The MINI Countryman is already the biggest vehicle in the premium compact car company's stable, so it only makes sense that the John Cooper Works edition of the MINI crossover also offer more horsepower than has ever been available in one of the British brand's models. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman trumps all other members of the MINI family in terms of horsepower and torque, giving the small SUV a definite kick in the pants compared to the standard version of the car.
The centerpiece of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman's performance prowess is its turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The motor makes use of variable valve timing, a sport exhaust system and a generous intercooler in order to grind out 211 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque during normal operation. Like most JCW MINIs, the John Cooper Works Countryman also features an 'Overboost' feature that allows the turbo to spool up to the point where 221 lb-ft of torque are available for a brief period of time.
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.
The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman stands apart from the entry-level version of the crossover through more than just its mechanical details. Buyers can choose between 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels as well as seven exterior colors (including exclusive Chili Red). The JCW Countryman's aero package has been tweaked to include a side skirts and unique front and rear bumper treatments, and of course JCW badging informs the world that this is no ordinary Countryman. Inside the crossover MINI has installed sport seats (which can be had with leather upholstery, if desired), a different steering wheel and red trim that includes special stitching on the floor mats and the shifter.
The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is slated to go on sale in the fall of 2012.