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2025 Mini JCW Countryman surfaces

Roomier new Mini JCW Countryman SUV retains fun factor, here in third quarter of 2024

14 Nov 2023

MINI has announced a John Cooper Works (JCW) performance flagship of its new Countryman small SUV ahead of its Australian launch in the third quarter of next year, when it is likely to be priced above the current three-variant range that sells from $68,625 to $77,175 excluding on roads.


It will arrive here around the same time as the regular Countryman line-up that was revealed at the Munich motor show in September.


The newcomer has direct competition from Volkswagen’s T-Toc R (starting at $63,490 + ORC) while parent company BMW’s X1 2.0i xDrive sells from $70,400 + ORC and the X1 M35i from which the Mini borrows a drivetrain is a $90,900 plus on-roads proposition.


Built in Germany at the same factory as the BMW X1 M35i xDrive with which it shares a 2.0-litre turbo four cylinder petrol all-wheel drive powertrain, the Euro spec version loses a bit of punch compared with the current offering, down 4kW and 50Nm to now rate at 221kW/400Nm.


However, the US spec model has 230kW and 400Nm. The BMW X1 M35i splits the difference at 233kW/400Nm.


It remains unclear which engine specification the JCW Countryman would be sold here with but the lower output version is likely designed to comply with stringent EU emissions laws.


The biggest Mini model remains a sporty proposition capable of clocking a top whack of 250km/h and a brisk 5.4 seconds over the standard 0-100km/h sprint, with sporty dynamics to match while using a claimed 8.0-8.6 litres/100km WLTP.


Mini’s JCW models are renowned for their sporty performance but the Countryman variant is also claimed to offer “very capable” off-road abilities thanks to its ‘ALL4’ all-wheel-drive system and other so-called “overland” features.


The new model of the all-rounder has grown and offers more space, comfort and safety with the head of the Mini brand Stefanie Wurst saying: “The Mini John Cooper Works Countryman embodies a unique combination of style, power and a sense of adventure. With its powerful 221kW engine and sporty design, it is the perfect companion for anyone looking for something special.” 


Boasting a new but familiar look, the new JCW Countryman is characterised by “an upright and minimalist silhouette that radiates a sense of adventure, versatility and reliability together with a JCW logo redesign and colour change to highlight the revised façade”.


The bold exterior features a number of aerodynamic elements with vertical reflectors on the front of the car emphasise its wide stance, while the new Mini LED headlights with horizontal bars in JCW Signature Mode give the SUV a more “expressive” look.


Its chunky two-box body surprisingly rates a drag coefficient of just 0.26, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars in its class for fuel efficiency and interior noise reduction advantages.


Power is distributed to all four wheels through electronic controls in all driving conditions while a high-performance braking system provides beefier stopping power, again in a broad spread of applications.


Mini has not forgotten the characteristic JCW exhaust note with this variant, fitting an exhaust flap system to give an instantly recognisable bark out the back while passengers can enjoy similar auditory stimulation via an engine sound generator in the cabin. 


Additionally, an exclusive JCW sound extension boosts the sound of the engine start and “intensifies the soundscape” with racing-inspired engine sounds.


For reliability, the engine features optimised pistons, connecting rods and mounts to help extract maximum power from the 2.0-litre turbo mill that features an advanced, dual-drive turbocharger force-feeding the engine.


Working in concert with a dethrottled air intake (the throttle body is moved outside the main inlet tract), the unhindered induction system is said to enables the JCW Countryman to generate beefy performance across a wide spread of engine speeds contributing to its dynamic feel.


Vehicle dynamics are improved by the new JCW Countryman’s larger (diameter) tyres that are also 245 mm wide across the tread on either 19 or 20-inch wheels while comfort and safety is enhanced through the adoption of 12 ultrasonic sensors and four surround-view cameras in total supporting numerous driver assistance systems that enable Level 2 autonomous driving.


These are contained in the JCW Countryman’s Driving Assistant Professional option package.


The system and can detect gaps in the traffic necessary for changing lanes heading towards an exit and brings the vehicle to the optimum speed for the assisted lane change and for the first time, drivers in the Mini Countryman can take their hands off the steering wheel on highway-like routes at speeds of up to 60 km/h, provided they continue to keep a close (monitored) eye on traffic and remain ready to intervene at any time.


Inside is characterised by a minimalist theme with the cockpit divided into an upper and lower section with vertical door handles and air vents to emphasis perceived space. High-grade JCW sports seats are a nod to Mini’s racing heritage and the dash is made of a two-tone textile made from recycled polyester.

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