T​hat. Is. Hideous.

‘Hideous’ is too harsh of an adjective. That said, no matter which way you spin it, the Mini Clubman is not a pretty car. With comically bulbous headlights and a gargantuan grill, it does a terrific impression of a whale shark mid-feed.

Are those stripes? On a wagon? Oh my…

I am afraid, yes.

For whatever reason, MINI chose to present the flagship Clubman in the worst spec possible. Silver wheels. Off-white paint. Red stripes. Yikes.

It is, somehow, both garish AND forgettable– which, if you think about it, is an incredible feat. It’s a rolling oxymoron.

At least it’s not a Golf…

What’s wrong with a Golf?

They’re bloody everywhere. I mean, c’mon people, get creative!

Exactly my thinking.

What I love about the JCW Clubman is that it is different. It is brilliantly unconventional.

If you start ranting about how all performance cars should be manuals I am going to thump you over the head with a stick.

S​hut it.

If it looked better, they’d sell more.

You’re right. Though it’s worth mentioning that when presented in a darker shade with the optional black rims, the Clubman takes on a much more aesthetically acceptable demeanour.

“Aesthetically acceptable”. Whatever. It’s ugly.

Check-out its rear end before you come to a conclusion.

Are those barn doors, I see?

Yes!

Barn doors make everything better. Fact.

It looks slow.

It isn’t.

The John Cooper Works model Clubman receives a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder that churns out 225kW and 450Nm. 225kW. In a MINI. What a time to be alive.

Well, it’s hardly ‘mini’.

It’s a big MINI. As I said, it’s a rolling oxymoron.

S​o, it's quick?

Yes.

How quick?

4.9 seconds to 100km/h quick.

Only 4.9? Pah!

You have been spoilt. 4.9 is plenty.

Being quick is one thing. Being able to stop and steer is another.

Fear not, it will stop and steer too.

The JCW Clubman comes equipped with 360mm front and 330mm rear ventilated breaks, AWD, and a Torsen locking front differential. We are looking at a seriously tasty everyday performance car.

Alright, I’m sold.

I knew you’d come round.

Oh, I almost forgot to ask: has it got a manual?

No. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission offered.

I’m no longer sold. Burn it to the ground.

Can you get over yourself? You don’t really mean that, you muppet.

For the daily grind life, the automatic will be fantastic.

But what about when I want to drive for the sake of driving?

Then it’ll keep you entertained then too.

Look, automatic transmissions are not necessarily the antithesis of fun. The JCW Clubman is not a performance car of the same calibre as a Hyundai i30N or Honda Civic Type-R. It was designed to cater to a wider audience, one that doesn’t necessarily want to deal with having to changing gears manually via a lever during peak-hour traffic. The automatic grants the Clubman a greater bandwidth of abilities and is the perfect transmission for the car. Case closed.

If you start ranting about how all performance cars should be manuals I am going to thump you over the head with a stick.

Fair call. I’m a fan, but $60,000? That’s a bit steep.

Granted, $60,000 is a lot of cash. But. I think it might just be worth it here. There’s more than ample performance, the interior is comfortable, and it has barn doors. Put simply, it’s a cool piece of machinery.

If you are after a unique, sports-oriented, small wagon, then there’s not much else out there that competes in the same niche as the JCW Clubman.

I want one.

W​hat do YOU think? Get shouting in the comments below!

P​hotography Credit: Manufacturer

T​itle Credit: John Coleman

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