Kuala Lumpur, 17 th July 2017 – The John Cooper Works variants of the Mini Clubman and Mini Countryman are now officially available in Malaysia following MINI Malaysia’s launch ceremony and test drive at MINI Track Days 2017, held at the Sepang International circuit.
The John Cooper Works variants, or JCW for short, represents MINI’s exclusive and high performance, top-of- the-range variants; previously, there was only one variant that received the JCW treatment, but now MINI has decided to make a JCW variant available for every one of its Cooper S variants, namely, the 3-door hatch, the 5-Door Clubman and the 5-Door Countryman, which makes perfect sense form a marketing point of view, as these three variants are three distinctly different models built for different utility and lifestyles.
The New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and MINI John Cooper Works Countryman are the two most powerful and exclusive MINI models ever built by the premium British brand. With all-wheel drive, and powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged gasoline engine delivering 231 horsepower and 350Nm of torque, the JCW range holds not only exclusivity but promise barrels of fun for motorists looking for more than just a means of transport.
Introducing the New MINI John Cooper Works models, Mr. Han Sang Yun, Managing Director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia said, “In the summer of 1959, Sir Alex Issigonis presented the Mini, his idea of a small car complete with ample space and exciting driving capabilities to the world. The humble classic Mini was then transformed by racing legend John Cooper into a world touring and rally champion, winning the Monte Carlo Rally back to back in 1964 and 1965. Today, as we celebrate John Cooper’s 94 th birthday, we are pleased to introduce two new MINI John Cooper Works models which carry the legendary high-performance DNA set by John Cooper as well as the reputation of premium sophistication that MINI is known for.”
Mr. Kidd Yam, Head of MINI, added, “MINI has seen a very positive growth in the Malaysian compact segment. In 2016, we delivered over 900 vehicles and recorded a 19% growth in comparison to the brand’s performance in 2015. In the first half of 2017, MINI delivered over 460 vehicles, charting a 9% increase since the same period last year. As the third largest brand in the Malaysian premium segment, we hope to maintain this progress in the industry as we introduce newer variants from the MINI family.”
The 2.0 litre turbocharged engine that powers all the JCW MINI variants is derived from the same unit that powers the BMW range of vehicles, but is mounted transversely. The slight differences in power output compared to the BMW is due to the differences in engine peripherals, including the exhaust flow and construction, plus other marketing considerations, as told to me by a representative of the company. All variants of the JCW range, including the JCW hatch feature All-Wheel Drive through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman hits 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds while the New MINI John CooperWorks Countryman does so in just 6.5 seconds. Fuel consumption for the New MINI John
Cooper Works Clubman is rated as 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined cycle) while the New MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is rated at 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres (combined cycle).
The complete MINI range as I see it now covers the 3-Door Hatch, the 5-Door Clubman, and the Countryman. In essence, for every MINI Cooper S Variant, there is a top-of- the-heap JCW variant. However, upon closer scrutiny, one will note that even though all are under the MINI brand, these three vehicles are very different, and are actually built on three separate and different platforms.
The JCW Hatch is built on a smaller platform – being compact and weighing in at only 1,295kg, it is naturally the fastest of the lot, and at our test drive session at the SIC today, that was proven beyond any doubt. The next size up is the JCW Clubman, which weighs in at 1,565kg still has ample power, but is a mite slower – its advantage would be a bigger car, and has five doors.
The rear door opens out in two halves. To share a not so well kept secret, the Clubman shares the same platform as the BMW 2 Series, but is laced with its own MINI identity. Its additional doors, including a rear door that opens in two halves, gives the Clubman that added versatility that a family or outdoor type of person might find more appealing than a JCW hatch.
The largest and heaviest of the range would be the JCW Countryman – essentially an X1 under the skin, the Countryman offers yet more space – mechanically and size-wise, it is actually a very close sibling of the BMW X1. Thus we can safely call the Countryman an SUV, or if you prefer the BMW terminology, an SAV.
Key exterior highlights of the New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and New MINI John Cooper Works Countryman include the John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Bodykit, 19-inch John Cooper Works Course Spoke wheels in Burnish Black, John Cooper Works grille, Chili Red roof and mirror caps, Chili Red body stickers, rear spoiler, stainless steel tailpipes, as well as John Cooper Works Side Scuttles and John Cooper Works Door Sill. These all add to a touch of exclusivity everywhere and every time.
The interior of the new John Cooper Works variants carry more sports elements – the John Cooper Works sports seats with Dinamica Leather upholstery in Carbon Black and Red Stripes are designed to give the driver full control by providing extra lateral support for the driver. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped, with pedal shifters mounted within finger-tip reach.
The motorsport-inspired design is also seen on the John Cooper Works instrument cluster as well as John Cooper Works centre display trim. By night, the driving experience is further appreciated with the MINI Yours Illuminated Cockpit Surface in Piano Black for the MINI Countryman and the MINI Yours Illuminated Interior Style in Fibre Alloy for the MINI Clubman.
MINI Driving Modes enable a vehicle set-up geared towards both the situation of the road and the driver’s individual preferences. Through a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever, the driver can activate the settings of SPORT, MID and GREEN. This influences the characteristic curves of the accelerator pedal and steering, the engine acoustics, and the shift characteristics of the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission and specifically on the New MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, its Dynamic Damper Control set-up.
The characteristics of the electronically controlled dampers on the New MINI John Cooper Works Countryman are geared for a dynamic driving style in SPORT mode and support a more comfort-oriented style in the other two modes. GREEN mode is designed for comfortable yet efficiency-optimised driving. A supporting feature here is the coasting function, which can be used in conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission. In GREEN mode, the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h as soon as the driver‘s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal.
The standard sports suspension specifically on the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, meanwhile, features a particularly tight set-up of the suspension and damping systems.
The sports brake system developed specially for both the John Cooper Works models ensures that not only the acceleration figures reflect the car’s thrilling performance-oriented character.
Designed in collaboration with the specialist manufacturer Brembo, the 4-piston fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee consistently high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the John Cooper Works logo.
The Dynamic Stability Control system also ensures optimum traction on sprints, agility on bends and safe deceleration. Its functions include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) – which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential – and Performance Control for agile turning when taking bends at speed.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman are the first top athletes of the latest generation to be fitted with the all-wheel drive system ALL4 as standard. The electronically controlled distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels allows particularly spirited acceleration manoeuvres as well as increasing agility when taking bends in dynamic style. Additionally, ALL4 ensures supreme traction and optimised driving stability in all weather and road conditions. Due to the fact that it is interlinked with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ALL4 guarantees drive torque distribution that is adapted quickly and precisely to the given driving situation, thereby underscoring both the extreme athletic character and the versatility of the New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman.
In normal driving situations with active DSC, the New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman uses front-wheel drive as is typical of the brand. Here, there is a significant reduction in the loss torque that occurs due to the channelling of power in the power take-off and its transmission via the propeller shaft to the rear axle. Only when necessary does the hang-on clutch relay torque to the rear wheels within a fraction of a second by means of an electro hydraulic pump.
The need for this is determined by the DSC control unit, which permanently measures wheel rotational speeds, current longitudinal and transverse acceleration, road speed, accelerator pedal position, engine torque and steering angle as well as the settings of the dynamic traction control and the optional MINI Driving Modes.
The intelligent ALL4 control system permanently calculates the ideal balance of power distribution between the front and rear wheels. This allows engine power to be constantly channelled to wherever it can be most effectively converted into traction and driving fun.
Our track session was a short but interesting insight into the three JCW variants – I personally like the hatch for its faster speed and better agility – it is as close to the original Mini as can be.
I suppose I could live with the Clubman or the Countryman, if I really need to cater to needs like family or need to move bicycles and prams (thankfully I am well past that stage), because they are still very much fun to drive, and the reassurance of all-wheel drive especially when the weather is wet and the roads are slippery is something I would appreciate very much.
The JCW models offer 3D navigation to lead the way via an 8.8-inch screen, where a split-screen function is made available to display two map views at the same time. For the first time, the screen can be operated using the Touchscreen technology or alternatively, via the MINI Touch Controller on the centre console. Some of the features include MINI Connected, a Bluetooth Connectivity, 20GB of storage for music, as well as an LED ring around the centre instrument.
Another new functionality for the New MINI John Cooper Works models is the MINI Find Mate, which can help keep track of anything the driver wants. It comes with two Bluetooth tags that can be applied to for example luggage or keys, allowing the vehicle to track whether these tagged items are in the vehicle or not. If not, an audible signal will be sent and the location of the item will be sent to the driver’s smartphone. If the item is out of range, the car will navigate the driver back to its last known location.
In terms of enhanced entertainment, Harman Kardon sound system has been designed and fitted to suit the car’s interior. With a generous 410-watt output, the sound system results in an outstanding listening experience. The system includes 4 mid-range speakers in the front doorsband rear doors as well as two central bass speakers tucked away beneath the front seats.
The New MINI John Cooper Works models also feature the Parking Assist function which automatically steers the MINI into parallel parking spaces. Meanwhile, ease of reversing into and out of tight spaces is made possible with the Rear View Camera, a standard feature in both the New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman ALL4 variants.
Also made available is the comfort access function which allows the unlocking of doors and boot as well as starting of engine without having to take the keys out. Convenience is further optimised with the Automatic Tailgate with easy opener function, which offers a foot-activated sensor to open and close the tailgate without having to press any button. These functions provide absolute convenience when one’s hands are full.
The New MINI John Cooper Works models also feature the MINI Yours Logo projection where a MINI logo is projected onto the ground from the side mirror of the driver’s door every time the car is locked or unlocked – a perfect welcome every time. Meanwhile, exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is a Picnic Bench which folds out of the boot to provide a comfortable seat on the luggage compartment lid.
Both New MINI John Cooper Works models are made available in the exterior colours of Rebel Green and Midnight Black. The White Silver is available exclusively for the New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman while the Light White is for the New MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
The New MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman are also covered by MINI Malaysia’s newest 5 Years Roadside Assistance program, available for all new MINI vehicles with a comprehensive list of services that include a 24-Hour, 365-days- a-year Accident and Help on the Phone and On the Spot Hotline, Free Towing Services and when needed (over 200KM from residential home), Replacement Vehicle, Accommodation, Mobility Services Solutions as well as Repatriation services.
The New MINI John Cooper Works models arrive with the MINI 4 Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service as well. The estimated retail prices (on the road for personal registration, without insurance) are:
MINI John Cooper Works Clubman – RM 328,888.00
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman – RM 348,888.00