Mini launches the first all-wheel drive Clubman

Mini is extending the appeal of its recently-launched Clubman by offering ALL4 all-wheel drive as an alternative to the usual front-wheel drive set-up.

Available for the petrol-powered Cooper S and diesel Cooper SD variants, the newly-developed electronically-controlled ALL4 system has been designed to be small and light. It initially sends output to the front axle differential but, when needed, some torque can be directed to the rear wheels via a 'hang-on' multi-disc clutch.

Mini Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (2016) Front Side

The required front / rear split is continuously recalculated by reference to numerous factors. These include road speed, wheel rotation speeds, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, accelerator pedal position, engine revs and steering angle. Mini claims that the result is better agility and stability, plus a reduced tendency to either under- or over-steer.

Further helping traction out of bends is an Electronic Differential Lock Control device. Fitted as standard, this uses selective braking to stop the inside front wheel spinning.

As would be expected, efficiency does suffer. For example, the 189 bhp (141 kW / 192 PS) Cooper S Clubman ALL4 equipped with a manual gearbox records 40.9 mpg (6.9 l/100km) on the combined cycle while emitting 159 g/km of carbon dioxide. By comparison, the equivalent front-wheel drive model achieves 45.6 mpg (6.2 l/100km) and 144 g/km.

Deliveries of the Oxford-built Clubman ALL4 are scheduled to begin in April. On-the-road prices for the UK are:
  • Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (six-speed manual) – £24,305
  • Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (eight-speed Steptronic automatic) – £25,985
  • Cooper SD Clubman ALL4 (eight-speed Steptronic automatic) – £27,410
Mini Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (2016) DashboardMini Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (2016) Rear Side

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