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Geneva show: Mini Countryman gets JCW tweaks

On the way: Mini has given the Countryman crossover the John Cooper Works treatment.

Hot John Cooper Works version of the Mini Countryman for Oz this year

Mini logo2 Mar 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

MINI Australia has announced it will add a John Cooper Works high-performance version of the Countryman compact SUV by the end of this year.

The JCW Countryman – the first car in the expanding Mini family to combine the John Cooper tweaks and all-wheel drive – will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show next week.

Mini Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told GoAuto the JCW would emerge in Australia “in the fourth quarter”.

Power comes from a massaged version of the familiar 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine also fitted to all the other Mini JCW versions, but this time tuned to produce 5kW more power (160kW) and 20Nm more torque (280Nm).

Torque climbs as high as 300Nm with the Overboost function engaged.

While the standard gearbox is a carry-over six-speed manual, the Countryman will be the first JCW to also offer the six-speed steptronic automatic as an option.

39 center imageThe little crossover can hustle from zero to 100km/h in 7.0 seconds on the way to a 225km/h top speed while fuel consumption is a respectable 7.2L/100km (8.0L/100km for the auto).

In addition to the ‘All4’ all-wheel-drive system found on high-end Countryman models, the JCW Countryman gets upgraded sports seats and sports steering wheel, a different stability control system, lowered sports suspension and a bigger exhaust system.

Standard cosmetic accoutrements include an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch black and silver light-alloy wheels, and exclusive design features such as contrasting red body stripes and roof colours.

The JCW Countryman will be joined on the car-maker’s Geneva stand by the special-edition Mini Baker Street and Bayswater Hatches – both of which are confirmed for Australia from May – and Highgate Cabrio.

As we have reported (see link below), Mini Australia will next year introduce the Paceman, a three-door SUV/coupe based on the Countryman.

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