MINI’s new Clubman model is now the latest from the brand to have optional all wheel drive, joining the Countryman and Paceman.
The Clubman is the first non-crossover MINI to have the system available and it will be an option on both the base Cooper and Cooper S models. It is also available with a six-speed manual transmission, adding one more to the list of rare cars that are available with all wheel drive and a manual transmission.
The ALL4 drivetrain is an always-on all-wheel-drive system that sends the power to the front wheels during normal driving. Since the system is hooked up to the car’s stability control system, it can send power to the rear wheels when necessary based on conditions and on the selected drive mode.
On the Cooper S Clubman, the system can act like a torque vectoring system and apply the brakes to the inside wheels to help corning. This Performance Control feature is standard on all S models.
Under the hood are the same two engines as the rest of the MINI family. The base Clubman gets a 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder that makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, which is available at a low 1,250 RPM. The S gets a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque at the same, low 1,250 RPM.
The six-speed manual in the Clubman has a rev-matching system that aids in downshifts. While this might be good for novice drivers, those who like to heel-and-toe their own rev matching may be disappointed. Still, the fact that the all-wheel-drive Clubman is even available with a manual is a bonus for three-pedal fans.
The rest of the ALL4 Clubman is the same as the front-wheel-drive Clubman that was announced in September of 2015 and went on sale this month. It’s the biggest MINI ever, which calls into question whether it is still MINI, but it gives the brand another strong entry into the subcompact market. The regular four-door Cooper is already a strong seller for MINI, and the longer, more versatile Clubman should also resonate with buyers looking for MINI looks with more interior space.
The Clubman ALL4 will be available in April and will be on the company’s website later this month for those who want to pre-order.
Check out this TFLcar video of the front-drive 2016 MINI Clubman: