Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
MINI Reveals Clubman ALL4
The market launch of the new MINI Clubman sees the latest model generation of the British brand embark on its advance into the premium compact segment. Additional momentum is now provided by the all-wheel drive system ALL4. The new MINI Clubman ALL4 guarantees an even sportier yet particularly supreme type of driving fun. What is more, its power transmission to all four wheels raises MINI versatility, everyday practicality and long-distance suitability to a whole new level.
In this way, the new MINI Clubman ALL4 further establishes its position as an exceptional talent in the compact segment – with the unique versatility of its body concept, individual style and premium quality, as well as outstanding agile handling properties due to the newly developed version of the ALL4 all-wheel drive system.
Similar to the engines and transmissions developed for the latest members of the MINI model family, the new generation of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 optimises both the efficiency and sporty the flair of the models in which it is featured. The power transmission system of the new MINI Clubman ALL4 consists of a power take-off bevel gear on the front axle differential, a dual-section propeller shaft and a rear axle differential with an electrohydraulically controlled hang-on clutch. Its control system is interconnected with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).
This enables distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear wheels to be adapted instantly and precisely to the given situation on the road at all times. In this way, ALL4 not only optimises traction and driving stability in all weathers and road conditions but also enhances agility during acceleration and when taking bends at speed.
The alternative to the characteristic MINI front-wheel drive is offered in conjunction with two particularly powerful engines of the latest generation. The 3- and 4-cylinder engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology are characterized by spontaneous and spirited power delivery which can be used for even sportier acceleration in conjunction with all-wheel drive. The 134-hp Cooper Clubman ALL4 and the 189-hp Cooper S Clubman ALL4 come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and optionally with an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
With the launch of the new MINI Clubman ALL4, the choice of model variants of the new MINI generation available in the premium compact segment now increases to four. This makes the range of the British brand in this vehicle category even more attractive. Two engines are available to choose from, either of which can be combined with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The high-quality suspension technology, which can be optionally supplemented with Dynamic Damper Control, guarantees typical go-kart feeling with both agile and secure handling properties as well as outstanding driving comfort. All engine variants of the new MINI Clubman also share the innovative vehicle concept of a 6-door car with a generous, versatile interior that is both high-end and distinctive in its design. Four side doors, the characteristic split doors at the rear, five fully-fledged seats and a luggage compartment whose volume can be expanded from 17.5 cubic feet to as much as 47.9 cubic feet by folding down the rear back ensure the highest level of functionality and versatility ever offered by a MINI.
The matured premium character of the new MINI Clubman is highlighted by the extensive range of standard fittings including dual-zone automatic climate control, MINI Connected infotainment with 6.5-inch display and support for third party app integration, Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming and electric parking brake. Every MINI Clubman also includes MINI Driving Modes and the MINI Excitement Package including LED interior and ambient lighting and a projection of the MINI logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when opening and closing the car.
The full range of optional equipment to increase driving fun, comfort and individuality is also available for the new MINI Clubman ALL4. In addition to modern driver assistance systems such as MINI Head-Up-Display, Driving Assistant, rear view camera and Parking Assistant, this also includes such features as LED headlamps, Comfort Access including non-contact opening of the split doors, electrically adjustable seats for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, What is more, exclusive MINI Yours and John Cooper Works options are available as well as the navigation system Professional including MINI Touch Controller and the complete MINI Journey Mate in-car infotainment program.
The new MINI Clubman introduces a contemporary interpretation of the tradition-steeped shooting brake concept. Its distinctive proportions, unique in the compact segment, are characterised by a dynamically stretched silhouette, a powerful shoulder contour, a long roof line and a sloping rear. With a length of 168.3 inches, , a width of 70.9 inches, a height of 56.7 inches and a wheelbase of 105.1 inches, it is significantly longer than both its predecessor and the MINI Hardtop 4 door. The car’s distinctive appearance is also accounted for by the horizontal rear lights and a combination applied to a MINI for the first time to reduce aerodynamic drag: Air Curtains – air inlets in the outer areas of the front apron – together with the air outlets known as Air Breathers, which are positioned behind the front wheel arches.
In addition to the circular headlamps set in a chrome frame, the hexagon contour of the radiator grille and the strikingly curved powerdome on the bonnet, typical MINI design features also include the side turn indicator elements known as side scuttles and the black surrounds on the bottom edge of the body. Other equally characteristic aspects are the short overhangs and the large track, which indicate the car’s stable stature and – together with a low centre of gravity – contribute to a handling agility that can now be felt more intensely with the all-wheel drive of the new MINI Clubman ALL4.
Exclusive design features are indicative of the powerful engine in theMINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4. The front apron has a distinctive shaping and there are large cooling air inlets for the brakes. What is more, the Cooper S Clubman ALL4 has an additional opening on the bonnet and a chrome rib in the radiator grille bearing a red “S” with a chrome surround. The chrome side scuttles likewise bear an “S” logo. At the rear of the new MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4, striking features are the aerodynamically optimized bumpers with diffuser element and two widely spaced exhaust tailpipes. In addition, the two all-wheel drive variants of the new MINI Clubman can be identified by their conspicuous “ALL4” inscriptions on the front side panels.
The range of exterior paint finishes available for the MINI Clubman has been expanded at the launch of the all-wheel-drive models to include the new Digital Blue metallic. The roof and exterior mirror caps can be optionally finished in one of the contrasting colours white, silver or black.
Comfortable freedom to move on five fully-fledged seats, versatile space and a distinctive cockpit design – these are the characteristic features of the new Clubman interior, whose high-end ambience is supplemented with a particularly sporty touch in the all-wheel drive models. A clear sign of the more sophisticated character of the MINI Clubman is its exceptionally wide instrument panel with cockpit facia frame. This design feature is also echoed in the door trim panels and centre console. With the new MINI Yours Interior Styles option, the striking door trim design is highlighted by means of indirectly illuminated decorative strips.
The central instrument typical of the brand is integrated particularly harmoniously in the dashboard. A red toggle switch located underneath the central instrument serves as the engine start/stop button. The centre console reaches up to the dashboard and provides space for a storage compartment and two cupholders as well as the switch for the standard electric parking brake and the standard MINI Controller. The standard trim of the new MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4 also includes sports seats for driver and front passenger as well as black chequered dash surfaces.
Power transmission to all four wheels now enriches hallmark brand driving fun in the new MINI Clubman ALL4 with the addition of a particularly appealing aspect. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive system distributes drive torque between the front and rear axles as appropriate to each specific situation on the road. This enables highly spirited acceleration and increases agility when taking bends at speed. What is more, ALL4 ensures supreme traction and optimized driving stability in all weathers and road conditions. In this way, the all-wheel drive system underscores the character of the new MINI model in the premium compact segment, which is defined by versatility as well as outstanding everyday practicality and long-distance suitability.
The latest version of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 is particularly compact and weight-optimized in its design. The new construction principle also promotes the efficiency of the MINI Clubman ALL4. The drive power delivered by the engine via the manual or Steptronic automatic transmission in the form of engine speed and torque is initially fed to the front axle differential. An integrated single-stage power take-off bevel gear diverts the power and relays it to a propeller shaft leading to the rear axle. Here power transmission to the rear axle differential is effected in a continuously variable manner via a hang-on clutch, depending on the given situation on the road.
In normal driving situations with active Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), the new MINI Clubman ALL4 uses front-wheel drive as is typical of the brand. This enables a reduction in lost torque of up to 30 per cent in power transmission to the rear axle. If necessary, the hang-on clutch can relay torque to the rear wheels within a fraction of a second by means of an electrohydraulic pump. Fast and precise adaptation to the given situation on the road is possible because the all-wheel drive system is interconnected with the driving dynamics system DSC. Its control unit permanently calculates the ideal power distribution between front and rear wheels. Not only are the wheel rotation speeds and the current longitudinal and lateral acceleration figures taken into account here but also the road speed, accelerator position, engine torque and steering angle as well as the settings of the driving dynamics system and the standard MINI Driving Modes. Based on this data, it is possible to identify early on any risk of drive slip when setting off, in the event of a particularly intense load requirement or during dynamic cornering; in this way it is possible to anticipate and counteract any tendency to lose traction or any oversteering or understeering of the vehicle. Thanks to intelligent control, ALL4 feeds all the power of the engine to the place where it can be converted most effectively and efficiently into driving fun.
The propeller shaft of the ALL4 system is designed as a dual-section tubular shaft. Its joints permit compensation of component movements. The front and rear joint provide the interfaces to the power take-off bevel gear and the hang-on clutch, while it is attached to the body in the area of the central joint. The front section of the propeller shaft also serves to absorb deformation energy in the event of a collision. The efficiency-optimized mode of operation of the ALL4 system is also supported by the hang-on clutch. This can be operated in a particularly energy-efficient mode when there is no power transmission to the rear wheels. It is instantly activated whenever necessary, however, and directs the appropriate amount of drive torque supplied by the propeller shaft to the rear wheel differential, from where it is transmitted in equal parts to the right and left rear wheel. Differing wheel rotation speeds arising from the specific situation on the road are compensated for in the usual way by means of differentials on both the rear and front axle. Drive slip is suppressed by the driving dynamics system DSC by means of selective braking on individual wheels.
Taking the form of an electronic locking function for the front axle differential, the standard Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) optimises traction when accelerating out of bends by means of selective braking. In DSC Off mode, this prevents spinning of the front wheel on the inside of the bend and transmits drive power to the outer front wheel instead. The Performance Control function is another standard feature that helps enhance agility in the MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4. (Part of optional John Cooper Works Exterior package in the MINI Cooper Clubman ALL4.) It supports precise steering into bends even before the threshold range is reached and regardless of the DSC mode selected. Braking on the two wheels on the inside of the bend impacts positively on the car’s self-steering response and suppresses the risk of understeering. Other functions of the driving dynamics system DSC include the anti-lock brake system ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBD), the braking and drive-off assistant, the brake dry function and Fading Brake Support. It is also possible to activate the DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode at the press of a button, permitting controlled slip and thereby facilitating set-off on loose sand or in deep snow.
Two ngines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology: a lot of power efficiently distributed over four wheels.
The power distributed as needed by the all-wheel drive system ALL4 between the front and rear axle is produced by highly powerful 4-cylinder engines of the latest generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. These make for sporty driving properties and are also able to demonstrate their qualities in the area of efficiency in the new MINI Clubman ALL4. Thanks to the optimized weight and efficient mode of operation of the new all-wheel drive system, the boost in terms of driving fun and supreme forward thrust only involves a very slight increase in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions as compared to the respective models with front-wheel drive.
With a peak output of 189 hp, the 2.0-litre engine in the new MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4 is the most powerful engine in the compact model’s portfolio. Its technology package comprises turbocharging, gasoline direct injection with centrally placed injectors, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). It mobilises a maximum torque of 207 ft lbs at 1 250 rpm.
With the standard 6-speed manual transmission, the new MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4 accelerates in 6.7 seconds from standing to 60 mph, while in conjunction with the optional 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission the standard sprint takes just 6.6 seconds. The top speed is 140 mph in each case. Regardless of transmission, this represents an improvement in 0-to-60 acceleration of 0.3 seconds compared with the front-wheel drive Cooper S Clubman.
The advanced engine technology helps the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper Clubman ALL4 achieve superb acceleration, especially at speed, without sacrificing fuel economy. The power unit generated a peak output of 134 hp and puts its maximum torque of 162 ft lbs on the line at just 1250 rpm. The engine is combined as standard with the 6-speed manual transmission and is available for the first time with the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. This enables a run from standing to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds. Innovative transmissions for increased driving fun and efficiency.
The transmissions available for the new MINI Clubman ALL4 have also been newly developed for the current model generation of the brand. The 6-speed manual transmission is characterised by low weight, high internal efficiency and shift comfort optimized by means of carbon friction linings for the synchroniser rings. A gear sensor also enables active engine speed adaptation for especially sporty shifting when accelerating and increased comfort when shifting down (rev matching).
With its broader gear spread and smaller engine speed steps, the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission provides an especially favourable basis for efficient, comfortable and sporty driving. An 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission is optionally available for the new MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4 that offers even shorter shift times and is operated in manual mode by means of shift paddles on the steering wheel. It also has a Launch Control function for traction-optimized acceleration with maximum dynamic performance from standing.
In conjunction with all-wheel drive, too, the high-quality suspension technology with a single joint strut axle at the front and a multilink rear axle provides an ideal basis for the agile handling known as the go-kart feeling. The large track width and long wheelbase of the MINI Clubman ALL4 benefit the model-specific interpretation of this construction principle. The new development of all front axle parts has resulted in an optimisation of kinematics as well as component stiffness and weight. The particularly stiff wheel suspension on the rear axle also enhances the agile handling properties of the MINI Clubman. Dynamic Damper Control is available as an optional extra. This allows the damper program map to be adjusted via MINI Driving Modes.
The new MINI Clubman ALL4 comes as standard with the speed-related Servotronic steering support for the electromechanical power steering. Both all-wheel drive model variants come off the production line with alloy wheels. The Cooper Clubman ALL4 comes with 16-inch light alloy wheels, while the Cooper S Clubman ALL4 features 17-inch light alloy wheels. The range of special equipment features includes additional light alloy wheels sized 17 to 19 inches.
In addition to the torsionally stiff, rigid and also weight-optimized body structure, a complete set of standard safety features also contributes to the outstanding occupant protection of the new MINI Clubman ALL4. This comprises eight airbags, as well as 3-point belts on all seats. A tire pressure display for each individual wheel is also included as standard.
The driver assistance systems offered for the new MINI Clubman ALL4 serve to increase both safety and comfort. The MINI Head-Up Display which extends from above the steering column promotes concentration on the road. In addition to the cruise control with brake function, the Driving Assistant system is also available. This comprises not just camera-based active cruise control as well as collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function but also high beam assistant and speed limit sign detection. Additional options include the Parking Assistant and rear view camera.
The unique MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is also available in its entirety for the new MINI Clubman ALL4. Thestandard MINI Connected infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch display,and offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driving experience by means of apps. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style, using the MINI Controller in the centre console and the color display in the central instrument. The features of the MINI navigation system Professional include an 8.8-inch version of the on-board computer and the MINI Touch Controller with touch-sensitive surface.
The current version of the MINI Connected App comprises new and exclusive functions to increase comfort and driving fun. The online search function makes it easier to find addresses. The applications Sports Instruments and Force Meter can be used to show information on the central instrument display such as the level of current engine power and torque in use and longitudinal and transverse acceleration. The new function Streetwise provides the driver with tips for an optimum route even before the journey gets underway. The Technology Package includes an 8.8-inch display with navigation and enables use of the Journey Mate app including innovative functions for trip preparation and support as well as Real Time Traffic Radar with highly precise, up-to-date traffic information.
The Clubman ALL4 will go on sale in April at MINI dealers across the U.S. Customers looking to build or pre-order a new MINI Clubman ALL4 can use the configurator that will be available at MINIUSA.com in late January or visit their local MINI dealer. For full vehicle specifications, please see the detailed product news release here.