distribute power at the front axle, and a redesigned cooling system.
The brakes are beefier, too. There are 360mm discs up front and 330mm rotors at the back, the latter parts now paired with meaty four-piston calipers. All four calipers are livened up thanks to a lovely splash of red paint, with the fronts also featuring JCW logos. Good for at least an additional 5bhp, we’d say.
The pair will go on sale this June. The Clubman JCW will be £34,250, while the Countryman is going to set you back £35,550. There’ll be myriad options available, so expect it to be rather easy to push those figures well beyond the £40,000 mark.