Mini's Biggest Gets the John Cooper Works Treatment, Becomes Brand's Most Powerful Ride

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
minis biggest gets the john cooper works treatment becomes brands most powerful ride

Mini’s largest model is about to get the most powerful engine currently available to the brand from its parent company, BMW. The company will offer up its 2018 Countryman as the latest John Cooper Works model, adorned with polarizing paint jobs and a powerful 2.0-liter turbo.

While the idea of a performance crossover might seem like an oxymoron, as well as being a bit impractical — especially considering Mini already makes a quicker and more nimble JCW Cooper with the same engine — there’s a precedent of the concept working.

Second-generation Countrymans undergoing the John Cooper Works treatment receive a transversely mounted direct-injection turbo four-cylinder making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mini claims the motor will send the JCW Countryman screaming to sixty in 6.2 seconds. Peak torque comes on at 1,450 rpm.

That acceleration number trumps the Cooper S Countryman by almost a full second, but the lightweight two-door Mini Cooper JCW will remain the brand’s best performer. Despite being a little down on torque, the substantially smaller hardtop makes the same horsepower and boats slightly better acceleration.

The John Cooper Works Countryman brings All4 all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, Brembo brakes and 18-inch alloy wheels. Other standard equipment includes keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, backup camera, and rear-facing parking sensors.

A driving mode selector is also standard, allowing drivers to customize engine note, throttle response, steering weight, and transmission behavior. If you option in dynamic damper control, the selector also lets you adjust suspension stiffness on a whim.

Stylistic touches include borderline gaudy JCW-branded sport seats, a JCW-branded gear selector, and a JCW-branded sports steering wheel on the inside. Outside accents will be optional contrasting paint schemes and John Cooper Works themed badging.

Mini unveiled a redesigned Countryman in October, hoping its larger size and crossover characteristics would help solve the brand’s sales slump in the United States. Sales volume peaked in 2013 with 66,502 units and has suffered a gradual decline ever since. Last year, Mini sold 52,030 cars.

The new 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will go on sale in April.

[Images: BMW Group]

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  • Quentin Quentin on Jan 19, 2017

    It will be interesting to see where they go with the plug in version. Good job on adding all the standard features that we had to get optional on my wife's Clubman S All4. The JCW Clubman is the same way. I think it would have been less than a $2k increase to get the JCW Clubman from what our S listed MSRP.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jan 21, 2017

    no hints at cost from the press release?

  • Jkross22 This might just be me, but the times that I've driven an EV, I use the brake regen paddles to quell my inner MT/control freak nature.
  • Randy in rocklin I had a 82 733 at one time. It was an awesome car. Good power and great handling. Smooth shifting and ride.
  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.
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