All the power is sent through a standard all-wheel-drive system that comes with a mechanical limited-slip differential up front. Like past all-wheel-drive Minis, the system mainly operates in front-drive mode until slippage is detected, at which point power goes to the rear. The all-wheel-drive system has been beefed up with stronger gears and rear axles. Launch control is a standard feature, too. Also standard, a bit disappointingly, is an eight-speed automatic transmission. No manual will be offered on these models. Hopefully manuals will still be offered on later JCW Hardtop and Convertible models.
These engine and drivetrain changes help the Clubman and Countryman improve their 0-to-60 mph times by about 1.5 seconds. The Clubman now gets to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and the Countryman in 5.1 seconds. Both Minis are the first to be given a 155-mph electronic speed limiter, too. Previous models didn’t have enough power to reach that mark.
Mini also made some upgrades in the handling and stopping departments. Both models get additional chassis bracing along with small suspension revisions. A package with electronically adjustable shocks is available. The rear brakes now feature fixed four-piston calipers. Front brake rotors are 14.2 inches in diameter, while the rears are 13 inches.
Despite these major mechanical upgrades, visual changes are extremely subtle. The Clubman has a different main grille insert and the new Union Jack taillights, but the Countryman is effectively identical to the current model. The interiors on each are basically unchanged as well.
Pricing and availability have not been announced yet. Since large portions of the vehicles are shared with the current model, we would expect to see them go on sale at least within the year, possibly in the next few months. Prices likely won’t change too much from the current model year. For reference, a 2019 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman starts at $37,250, and the 2019 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman starts at $39,250.