MINI Introduces John Cooper Works Countryman
What is technically the largest MINI (which is a very strange sentence to write), the Countryman is getting an infusion of horsepower and a smattering of inventive color schemes.
Under the hood of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is a turbocharged 2.0-liter mill designed to belt out 312 ponies and 295 lb-ft of torque, all of which is lashed to a seven-speed automatic and a standard all-wheel-drive system capable of enough dry pavement traction to fling this JCW Countryman from rest to highway speeds in the mid-5 second range. Alert readers will know that’s slightly more horsepower but slightly less torque than previous efforts.
The company is banging on about “engine sound generated in real time” and “an exclusive JCW sound extension”, statements which appear to suggest there’s a healthy amount of fake noise being pumped into the cabin.
The model itself is bigger than before, with the brand saying it now classifies as an SUV here in the States. Its wheelbase is five inches longer and its height is up by a couple of inches, though MINI says the coefficient of drag has dropped from 0.31 to 0.26 measures. This growth spurt means there is now 16.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 51.2 cubes with them folded away, roughly working out to a few tenths more each compared to the old car.
Sticking with the interior, we find a high-res central OLED screen the size of an American’s dinner plate, digital real estate which serves as home to just about all the car’s functions. Vertical door handles and air vents are intended to drive home the new SUV designation, while the red and black color scheme shown here extends along its dashboard and into the door panels as an apparent nod to MINI's racing heritage. The dash surface bears a two-tone textile said to be made from recycled polyester, though it’s unclear how many time machines MINI had to invent in order to travel back to Studio 54 in its ‘70s heyday.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will have a starting base price in America of $46,900 plus $995 for destination and handling. Production for our market begins in March next year with the first units expected to arrive at dealers in early May.
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Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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