Yet another Mini variation will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show, and it's even less mini than previous models. The Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is powered by a new four-cylinder engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection and variable valve control. Net result: 218 hp. It comes standard with an aerodynamic kit, lowered sports suspension, 18-inch light-alloy wheels and the first six-speed automatic gearbox as an option. Look for 0-60 in about 7 seconds and a top speed around 140 mph..
The new engine brings another boost in power output, transferred onto the road by the Mini ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and while U.S. fuel economy figures are not yet available, translating the Imperial gallon numbers works out at 31 mpg with a manual transmission and 28 mpg with the automatic.
The distinctive style of the sixth John Cooper Works model in the Mini has various paint and trim options including the Chili Red contrasting roof and stripes, as pictured here. The same color can be used as an interior accent.
The new car’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic center differential to distribute drive between the front and rear axles. In normal driving conditions, the Mini’s intelligent ALL4 system directs all of the engine’s power to the front tires, and up to 50 percent of its power can be diverted automatically to the rear wheels when driving conditions require it.
Pressing the standard Sport Button tweaks the engine responses, the character of its soundtrack and adjusts the power assistance provided by the steering. 18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels with polished spoke fronts and black rim wells are fitted as standard. 19-inch light-alloy wheels – also designed exclusively for the JCW Countryman – can be ordered as an option.
The front and rear aprons and bespoke side skirts of the standard aerodynamic kit ensure visual impact and optimize airflow. Customers can choose from seven colors for the exterior paintwork. A contrasting paint finish can be specified for the roof and exterior mirror caps – in the Chili Red shade exclusive to John Cooper Works models, as well as Light White and Jet Black.
The interior comes with sports seats in Diagonal Track Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching have been designed specifically for the new model; while options such as sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red can also be ordered. The trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and center console come in Piano Black as standard. The optional Chili Red trim elements, meanwhile include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, and red stripes for the black trim elements on the center console. ––Paul Duchene
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