The MINI JCW line-up is currently made up of four models but all of them share the same engine. There are some small differences though, mostly related to the gearbox used on the Clubman and Countryman models, which allowed the engineers to squeeze more torque from the engine without fear of damaging anything else. On the Hardtop and Convertible versions you get a torque limiter keeping the amount of twist in check.
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However, that doesn’t mean the JCW Hatch is slower than its brothers, as the spec sheet tells a different story. It all comes down to weight, even though the Countryman and Clubman models are both all-wheel drive and have 8-speed automatic gearboxes. They still need to compensate for a lot of weight though, as the 3-door hatch is lighter by 600 lbs compared to the Clubman and 800 lbs compared to the Countryman.
The video below shows how the three compare but we also have to point out that the temperatures at which these acceleration videos were recorded were rather different as well. The Clubman was tested at 5.5 degrees Celsius, while the Hatch did the sprint in at 29.5 degrees with the Countryman performing at even higher temperatures, 33.5 to be more precise. That had an effect but not quite the one you’d expect.
As you can see, the Clubman is basically faster than the Hatch even though it should be 0.2 seconds slower. I’m guessing that was because the intake air temperature was lower, helping out the turbocharged 4-pot engine under the hood in the given situation. The all-wheel drive system helped out with traction, which means the Clubman wins the acceleration test up to about 65 mph. After that, the lighter Hardtop takes over, despite its 6-speed automatic transmission and lower torque curve.