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Future models - Mini - Countryman - JCW

Shanghai show: Mini Countryman JCW here in Q2

Country mouse: While the majority of Mini’s models are suited for city and inner-city driving, the Countryman John Cooper Works will employ an advanced all-wheel-drive system for when roads get slippery.

More torque for Mini’s all-paw Countryman JCW crossover, lands in Oz mid-year

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Mini logo18 Jan 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

MINI has unveiled its largest, most powerful production car yet in the form of the all-wheel-drive Countryman John Cooper Works crossover, packing 170kW of power and 350Nm of torque from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Set to be revealed to the public during the Shanghai motor show in April, BMW Australia product communications manager Adam Davis told GoAuto the latest high-performing Mini will arrive in local showrooms mid-year.

Sharing the same 2.0-litre unit as its three-door hatch and Convertible JCW cousins, the flagship Countryman shares the same 170kW power output, but has a 30Nm higher peak torque figure of 350Nm.

However, peak power is delivered at lower engine speeds in the Countryman (5000-6000rpm) compared with its smaller JCW-badged stablemates (5200-6000rpm), while maximum torque is available across a narrower band – 1450-4500rpm in the Countryman compared with 1250-4800rpm in the hatch.

Zero to 100km/h sprint times are clocked at 6.5 seconds in both the standard six-speed manual and optional eight-speed automatic versions, 0.8 and 0.7s faster than the outgoing Countryman JCW, and quicker than dedicated sportscars including the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5.

Top speed in the Countryman JCW reaches 234km/h. Manual versions will return a fuel economy figure of 7.4 litres per 100km and automatic-equipped models will do 6.9L/100km.

To help push power to all-four corners, Mini has retuned its dynamic stability control (DSC) system – which incorporates dynamic traction control and electronic differential lock control – and installed a rear axle differential with a tricked-out clutch.

This allows the all-wheel-drive Mini to send power to the rear axle only when required, meaning a casual trip to the shops will render it a more frugal front-drive-only affair.

Further differentiating the flagship Mini SUV are uprated Brembo brakes with four-pot callipers up front, tucked beneath 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels, and sports suspension at all-four corners to make the most of the extra performance.

Also fitted is a sports bodykit to “optimise aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake”, according to Mini, while LED headlights, red-accented turn indicator surrounds, roof rails, roof-mounted spoiler, selectable driving modes and JCW-branded sports seats come as standard.

Although still months away from an Australian launch and Mini still in the process of finalising specification, options are expected to include a premium Harmon Kardon sound system, upgraded satellite navigation system, two-zone climate control, heated front seats and panoramic glass sunroof.

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