The yellow sign on the curve says 25 miles per hour, but the head-up display in the 2017 Mini Cooper Clubman, in John Cooper Works trim (JCW), shows 50 mph, and I feel there's room to push it further.
I can't feel this JCW Clubman's all-wheel-drive kick in, but through successive turns the tires squeal delightfully, and the car doesn't punish me for trying out trail braking and other handling strategies. This is fun.
However, I'm reminded that this new Clubman is much bigger than the generation introduced in 2007, a whole foot longer overall. While that means a cargo area that can carry more than a single roller bag, it also means a less agile car. As with the, Mini unrepentantly brags about its new bigness.
The Good The 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman amps up the engine for 228 horsepower and includes all-wheel-drive standard. It handles well, making for fun in the turns, and includes decent interior space.
The Bad With options, the John Cooper Works Clubman's price easily crests $40,000. The navigation system makes truly odd choices for routing, and excessive road noise becomes annoying on longer trips.
The Bottom Line The 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman can be a lot of fun on a twisty mountain road, but its high price suggests dropping down to the Cooper S Clubman, which will likely be just as satisfying.
Don't try this at home, not that you have a 777 lying around.
The Mini Clubman now packs up to 306 hp from a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine.
Well-equipped two-door variants start below $20,000 before destination.
The updated Clubman features new headlamp tech and can be outfitted with more "Union Jack" themed bits than ever before.
Bernd Körber is a longtime vet of Mini and the BMW group, having done stints at both BMW and Mini in marketing, product planning and more.
An early taste of Mini’s first electric production has us eager for seconds.
That should put it up against the Honda Civic Type R, which is good company.
It's just a bit more sensible than trying to daily drive the OG Mini.