In addition to the six-speed manual transmission that is standard with the John Cooper Works Countryman, the crossover also debuts a six-speed automatic, making it the only JCW-branded MINI to feature this particular convenience. Another first for a John Cooper Works model is the availability of all-wheel drive, dubbed ALL4 for marketing purposes by MINI. The ALL4 system makes it easier for the Countryman to put all 221 lb-ft of torque to the ground without the drama that is associated with the JCW front-pullers in the MINI lineup. ALL4 can divert as much as 50 percent of engine output to the rear wheels in order to enhance traction, which helps the Countryman leap to 60-mph in just 7.1 seconds - an impressive figure given the extra size and weight of the MINI crossover.
Underneath the JCW Countryman's skin lies electric power steering, upgraded brakes and stiffer springs and shocks that work together with the ALL4 system in order to keep the crossover stuck to the asphalt. A lower ride height and thicker anti-roll bars are also prominent features of the Countryman's suspension tuning, and a Sport mode - accessible via a single button inside the cockpit - sharpens throttle response, tightens the vehicle's steering system and adds an aggressive tone to the vehicle's exhaust note.