Mini introduces John Cooper Works Countryman

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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John Cooper Works (JCW) is the performance division of BMW's Mini brand of vehicles. Founded in 2000, JCW was named in honour of John Cooper, a motorsport legend who is particularly heralded for developing racing versions of the original BMC (British Motor Corporation) Minis of the 1960s. Currently, Mini offers performance-oriented JCW versions of each model in its vehicle lineup, with the latest edition being the new John Cooper Works Countryman.

Formally introduced at this month's Geneva Motor Show, the JCW Countryman is the first Mini to blend JCW tuning with all-wheel-drive capability. The All4 all-wheel-drive system in the JCW Countryman helps to deliver "extreme driving fun on any terrain" according to Mini. In normal driving conditions, All4 routes engine power to the front wheels exclusively, but can direct up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels when needed. The Countryman's All4 all-wheel-drive system stands in contrast to the rest of the JCW models in Mini's vehicle lineup, which feature front-wheel drive. Mini's JCW Countryman is also the first JCW model available with a six-speed automatic transmission as an alternative to the six-speed manual, which is standard.

Power for the JCW Countryman comes from a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder engine which features twin-scroll turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve control and an intercooler. At peak performance, the turbocharged engine generates 211 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, and an overboost function can increase torque output to 221 pound-feet for brief moments. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is dispatched in approximately seven seconds and the JCW Countryman will go on to a top speed of 204 km/h. Average fuel consumption on the EU test cycle is rated at 7.2 L/100 km for manual-shift cars and 8.0 L/100 km for automatic equipped versions.

Helping to distinguish the JCW Countryman from the base Countryman is a standard aerodynamic kit, a sports exhaust system and door sills bearing the John Cooper Works logo. The JCW Countryman also rides on 18-inch light-alloy wheels, and 19-inch light alloys are optional.

Steeping inside reveals sports seats trimmed in cloth or leather as well as standard piano black trim on the door panels and the front of the dashboard. Chili red trim is optional and exclusive to the JCW Countryman, and matches the chili red paint available for the exterior. The interior also features a sports steering wheel with red contrasting stitching and the John Cooper Works logo, as well as dark dials for the speedometer and rev counter, and an anthracite-coloured roof liner.

The Countryman represents many firsts for Mini. It's the first available with all-wheel-drive, the first five-seater and in fact the first crossover sport utility in Mini's history. However, it is the last Mini model to receive JCW tuning and will be introduced around the world in the autumn as a 2013 model.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Mini, 2013, John Cooper Works Countryman,

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