I have been smitten by the Mini Copper ever since I first saw the mind-boggling chase in The Italian Job (2003).
And along comes an opportunity to review the Mini Cooper Clubman John Copper Works Edition. Of course, I jumped onto the opportunity.
The Mini Clubman is essentially a stretched version of the iconic Mini Cooper Hardtop. Thus, it benefits from an increase in both cargo capacity and rear passenger space.
The John Cooper Works (JCW) trim is the highest-performing model in the lineup. It reaches a speed of 100kmph in about 4.9 seconds and it boasts 301 horsepower.
Powering the Mini Clubman JCW is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, while the vehicle also boasts a 450 nm of torque.
At the same time, the company claims that the fuel economy has also improved. You also get all-wheel drive, 5 seats, and 6 doors (yep!) – the rear “barn doors” give it an “oomph” factor.
The Mini Clubman JCW is kitted with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, mechanical front differential, and upgraded brakes.
The company also throws in a strengthened chassis that ensures the rest of the Clubman can keep up with the added power. A new grille, LED exterior lighting and piano-black trim round out the styling updates.
While the boot space is enormous for a “Mini” at 260 liters, you won’t be using this one for hauling loads.
In fact, the Mini Clubman JCW is strictly for Mini owners with a bit of attitude who want the full-on fun factor with a healthy dose of performance.
The beating heart of the Mini Clubman’s interior is the center console, which features a high-resolution 6.5-inch or an optional 8.8-inch touch screen.
The center console is powered by MINI Connected, which seamlessly lets you connect your devices to the Mini while offering features such as navigation, Bluetooth, GPS tracking, Concierge Service, and lots more.
You also get 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, a Harman/Kardon audio system, and a panoramic sunroof.
So how does the Mini Clubman JCW handle on the UAE roads? I would say, with precision!
The car handles really well on highways and city roads, while the cornering grip is also excellent. The Clubman’s all-wheel-drive system also comes into play, which means the car can handle any weather with aplomb.
You get a couple of drive modes. While we chose to drive on the Normal mode for most of this road test, we also switched into the Sport mode from time to time.
Once you switch to the Sport mode, you realise that the throttle response seems sharpened, while the valve in the exhaust opens up to provide an even sportier noise.
In Sport mode, the gear changes are also much more aggressive.
Overall, the Mini Cooper Clubman JCW is a refined ride.
The car combines retro with modern connectivity with all the gadgets in the interior and it will definitely put a smile on your face as you drive off!
Price: AED 220,000
– Images by Ranbir Sen
Genesis G90 Makes its MEA Debut
Genesis Middle East & Africa HQs has today launched its flagship sedan, the G90. The G90 brings the first full model change in three years following its facelift in 2018, representing the most elegant interpretation of the brand’s luxury design identity. The model introduces a bold new direction that premium cars should pursue, with advanced assistance features that make driving easier, along with a variety of new technologies that add value to passengers’ journeys.
The G90 features the Genesis lineup’s most elegant exterior and interior designs yet. Driving specifications offer the utmost in terms of comfortable mobility along with many new features designed to enhance the experience for drivers and passengers of the G90.
The G90’s front includes a new Crest Grille and sleek Two-Line headlamps, which are designed to resemble the brand’s emblem. The Crest Grille at the front takes the model’s luxurious image to the next level with its Layered Architecture design, comprised of two G-Matrix patterns layered on top of one another to create a three-dimensional effect.
The Two-Line headlamps, located on both sides of the grille, are the thinnest on a Genesis model yet. The headlamps’ slim design was made possible by intercrossing the lens of the DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) with the turn signal, the high beams and the MLA (Micro Lens Array) technology-powered low beams. The low beams in particular combine roughly 200 micro optic lenses per module with ultraprecise technology. The resulting lenses are smaller than those of legacy projection lamps, but provide the same level of light intensity – further reinforcing the G90’s high-tech image.
The G90’s status as a best-in-class sedan is further strengthened by its Clamshell Hood. The Clamshell Hood design features a single panel that combines the hood and fenders to eliminate panel gaps, lending the G90 its definingly sleek design. In addition, the Guilloché patterned emblem, which is nearly 80 percent thinner than the previous version, adds a finishing touch of class and distinction to the luxury sedan image.
When viewed from the side, the Parabolic Line design starts from the hood and flows seamlessly along the bottom of the window to the trunk. Once more, the vehicle’s refined and voluminous body has been highlighted with the Athletic Power Lines on the fenders around the wheels, revealing its power and dynamism.
The DLOs bordering the first and second rows of the vehicle are harmonized by thick C-pillars. This allows second-row passengers to enjoy an open atmosphere and privacy at the same time, ultimately coming together to complete the sedan’s best-in-class image.
At the vehicle’s rear, as key elements of the Genesis design language, the Two-Line rear combination lamps are elongated with the trunk, giving the model a strong and well-balanced image, with the Genesis lettering emblem concisely positioned between them. Functional elements like the license plate, various sensors, and the reverse lights have been lowered to complete the clean, luxurious image of the G90’s rear design.
The interior of the G90 is designed to satisfy both customers who take the wheel themselves and those who are driven by chauffeurs. The driver’s seat brings to life Genesis’ interior design ethos of the Beauty of White Space, harmoniously combining the feeling of a high-tech device with new technologies together with the luxurious details that come with analog sensitivities.
Drawing attention at the front of the vehicle’s interior are slim air vents that, combined with the wing-like shapes and the next-generation infotainment system – the connected car Integrated Cockpit (ccIC) – integrate the cluster and navigation into a panoramic display, cementing a high-tech look.
The center console carefully utilizes glass and aluminum materials to express luxurious analog sensitivities. In addition, the electronic dial-type Shift-By-Wire (SBW) component and a dial-type Central Control Panel (CCP) are differentiated to enable drivers to intuitively distinguish between them while driving. In particular, the SBW prevents maloperation by vibrating when the driver shifts into reverse.
Furthermore, the two panoramic sunroofs located above the first and second rows can be controlled separately. In addition, the mood lamps installed on the left and right ends of the sunroofs are linked with other mood lamps in the vehicle to add a sense of luxury.
The rear seats of the G90 feature the highest quality materials to ensure that the flagship sedan offers passengers comfort and convenience. The left and right seats in the second row can be reclined separately for passengers’ comfort. The G90 also provides a new experience to customers with thoughtfully designed storage spaces such as an independent tray for magazines and books in the C-pillar area of the second row.
New garnishes made possible thanks to new processing methods have been applied to the G90’s center fascia, to the backs of the front-row seats, and to each seat’s door trim. Genesis’ philosophy of sustainable luxury is well reflected in the G90’s use of Newspaper Crown Wood and Newspaper Stripe Wood. The material is made utilizing a new method that minimizes its impact on the environment by reprocessing wastepaper from daily life, including newspapers.
Used here for the first time in a Genesis vehicle, the metal inlay garnish is a detail that is rooted in the traditional Korean ‘sanggam’ (or ‘inlay’) crafting technique. The garnish maximizes the sense of luxury by inlaying the Two Lines and the G-matrix pattern onto real metal, ash wood, and forged carbon surfaces.
The G90 comes in a choice of 12 colour options. Brand new colors such as Hallasan Green, Capri Blue, Bariloche Brown, Valencia Gold, and Maui Black are exclusive to the G90. The model will also be available in Makalu Gray, Vik Black, Tasman Blue, Seville Silver, Uyuni White, Makalu Gray Matte, and Verbier White. The Hallasan Green color in particular is named after Hallasan, a shield volcano on Korea’s Jeju Island, a decision that reflects the brand’s pride in its distinctive Korean identity.
The vehicle also offers a selection of interior colorways, with a total of five combination choices: Obsidian Black/Mono-Tone, Bordeaux Brown/Obsidian Black Two-Tone, Glacier White/Urban Brown Two-Tone, Modern Gray/Galaxy Black Two-Tone, and Dune Beige/Velvet Burgundy Two-Tone.
The G90 is equipped with a gasoline 3.5 turbo engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, which features a maximum output of 375 horsepower and a maximum torque of 54.0 kgf·m. The 3.5 turbo engine achieves a combined fuel efficiency of 9.3 km/ℓ with a Dual Fuel Injection system injecting the optimal amount of fuel to meet driving conditions, and a Water Cooled Type Intercooler improving acceleration responsiveness by quickly lowering the temperature of air inflow in the engine (figures based on 5 seater model in RWD with 19-inch tires).
To support its strong engine power and torque while ensuring efficient cooling of the brake discs, the G90 utilizes multiple cooling mechanisms, including an undercover guide hole, dust cover hole, and wheel guard cooling vanes. It also features a new Brake Mode, “Chauffeur,” allowing drivers to control the braking force. It’s one of three built-in brake modes that drivers can utilize to suit their preferences and driving conditions.
Genesis has outfitted the G90 with new suspension technology that offers a smoother ride and better handling performance. It also includes Preview-Electronic Control Suspension (Preview-ECS) as a basic feature, which optimizes control of the suspension by utilizing a front camera and data from the navigation system to recognize road conditions and provide a smooth riding experience in any driving environment.
For added driving stability, the G90 also features Multi Chamber air suspension, which alters air pressure in the air springs. Three settings are available depending on driving conditions. When driving at high speeds, the air suspension system lowers the height of the vehicle to reduce wind resistance, improving fuel efficiency and ultimately providing a more stable driving experience. When driving on rough or uneven surfaces, the feature heightens the car to protect its undercarriage and cut down on vibrations from the road. Also, the vehicle’s height can stay at a certain level regardless of changes in weight from passengers or luggage. This allows for a more comfortable ride while securing stable control of the vehicle.
The G90 also includes a feature that manages the air suspension according to road conditions, helping drivers navigate speed bumps, ramps, and rough roads. This technology controls the damping and height of the suspension by identifying the environment in front of the vehicle with information gathered from the front camera, providing customers with a comfortable ride. If it detects a bump ahead in the road, 100 m before contact the vehicle elevates the front wheels 10 mm and optimizes the Preview-Electronic Control Suspension (Preview-ECS). This reduces the shock so that passengers are not jolted as much.
In addition, using sensors, the car can elevate the front wheels when it’s going down a steep slope. This provides stronger suspension to prevent damage from contact between the flat road and the undercarriage after the slope. When driving on rough roads, the feature heightens the car by 25 mm at both ends, the front wheels, and the rear wheels, to protect its undercarriage from touching the surface of the road and ensure a stable driving experience.
Rear Wheel Steering (RWS) on the G90 steers the rear wheels to a maximum of four degrees in a low-speed counter-phase (moving them in the opposite direction of the front wheels) and to a maximum of two degrees in a high-speed in-phase (moving them in the same direction as the front wheels). This allows for easier maneuvering in tight spaces with fewer corrections and makes the turning radius of the G90 similar to that of a midsize car. It also improves cornering stability and allows the vehicle to make agile movements when changing lanes or avoiding obstacles at medium and high speeds.
The G90 boasts Genesis’ quietest ride yet, providing the interior serenity that drivers expect from a luxury sedan. It is outfitted with the brand’s most advanced noise-canceling ANC-R (Active Noise Control-Road) system as a basic feature, which detects noise from the surface of the road and then sends opposite phase sounds through the speakers to cancel it out. The result is a quieter ride that elevates the G90’s driving experience.
To ensure the same quiet and luxury for every seat in the vehicle, Genesis has measured and analyzed the sound sensitivity of each seat and tailored its sound canceling accordingly. Some parts of the system are reinforced with special materials to strengthen the car’s body, while various sound-absorbing materials were used throughout key sections of the car. Meanwhile, laminated glass was used throughout the car, including the second-row doors’ quarter glass, enabling the G90 to achieve a maximum level of quietness.
Genesis has given the G90 a suite of various cutting-edge convenience technologies to provide an all-new automated experience from the moment customers board the vehicle until the moment they exit the car at their destination. When a driver approaches the G90 with their smart key, Auto Flush Door Handles pop up to greet the driver. Once the driver enters the vehicle, the EasyClose system closes the door without passengers needing to reach out and grab it. This feature is activated with a press of a button that is located in a number of easily accessible places, including the first row’s center console, the second row’s armrests, and the door trims in both rows.
Additionally, the first-row driver’s seat doors can be set up to automatically close when the brake pedal is used. When passengers exit the vehicle, they can touch the outside door handle switch or press the lock button on the remote control to close the door. The G90’s Fingerprint Authentication System in the center console enables users to setup and select their customized user profiles, check recent destinations and access the infotainment system settings.
Customers can experience the advanced technology and convenience of the G90 even when driving and parking. The G90 is the first model to feature Hands On Detection (HOD), allowing the vehicle to accurately detect when the driver is holding the steering wheel. When driver assistance systems such as Highway Driving Assist are activated, HOD precisely determines whether or not the driver is holding the steering wheel, issuing warnings when necessary.
Parking Collision-Avoidance Assists (PCA) analyzes the vehicle’s surroundings, including the rear, front and the sides, warning the driver when there’s a risk of collision with a pedestrian or object while parking, and activating the brakes if necessary. The G90 offers various features that highlight the vehicle’s sensitivity, upgrading it from a mere means of transportation to a customizable personal space. Indeed, with the G90, Genesis is offering a glimpse at its vision for the future of mobility.
Genesis has equipped the vehicle with a host of intuitive features, including Virtual Venue, Mood Curator, and an Armrest Touch System. ‘Virtual Venue’ is a virtual, 3D-surround sound function. It recreates the sound characteristics of various spaces that are optimized for certain types of music using settings such as ‘Boston Symphony Hall’ or ‘Bang & Olufsen Home’, and delivers on that sound with an impressive Bang & Olufsen 23-speaker system. Virtual Venue monitors the interior through an in-car microphone and simultaneously creates signals that reproduce the sound field characteristics of the selected space. Then, the system minimizes and stabilizes in-car noise according to the speed of the vehicle while delivering audio through its 23 speakers.
The G90 also comes with Acoustic Lens Technology (ALT), which optimizes sound quality through an electric pop-up tweeter located on the left and right side of the crash pad and headlining speakers placed in the middle of the ceiling between the first and second row, creating a 3D sound experience. Mood Curator enables integrated control of features like mood lamps, the sound system, the fragrance system (olfactory), massage seats, and electric curtains, lifting passengers’ moods. The car offers four different mood modes, each of which can be customized for a high level of personalization.
The G90 is also the first model Genesis has equipped with a fragrance system, which disperses pleasing scents throughout the car’s interior. It offers three different aromas: The Driver’s Awakening, The Great Outdoors, and My Favorite Place, which are all provided in replaceable cartridges. A maximum of two cartridges can be mounted to the upper part of the glove box. The type and intensity of the fragrance can be controlled through the infotainment system, rear seat touch control, and ventilation panel. Scents are automatically preselected for different Mood Curator modes, but can also be adjusted manually.
To enhance the comfort of both drivers and passengers, Genesis has equipped the G90 with ‘ergo-relaxing’ seats. Each seat features 10 air cells on the seatback and two air cells on the cushion, supporting four modes of body massage, including full body, waist, pelvis, and upper body, with three options for massage duration and strength. Furthermore, for smooth transitions when passengers are boarding and exiting the vehicle, the G90 removes air from the side bolsters (waist supporters), and returns to its original position after boarding. When the drive mode is set to Sport Mode or when driving at high speed (130 km/h), the side bolsters are automatically inflated to increase lateral support.
For VIP passengers in the second-row seats, the G90 offers a variety of special features to ensure a comfortable journey. A speaker is installed in the driver’s seat headrest to send out guide/warning sounds that only the driver can hear, shielding the passengers in the rear seats from hearing unnecessary noise. The VIP seat, located on the right side of the second row, features newly added leg supports and footrests that support heating/ventilation (air intake system) functions, allowing customers to rest in a more comfortable posture.
The 10.2-inch electric rear-seat touch screen monitors located in the back of the first-row seats can automatically adjust their angles depending on the seat mode. They also allow passengers to use media independently by connecting Bluetooth headsets to the left and the right monitors, respectively. An 8-inch Armrest Touch Screen (ATS) located in the center armrest in the second row offers touch-type integrated operation. Passengers can set climate control modes, seat position, massage settings, curtain position, and adjust the lighting. The touch-screen display provides clear guidance and explanations with graphics and animations that are suitable for each function related to the buttons.
Genesis has used antibacterial materials throughout the G90, with a UV light-sterilized armrest box in the second row and an antibacterial filter to offer passengers a safer and cleaner interior. Genesis coated the G90’s interior with an antibacterial Silver Zinc Zeolite material, which prevents the growth of bacteria and microorganisms on areas with artificial leather and car mats, such as the G90’s crash pads, door trim, and armrests. UV-C LED lamps are installed in the box of the second row’s armrests to sterilize items for passengers when driving. Air purifiers in the G90 are equipped with an antibacterial filter that blocks harmful substances in the air to provide a better indoor atmosphere.
MG Motor Confirms Production of Cyberster Roadster
MG Motor has confirmed that the British-born brand will manufacture a production version of its cutting-edge, fully-electric Cyberster concept car by issuing teaser images of the stylish new model. Developed as a co-creation between both customers and MG, and first showcased in 2021, the Cyberster is a two-door, two-seater sports car that blends MG’s brand heritage with its future plans.
The Cyberster was developed by the renowned SAIC Design Centre and takes inspiration from the classic MGB Roadster. The Cyberster has a futuristic exterior look, with its characteristics of youthfulness, sharpness, and boldness emphasised in several ways. At the front, the design highlight is the headlights, which are complemented by the slim grille and scissor doors. The taillight design, taking cues from modern art and the Union Flag, gives the rear of the car a distinct look and feel, while the upturned duck tail maximises the car’s aerodynamic capabilities.
Spearheaded by the Global Executive Director of SAIC Design Centre, Shao Jingfeng, the objective of the project was to introduce a new roadster sports car and a personalised lifestyle car experience. This was enabled through MG’s founding of a first-of-its-kind co-creation organisation. Taking into design account the opinion of users and expert designers, 25 major elements and 97 sub-elements within the car were co-created, taking customer engagement and personalisation to a new level.
Tom Lee, Managing Director of MG Middle East, commented, “It has always been in our plans to bring the brand’s strong British heritage and classic two-door sports design back with a modern twist, and the Cyberster does just that. What started off as a concept car, has now become a reality. This two-door sports car will bridge the gap between our rich history and our progress toward the future of mobility. It thrills me to know there’s a demand from our customers for MG’s classic designs and I look forward to bringing this model to the region once it’s ready.”
First unveiled in 2021, the Cyberster is set to offer a range of around 800km and a 0-100 km/h time of less than three seconds. The car will feature 5G interconnectivity and an e-sports cockpit, created through a collaboration between MG and Bilibili e-sports. Further details will be revealed in due course.
Polestar Electric Roadster Concept Planned to Enter Production as Polestar 6
Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car company, confirms plans to put the Polestar electric roadster concept into production. The production car is expected to launch in 2026 as the Polestar 6 electric performance roadster. Interested customers in the United Arab Emirates are able to register their interest to reserve a build slot online from 16 August 2022.
“With the overwhelming consumer and press response, we took the decision to put this stunning roadster into production and I am so excited to make it a reality,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “Polestar 6 is a perfect combination of powerful electric performance and the thrill of fresh air with the top down.”
Revealed in Los Angeles in March as the Polestar O₂, the electric roadster concept builds on the design, technology, and sustainability ambitions laid out by the Polestar Precept and showcases the brand’s vision for future sports cars. The hard-top convertible will be built on Polestar’s bespoke bonded aluminum platform. Developed in-house, it will feature the high-performance, 800-Volt electric architecture already confirmed for Polestar 5.
This includes the output of up to 650 kW (884 hp) and 900 Nm from a dual motor powertrain, a targeted 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3,2 seconds, and a top speed of 250 km/h. To celebrate the launch, 500 numbered units of a special ‘LA Concept’ version, the ‘Polestar 6 LA Concept edition’, are planned to be produced. They will exclusively feature the unique ‘Sky’ blue exterior, light leather interior, and unique 21-inch wheels of the original Polestar O₂ concept.
The production confirmation headlines the brand’s attendance with the electric roadster concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’ events during Monterey Car Week in California, 18-21 August 2022. Further technical details and specification confirmations will be released as the production car becomes reality, leading up to the expected launch in 2026.
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