Mini’s least-mini vehicle, the Countryman, is getting a John Cooper Works infusion of power and fun upgrades to match its sporting aspirations in the brand’s lineup. Called, appropriately enough, the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works to match the rest of the compact brand’s vehicles, the crossover is getting a 211-horsepower version of its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
But that’s not all, as it will also be the first road-going JCW Mini to feature all-wheel drive and an available six-speed automatic transmission in addition to its standard six-speed manual. Although the thought of an automatic JCW vehicle may be blasphemous to hardcore Mini enthusiasts, it’ll likely help broaden the appeal of the crossover. Heck, adding an available fifth passenger seat last year broadened the Countryman’s appeal.
Additionally, the Countryman JCW will have a lower, sportier suspension setup compared to the standard Countryman and turbocharged Countryman S. It’ll ride on standard 18-inch painted alloy wheels or available 19-inchers, come with a body kit, a sports exhaust system with chrome tail pipes, and door sills with the John Cooper Works logo. Optionally, the exclusive Chili Red, Light White, or Dark Black can be added as contrasting paint colors to the car’s paint scheme. If selected with Chili Red contrasting, the interior also receives the same color treatment.
Performance-wise, the Mini Countryman JCW will hit 62 mph in 7.2 seconds and reach 127 mph on an open stretch of tarmac. Mini says the standard soft-roader can achieve 32 mpg with the manual transmission and 29 with the automatic. Expect the JCW’s numbers to be lower than the less-powerful Countryman S, which is rated at 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway in the U.S.
Mini says to look for the Countryman John Cooper Works in fall 2012 as a 2013 model.