MINI and its John Cooper Works division have come up with two hot new models. One is the MINI JCW GP we looked at earlier, and the other, the new MINI Countryman JCW. They are both powered by a 160 kW/218 hp turbo engine, but whereas the GP is a fast and agile hatchback, the Countryman is a rather versatile four-wheel-drive car.
Let’s begin with the performance data. The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works can get out of its own way pretty good with a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.0 seconds – with either the manual or the automatic gearbox – and a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph) for the manual and 223 km/h (139 mph) for its automatic.
Fuel consumption figures are 7.4 litres per 100 km / 38.2 mpg imp (automatic: 7.9 l / 35.8 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 172 (184) grams per kilometre.
This is a sort of road-going version of the World Rally Countryman, and comes as standard with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and a sport-tuned chassis. What’s more, it gets an aerodynamic kit which lends extra muscle to the front and rear apron, as well as bespoke side skirts, and 18-inch light-alloy wheels.
Despite the size of the thing – 4,133-millimetre long, 1,789-millimetre wide and 1,549-millimetre tall – MINI says the Countryman JCW maintains the brand’s go kart-like handling. The suspension system in this car includes a single-joint MacPherson spring strut front axle and forged cross members, a central-arm rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speed-sensitive power assistance, and extremely effective brakes with red callipers.
As for the practical stuff, the JCW is a satisfying car with seating for five, and a up to 1,170 litres of luggage space.
The rear of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman can be specified with either a seat bench for three passengers or – as a no-cost option – two individual seats. The rear seats can slide fore and aft in a 60 : 40 split (if the three-seat bench is specified) or individually, and their backrests can be adjusted for tilt and folded down individually or in a 40 : 20 : 40 split (three-seat bench) to increase boot capacity from 350 to as much as 1,170 litres. The Centre Rail storage and attachment system is also part of standard specification.
The brings us to this car’s long list of equipments and features. Standard specification are front foglamps, air conditioning, a run-flat indicator, electric windows front and rear, remote control central locking, the Centre Rail storage and attachment system, and the radio MINI Boost CD. Customers can also order their cars with all the comfort, functionality and individuality-enhancing options available for the other MINI Countryman models, a full complement of MINI Connected features and bespoke John Cooper Works accessories.
You will be enjoying this car’s performance and features in a race-inspired cabin that is just such a nice place to be in. It features sports seats in Diagonal Track John Cooper Works Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching, and trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and centre console come in Piano Black.
Other features of the interior include sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, the dark 260 km/h (162 mph) speedometer and rev counter dials, an anthracite-coloured roof liner, a gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering, red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter, and floor mats with red stitching.
The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will be built at the BMW Group’s partner firm Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz, Austria.