Mini brings its fans and those who want to become it once again the egg-laying Wollmilchsau in the form of a small car station wagon, which has lifestyle factor and is fast. Mini expresses it more distinguished - so it is the long-established all-rounder with the sonorous name Clubman - 1.250 liter storage volume with folded rear seats are included, not top class, but already a decent base. The fast-paced all-purpose weapon looks indeed in the current stage of development chic with the powerful LED tail lights.
And not only that are powerful, because under the hood of the most powerful station wins the two-liter JCW heart with supercharging and four cylinders. The pumps now handsome 170 kW / 231 horsepower in the driveline - as a precaution, among its best parts always include two driven axles, so as not to get into the embarrassment, slipping loose with tugging steering wheel. Cost: sporty 35.800 Euro including a few delicacies such as LED headlights, keyless locking system, sports seats with fine JCW logo and cruise control.
Connoisseurs should not be too sure if they believe the top model on the rear apron with the distinctive diffuser to identify - this trim is also for the weaker models. The tailpipes, however, look different here.
Enough facts to make you curious. The appetite is stimulated, the finger lies on the retro rocker switch alias start button - "Gentleman, please start the engine". As the four-cylinder revels already going on with his slightly roaring voice, reinforced by the effects of a flawless sports exhaust old school with flap. Nice that there is something else. Depending on the setting, the standard monitor shows how much power is being called up by the respective accelerator pedal position - so the JCW is not stingy with men's toys.
Speaking of toys, there are LED elements throughout the passenger compartment that want to convey any messages in a colorful way. Whether you are driving ecologically or flying mini, every driving character has its own color. This play of light does not stop even in front of the footwell lighting. There is a pre-programmed storage formation, some will quickly shut down after the button, while the others certify this feature's maximum coolness. Be that as it may, now it's finally time to go. Although the six-speed manual gearbox would have been a perfect fit for the British, Mini has only vending machines at the show.
After all, the converter output can come up with eight gears and shine through an under-consumption of over half a liter / 100 km (averaged NEDC) compared to the variant with mechanical transmission - whether you get the extra price of 2.100 Euro thereby reins, stands on another Leaf. Anyway, the automatic gearbox contributes to the comfort, makes the JCW suddenly a compromise car. But alright, that's what he is already by his Clubman existence.
And honestly, the JCW sounds exciting and has 6,3 seconds standard sprint factory statement athlete dream dimensions, but so a bit lacks the grown-up small car's bite. Not that it's slow, but while the speedometer needle rushes across the scale, it almost feels like it's been shut off a bit. And although the strongest clubman springs quite tight, the chassis, steering and even the entire body along with their insulating characteristics filter the driving experience and make it smooth. But a mini is just not a Caterham or Lotus.
The Mini must rather cause the willingness factor with a critical mass of people, may not be a niche product, after all, the BMW Group wants to sell it properly. Of course, in the issue discussed here, he certainly occupies a niche that other manufacturers do not consider. The engineers have done their homework anyway, so the eccentric station wagon may go through as one of the best-made small cars. The design has been completed with great attention to detail, to recognize this, even a glimpse into the funky retro interior is enough. A bargain is not the strong all-wheel drive by the way. You can hoist the electorate quickly over the 40.000 Euro threshold, if you want top-class features like the head-up display, e-leather seats, sound system or active cruise control. After all, the most important safety functions are already on board - this includes the autonomous emergency braking expected today.
(Patrick Broich / SP-X)