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BMW Gives the Mini Clubman a Well-Deserved Upgrade

BMW is a big fan of giving it’s vehicles a mid-cycle refresh, making small changes and upgrades to improve comfort, performance and the car’s aesthetic.

The second generation BMW Mini Clubman came out in 2015, which means that it’s long overdue for a refresh — and BMW finally delivered. Let’s take a closer look at this fantastic new Clubman and see what’s changed and what has stayed the same.

The Original 2nd Gen Clubman

The second generation Clubman hit highways in 2015 — while it’s not as sleek as the Cooper S that starred in The Italian Job in 2003, it’s nothing to shake your head at. Larger than the cooper, this 5-seater has three engine options — 1.5L 3-cylinder, and two 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinders — all of which can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic trans.

With three tire-size options, depending on the Clubman model you choose, there was easily something for everyone, whether you are using this compact little sedan to haul cargo or kids. It comes with all-wheel drive too, making it an ideal daily driver, regardless of the weather conditions.

What did BMW change with this latest mid-cycle refresh?

What’s Changed?

If three engine choices isn’t enough for you, BMW has delivered. The refreshed Clubman will have six options to choose from — three gasoline and three diesel. You still have the option to choose a six-speed manual transmission, but the eight-speed automatic swapped out for a seven-speed DCT gearbox. That’s it for the drive train changes through. Most of the changes are on the exterior of the vehicle, not under the hood.

The front end has received a rework, polishing some of the rough edges of the Gen 2 Clubman and redesigning the radiator grill. All of the traditional lamps — head, tail and fog lights — have been replaced with LEDs as standard equipment, and you can even opt to have a Union Jack design added to your tail lights.

The upgraded suspension lowers the Clubman’s by 10 millimeters and BMW traded in the aluminium wheels for light alloy alternatives. This refresh also adds new interior and exterior colors, including Piano Black for the exterior and leather trim and interior upgrades.

The stock infotainment system includes a six-speaker audio system, USB port and hands-free telephone addons when you hook up your phone via USB. The car is also equipped with a SIM card, so you’re constantly connected in the event of an accident. The onboard computer can even automatically detect your location and how severe an accident is

An Upgrade Well Deserved

It’s been four years since the second generation Clubman started rolling off the assembly lines, which means that it was long overdue for an upgrade. Most of the changes are limited to the car’s exterior and interior, but that doesn’t make this refresh any less exciting.

These new Clubman models are on sale in the UK now, so if you’ve been dreaming of adding a new car to your collection, now is the perfect time to sign on that dotted line and bring home a newly refreshed BMW Clubman.

John Works Cooper GP Kit

A great sequel to the Cooper S, or perhaps a better car altogether? Take a look at what UK based “John Cooper Works” has been doing to the Cooper S recently. It is a nice addition to the line, even though it’s existence will be limited!

It may sound like a mouthful when reading on your screen, but the title is true, and has just as much mind blowing features to go with it. Those interested in the European sport compact market should familiarize themselves with the company “John Cooper Works”, founded by life long Mini tuner John Michael Cooper. Early in 2005 John’s company produced a performance package, called the “John Works Cooper Performance Kit” which pushed the known limits of what Mini would allow as a fully warranted Mini Cooper.

The John Works Cooper Performance Kit, consisted of suspension, interior, and engine parts to enhance a factory mini making it both look, and perform better then a stock cooper S. Most of the parts required dealer instillation to maintain the factory warranty, and as a whole amounted to a mini that produced 210hp as opposed to 160 on the stock S model.

John Cooper Works GP Kit

Newly introduced during a Mini United meeting in Misano Italy, is a totally new kit from John Cooper Works called the John Cooper Works GP Kit (or GP Kit for short). The kit consists of similar parts that are found in the Works Cooper, but with a few added changes to give it more spice.

New Performance Features Include

– Power is up to 218hp (8 more then the John Cooper Works Kit)
– Torque is up to 180 ft/lbs (Power and torque increases are stated to be mostly due to intercooler modifications)
– High performance brake upgrade with red calipers
– Special edition ultra-lite 18″ alloy wheels
– Control arms are now aluminum as opposed to steel (reduces weight)
– Minor bodywork and trim modifications to reduce weight
– Removal of portions of sound insulation material
– AC is removed (is also a no charge option if desired)
– Rear seats are optional
– New aerodynamics package to reduce drag coefficient
– Standard Recaro sport seats

With the enhancements to the body, interior and other components, the Works GP Kit is actually a limited edition car, more then a “kit”. The car is said to be 88 Lbs lighter then a standard Mini Cooper S production model, which itself is no heavyweight! The car is also unmistakable coming with new ground effects, front spoiler, and lastly a new rear wing. The aerodynamic package is both for looks, and to reduce drag.

The appearance is much more aggressive then the standard S, however the rear wing is something that may not go over well with some people. One last thing that sets the Works GP apart from other Coopers, is the signature color chosen for all copies of this car. All Works GP cars will come in an exclusive grey-blue metallic, with pure silver roof paint treatments. Since this is a limited edition car, there will only be a quantity of 2,000 total units, all priced around 30,000 Euros.

Story by: Matt Wellumson
Photography provided by: BMW Media Relations