Mini has revealed its next iteration of its John Cooper Works Countryman ‘hot SUV’, with a more powerful petrol engine, fresh exterior looks based on the new third-generation Countryman range, and an interior overhaul with a larger infotainment screen.
Designed by Mini’s performance-focused John Cooper Works sub-division, this model is the high-power variant of the latest Countryman SUV that was shown off at the Munich motor show in September.
Instead of the 2.0-litre 230hp petrol unit that powers the current JCW Countryman, Mini has decided to opt for a more powerful 2.0-litre engine for this next-generation model, which provides 300hp. This performance boost impacts the 0-62mph sprint time, which decreases from 6.5 seconds to 5.4 seconds.
As you would expect, the JCW has the same broad design strokes and silhouette as the standard Countryman, but with a slightly sportier exterior finish that Mini managing director Stefanie Wurst says exudes “a unique combination of style, power and a sense of adventure.”
In typical JCW style, the model features plenty of red accents, most prominently on the roof, wing mirrors and front bumper air intakes, and the standard model’s dashed grille design is replaced by a chequered pattern finished in matte back to match the bodywork.
Those that eventually take the model for a test drive will also notice that the car is not so ‘mini’ anymore either, as it is six centimetres taller and 13 centimetres longer than its predecessor, which should increase shoulder room and legroom in the cabin. The car sits on 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, but 20-inch alloys are also available.
Only available as an all-wheel drive automatic, Mini says it has focused on giving the JCW Countryman the “go-kart feeling” that has become synonymous with the smaller Mini hatch. The tyre width has been increased by 25 centimetres, presumably to improve traction in high-speed corners, and the car boosts the sound of the engine in the cabin to “enhance the emotional driving experience.”
Like the standard countryman, Mini has given the JCW a new minimalist interior design with a large circular OLED display in the centre of a recycled polyester dashboard.
This screen is customisable, with different display modes to choose from including a ‘personal mode’ which allows you to pick any picture to use as the screen’s background, and the optional projector hidden behind the screen will then pick out the dominant colours and display them across the knitted dash and door panels.
The car’s voice assistant can be used to operate numerous functions, such as navigation, telephone, and entertainment. The boot offers 460 litres of luggage space, which increases to 1,450 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Now on to assistance tech – Mini says that this ‘hot SUV’ comes with 12 sensors and four surround-view cameras that support several driver assistance systems, including blind spot monitoring and a cross-traffic alert, as well as a partially automated driving function that is included in the optional ‘driving assistant professional’ package, that allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel on “highway-like routes” at speeds of up to 37mph.
That sums up what we know about the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman. The manufacturer is yet to announce exactly when the model will become available to order, and further details like UK pricing and full specifications list will be announced in the coming months. Check back soon!