MINI calls its John Cooper Works Countryman the “baddest of the bunch” when it comes to the automaker’s lineup – a lineup better known for cuteness than for attitude.
Well, the JCW Countryman is about to get even more bad.
On Tuesday, MINI announced a power and performance upgrade for the vehicle. Starting with the motor.
“With an output of 228 horsepower, it is the most powerful engine ever to be fitted in a MINI: in combination with the standard all-wheel drive system ALL4 and a robust vehicle concept, it ensures that the latest addition to the family of top John Cooper Works athletes takes the MINI experience to a whole new level – in terms of both race track feeling on the road and extreme driving fun over unsurfaced terrain,” MINI said in a statement.
The vehicle will make its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in April and go on sale in the US that month, as well, MINI said.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine cranks out 20 more horsepower than the previous version, which MINI said will produce a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds and a 145mph top speed, for both the six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic trims.
MINI also said that the new JCW Countryman is a car for all seasons, which makes sense as it will be participating in the grueling 2017 Dakar Rally.
“The performance capacity of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is not just very high, it is also extremely versatile in terms of the potential range of uses,” MINI said.
“This is due to the ALL4 all-wheel drive system, which not only optimizes traction on unsurfaced terrain such as dirt roads but also enhances ride stability in adverse weather conditions and improves agility when taking bends dynamically on the race track.”
Our experience with the JCW high-performance takes on MINI’s vehicles is that they are absolutely bonkers. In the good old days, performance-oriented cars were supposed to scare you a little bit – maybe a lot bit – but in the 21st century, some of the scary edges have been smoothed away.
Not so with JCW MINIs. They’re thrill-a-minute machines.
Of course, the Countryman is supposed to the “big” MINI, serving customers who want the versatility of an SUV, and on that score, the new vehicle is according to a bit larger than its predecessor.
There’s also a cool feature for anyone who loses stuff with regularity, part of the MINI Connected technology setup.
“The touchscreen navigation system also comes with the Touch Controller in the center console and MINI Find Mate, one of the latest digital services to be added to MINI Connected,” the carmaker said.
“MINI Find Mate consists of two tags with a wireless Bluetooth tracking function that can be attached to commonly used objects and travel items, enabling them to be conveniently located via MINI Connected.”
MINI didn’t provide detail on pricing, but the outgoing JCW Countryman has a base of $35,350.