Review: MINI Cooper S Clubman JCW – If ‘The Transporter’ was a Malaysian


Review: MINI Cooper S Clubman JCW – If ‘The Transporter’ was a Malaysian

Cool cars have always been a part of Hollywood action flicks. While most movies had them just as eye candy, some movies actually saw these cars play a big role in them, affiliating them with the movie titles forever.

One of them was definitely the first installment of The Transporter, in which the next most popular thing after the lead actor Jason Statham was the 3rd generation BMW 7 Series E38.

If you haven’t watched the movie, Statham appears as Frank Martin, a mercenary "transporter" who will deliver anything, anywhere, with no questions asked – for the right price.

The movie was succeeded by two sequels - Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, a reboot, The Transporter Refueled, and a television series.

Throughout the whole trilogy and the series, Frank Martin (Statham’s character) always preferred large and powerful German sedans like the E38 BMW 7 Series, W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the second-generation Audi A8, which got us thinking…

“What if we had a Malaysian version of The Transporter? Could he manage our crazy roads in these behemoths?”

Although the cars that we saw in the movies were solid machines, they were not really suited for many places around the world, especially Malaysian roads. Imagine weaving through traffic along the LDP in a 7 Series or a W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, mah fan isn’t it?

So, if the Transporter was a Malaysian, which car should he get his hands on?

While the car needs to be powerful and spacious, it can’t be too big for our roads, has to handle well, and most importantly, it still has to be agile and look cool yet menacing at the same time.

After going through all the cars we have in the market at the moment, we felt that the recently launched MINI Cooper S Clubman John Cooper Works, would be a good candidate for the Malaysian Transporter aka our “Macha-Porter” in the video above.

Launched here last November, the F54 MINI Cooper S Clubman JCW is quite special as it is among the quickest MINI models ever made. Powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 306 PS and 450 Nm, the powertrain now makes 75 PS and 100 Nm more than the pre-facelift Clubman JCW.

Paired with an 8-speed Steptronic sports automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels, the Clubman JCW is able to sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h. Further complementing the whole package are features like a new sport exhaust system, redesigned sport brakes, adaptive suspension, as well as 19-inch wheels.

Inside, the Clubman JCW features Carbon Black Dinamica Leather upholstery, MINI Yours interior cockpit surface in Piano Black, ambient lighting in 12 different colours to suit different moods, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

Standard equipment on both variants include a head-up display, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen Navigation System with a split-screen function which allows two map views to be displayed at the same time (perfect for our Macha-Porter here to keep track of his upcoming delivery destinations).

Where Connectivity is concerned, we have an in-vehicle 4G SIM card, as well as the updated MINI Connected App which features Apple Carplay, concierge services, and MINI Online among others.

Last but not least, there is the 360-watt Harman Kardon sound system, an electric tailgate, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning and Comfort Access.

Driving Impression

Out of all the cars which we drove last year, the Clubman JCW was certainly among the most memorable, simply due to how well balanced and complete it was as a package.

Design wise, the flat grey paint and the contrasting red roof and accents, along with the 19-inch wheels, the loud mufflers, as well as the Union Jack taillights make it one of the coolest looking cars on the road. Everyone notices you.

And then comes the practicality – the split rear doors, the 60:40 foldable rear seats, and the maximum boot space of 1,250 litres makes it ideal for carrying big items like bicycles, luggage bags, and even surfboards or car fenders. 

As far as performance is concerned, the Clubman JCW is a mean street machine that kicks out 306 hp, enabling itself to do the century sprint in an impressive 4.9 seconds. To put things into perspective, that is only 0.9 seconds slower than the Mercedes-AMG C63S which packs a massive 500 PS V8 engine under the hood!

If we are to compare it with the cars Frank Martin drove in the movies, the Clubman JCW is actually quicker, as the W12 Audi A8 does the century sprint in 5.1 seconds, while the W140 S-Class S600 V12 and E38 7 Series 750i do it in 5.6 seconds and 6.7 seconds respectively.  

Paired with a silky smooth 8-speed Steptronic Sports Automatic transmission and the All4 all-wheel-drive system, the Clubman JCW provides seamless power delivery at any given moment, on top of the high level of composure and handling prowess that can be matched by very few cars.

What makes it interesting is that MINI’s signature “go-kart-level” handling is still there in all its glory despite the length of the Clubman JCW. So, even if you’re transporting a box full of tofu to someone who’s waiting in Genting Highlands, chances are that they will be delivered without any serious damage, which makes the car the right choice for the Transporter if at all he decides to come to Malaysia and buy a car.

Having said that, watch the video above to see a day in the life of the Malaysian Transporter aka the “Macha Porter”, in the MINI Cooper S Clubman JCW.

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