Tuesday, 11 September 2012 10:24 AM
The biggest, most potentially rugged MINI you can buy; the mini-SUV-esque Countryman, is about to ge the John Cooper Works boost-up treatment. Muddy fields beware! The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is on its way and it’ll be the first MINI with a new four-wheel drive system called MINI ALL4. Just in time for another snowy UK winter.
Under that stubby bonnet will sit a freshly developed 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor packing a 1.6-litre displacement and 215bhp of punt. Peak torque is a juicy 280Nm with an overboost extra oomph of up to 300Nm, making it the most powerful engine in the MINI model range. The latest-tech engine will feature economy and performance must-haves such as a twin-scroll turbocharger, powerful petrol direct injection and fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. All of this adds up to a to-62 mph sprints time of 7 seconds, while a full range of ‘MINIMALISM technology’, including Brake Energy Regeneration, Gear Shift Indicator, Auto Start-Stop function and Electric Power Steering keep an eye on the eco side of life.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will come equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a 6-speed automatic with Steptronic shifting and steering wheel shift paddles available as an option. And for faster driving fans there’ll be Sport Button to press that ups the saucy engine soundtrack and sharpens the steering power and shift dynamics of the auto ‘box.
Power is nothing without control, of course, and this most potent of MINIs has been heavily reworked under its bigger body. MacPherson struts soak the bumps up front while a central-arm rear axle adapted specially for the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman does the business out back. The as-standard sports suspension gets ‘particularly firmly tuned springs and dampers’ and there are strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10mm reduction in ride height to keep cornering flex at bay. Big brakes avoid the ditches and there are extra-lightweight 18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels fitted as standard, or huge 19-inchers available as an option. And there’s plenty to shout ‘John Cooper Works’ on the outside of the beefed-up beastie.
Inside there are top of the range treats for this £28,595-Cooper, with a special John Cooper Works cockpit design with sports seats, sports steering wheel, interior trim strips in Piano Black, anthracite-coloured roof liner and dark speedometer and rev counter dials. Options, if you haven’t spent enough already, include sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red and interior trim strips in Chili Red. Let’s chuck some MINI mud!
By Daniel Anslow
Follow us @TotallyMotor