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Mini Spawns a John Cooper Works Countryman Performance Crossover

Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works

Mini’s largest model is about to get the most powerful engine currently available to the brand from its parent company, BMW. The company will offer up its 2018 Countryman as the latest John Cooper Works model, adorned with polarizing paint jobs and a powerful 2.0-liter turbo.

While the idea of a performance crossover might seem like an oxymoron, as well as being a bit impractical, especially considering Mini already makes a quicker and more nimble JCW Cooper with the same engine, there’s a precedent of the concept working.

Second-generation Countrymans undergoing the John Cooper Works treatment receive a transversely mounted direct-injection turbo four-cylinder making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mini claims the motor will send the JCW Countryman screaming to sixty in 6.2 seconds. Peak torque comes on at 1,450 rpm.

That acceleration number trumps the Cooper S Countryman by almost a full second, but the lightweight two-door Mini Cooper JCW will remain the brand’s best performer. Despite being a little down on torque, the substantially smaller hardtop makes the same horsepower and boats slightly better acceleration.

Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works

The John Cooper Works Countryman brings All4 all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, Brembo brakes and 18-inch alloy wheels. Other standard equipment includes keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, backup camera, and rear-facing parking sensors.

A driving mode selector is also standard, allowing drivers to customize engine note, throttle response, steering weight, and transmission behavior. If you option in dynamic damper control, the selector also lets you adjust suspension stiffness on a whim.

Stylistic touches include borderline gaudy JCW-branded sport seats, a JCW-branded gear selector, and a JCW-branded sports steering wheel on the inside. Outside accents will be optional contrasting paint schemes and John Cooper Works themed badging.

Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works

Mini unveiled a redesigned Countryman in October, hoping its larger size and crossover characteristics would help solve the brand’s sales slump in the United States. Sales volume peaked in 2013 with 66,502 units and has suffered a gradual decline ever since. Last year, Mini sold 52,030 cars.

The new 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will go on sale in April.

Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works

 

11 Comments

  1. Wunsch says:

    Is the Countryman their biggest vehicle? I thought the new Clubman is actually bigger, although not as tall or… crossovery.

  2. Quentin says:

    The Clubman was the biggest when the Countryman was on the old R platform. Now the Countryman has basically matched the Clubman dimensions with the move to the F platform.

  3. dividebytube says:

    “screaming” to 60 in 6.2s – or beaten by a V6 Camry or a Chrysler 200 in a straight line.
    I had a ’16 Countryman S loaner car and it didn’t handle anywhere near my wife’s ’03 hardtop S. No surprise there given the weight and height differences.

  4. 319583076 says:

    But you can get the Mini with a standard transmission…

  5. EChid says:

    Exactly. It’ll feel faster, and be way more fun. Screw the 6.2 seconds.

  6. palandi says:

    give it a happier grill and debadge the rear COUNTRYMAN inscription, and I’ll take it. sounds like a poor man’s GLA 45 AMG and I like it.

  7. OzCop says:

    My “wife” would like it…I like the JCW hatch hardtop. I own an 09 model, and my brother in law bought a new 2016 model a couple of months ago…his has a few more hp than mine, but is heavier by a couple hundred pounds…and it shows on acceleration. It handles very well on the twisty country roads here in Texas. The downside is price. A new Mustang GT 5.0 would cost less by the time the deal is done…

  8. The round gauge cluster thingamajig in the middle of the dash is almost the same size as the steering wheel. The entire exterior is trying way too hard.
    If the reliability is any better than the rest of the Mini line, and you like it, what the heck?! We are now nearing the end of the era of internal combustion engines, anyway.

  9. Chocolatedeath says:

    Honestly if the reliability was dead horrible I might would consider it.

  10. Quentin says:

    It will be interesting to see where they go with the plug in version.
    Good job on adding all the standard features that we had to get optional on my wife’s Clubman S All4. The JCW Clubman is the same way. I think it would have been less than a $2k increase to get the JCW Clubman from what our S listed MSRP.

  11. npaladin2000 says:

    But no Android Auto.

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