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The latest model generation of the Mini is now providing irresistible driving fun in both the small and compact car segments.
The selection of John Cooper Works models, for instance, has been extended to include a new top athlete which will generate what the automaker reads as ‘that race feeling’ among more target groups.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman will have its world premiere at the 2016 Paris auto show at the end of September – the newest extreme athlete is also the biggest of its kind in the Mini range.
The Mini men say its “captivating temperament is combined with excellent showings in the disciplines of space, versatility and suitability for long-distance driving”.
They see added diversity for the John Cooper Works performance models.
After the launch of the new Mini John Cooper Works with a classic three-door body (see images below) and the new John Cooper Works convertible, the new Mini John Cooper Works Clubman is being presented as “an all-round talent able to handle the wide-ranging demands of day-to-day traffic as well as the challenges of track-driving”.
It has the most powerful engine yet in a Mini driving all four wheels, suspension geared towards high-performance and exclusive design features and fittings.
“Clearly,” the Mini men say, “it’s distinguished from other model variants of the latest Mini Clubman.”
Alongside the new Mini Convertible, the new Mini Seven takes centre stage. It’s said to be the first of the new generation to be available as both a two-door hatch and a four-door hatch, “combining its modern premium characteristics with a sense of tradition and individual style”.
But let’s individualise the cars, starting with the performance qualities of the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman.
“The car interprets the tradition-steeped vehicle concept of the shooting-brake,” the Mini men explain. “It’s unique in the premium compact segment not only for contemporary style but also for striking sporty flair.
“Four side doors and the hallmark split pair at the rear, five generous seats and a luggage volume that can be grow from 360 to 1250 litres are features that give it both a distinctive appearance and great versatility.”
The engine is said to be “highly flexible” as it delivers drive to all four wheels. It’s a two-litre four-cylinder with twin turbos and race-derived, model-specific, modifications and capable of 170kW/350Nm to slingshot the car to 100km/h in 6.3sec.
Fuel consumption is listed as 7.4 litres/100km, helped by the choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto gearbox. CO2 leaves the exhaust at a rate of 168g/km).
A performance car needs an excellent suspension and brakes so the car comes with Brembo sports brakes inside 18″JCW alloy wheel rims. Also regarded as necessary these days, and so supplied, are not just a model-specific cockpit but also diode headlights, a choice of driving modes, parking radar, easy entrance with touchless split doors, multifunction buttons on the steering-wheel, auto-braking cruise control and a audio with a 16.5cm colour screen.
Then there’s the Mini Seven, it’s name harking back to one of the earliest Minis and even to a sit-up-and beg jalopy from the 1930’s and 40’s. Traditional roots indeed for a two-door hatchback now celebrating the original Austin Seven with its four basic seats, 850cc transverse engine (revolutionary back then!) and a penchant for stopping when heavy rain fell thanks to a poorly place distributor.
‘Go faster’ stripes and 17″ two-tone alloy rims are part of the Seven deal along with model-specific cabin accents that include include sports seats in a fabric/leather combination of browns.
The Sevens offer a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines in, against today’s trend, cars that are getting ever bigger.