Mini introduced the second-generation Clubman last year, but it stayed quiet about one significant new addition: AWD. It has officially added two extra drive wheels this week, announcing that the Clubman will join crossover models like the Countryman in offering the ALL4 all-wheel drive system as an option. The upgrade gives the new Clubman better grip in the slick stuff and improved playfulness around the twists.
Love or hate the not-so-mini direction Mini has taken in recent years, the addition of things like AWD to its lineup is a positive. The ALL4 system hails from the Countryman and Paceman crossovers and will be available to Clubman buyers in just a few months.
Mini's electronically controlled ALL4 system keeps the Clubman rolling in front-wheel drive under normal conditions, reserving all-wheel momentum for instances in which the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system identifies the need to distribute some drive power to the rear. In these cases, torque travels to the rear wheels via a propeller shaft and an electro-hydraulic hang-on clutch within the rear differential.
The DSC calculates factors like wheel rotation speeds, road speed and engine torque to anticipate and counteract traction loss or over/understeering, and the ALL4 system is designed to redistribute torque to the rear within a fraction of a second. In addition to delivering better grip and a safer, more stable ride, Mini says the ALL4 system improves agility during acceleration and cornering.
The ALL4 system will be offered in the US on the Cooper Clubman ALL4 with 134-hp 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder and the Cooper S Clubman ALL4 with 189-hp 2.0 liter turbo four-cylinder. Both cars come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and offer the option of an eight-speed Steptronic automatic.
The Cooper S Clubman ALL4 hits 60 mph (96.5 km/h) from standstill three tenths quicker than its front-wheel-drive sibling, coming in at 6.6 seconds with the Steptronic and 6.7 with the six-speed. The 134-hp Clubman ALL4, on the other hand, is a touch slower than the FWD model, taking 9.2 seconds for the 0-60 mph run.
The new all-wheel drive option joins other standard and available Clubman performance-enhancing technologies, including the Electronic Differential Lock Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Traction Control.
Beyond the ALL4 system and some decorative badging, the ALL4 models are essentially the same as the standard Clubmans, packing standard and available features like the MINI Connected infotainment system, MINI Head-Up Display, and Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and speed limit sign detection.
Clubman ALL4 models will go on sale at US dealerships this April.