Completing the new generation Countryman’s range is the hotter John Cooper Works model. The crossover’s full name in the USA and Canada is the 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4, but we’ll keep it tongue-twister-free by referring to it simply as the JCW.
As with every other JCW variant in MINI’s lineup these days, the performance version of the Countryman uses the familiar 2.0-liter twin-scroll gasoline turbo delivering 228 horses and 258 ft lbs (350Nm) of torque. It’s paired to a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, both linked to a standard all-wheel drive system.
Regardless of transmission choice, the Countryman JCW will hit 60mph (96km/h) in 6.2 seconds, making it 0.8 to 0.9 seconds or a blink of an eye quicker than the Cooper S Countryman ALL4, and reach a top speed of 145mph (233km/h).
A firmer suspension setup combined with stronger four-piston Brembo brakes, together with the drive mode selector, which tweaks throttle response, steering weight and the available adaptive dampers, promise to make the JCW handle better on the twisties.
With the JCW you also get unique exterior and interior elements, including standard 18-inch or optional 19-inch rims, restyled bumpers, an aero kit, sport seats and steering wheel, roof liner in anthracite and model-specific trim fittings.
The new JCW Countryman will make its debut to the public in April 2017 at the Shanghai Motor Show, with US and Canadian sales to start around the same time, at as of yet, undisclosed prices.