The largest Mini that money can buy is now also the most powerful with the launch of the John Cooper Works Countryman.
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Photo by: Mini/BMW / Caption by:
The JCW Countryman receives a host of styling changes to differentiate itself from lesser trim levels.
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However, the average Mini enthusiast will be more interested in the sport-tuned suspension tweaks and power upgrades.
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Larger wheels and stickier tires improve aesthetics and grip, respectively.
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The new front end is supposed to look more aggressive, but--to my eyes--it looks like this Mini's just seen something horrible.
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Mini claims the JCW is more aerodynamic, but I can't see how this bauble is anything more than a styling cue. Then again, I'm no wind tunnel engineer.
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Under the JCW Countryman's hood breathes a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.
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Twin-scroll turbo technology allows Mini/BMW's engineers to extract 211 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. An Overboost mode temporarily elevates torque output to 221 pound-feet for short bursts of speed.
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Like the standard Countryman, the JCW model can send up to half of its available power to the rear axle thanks to its ALL4 all-wheel drive system.
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U.S. fuel economy hasn't been confirmed, but the JCW gets about 32.6 mpg (converted) on the U.K. test cycle.
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The cabin of the JCW Countryman receives a host of styling tweaks aimed at making the crossover as aggressive on the inside as it is on the outside.
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There's red piping on the sport bucket seats, red door trim, red dashboard accents, and red contrast stitching all over. I think I'm seeing a theme here.
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Contrast stitching on the steering wheel continues the "red means sporty" theme.
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Beyond the steering wheel is a large tachometer and not much else.
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Mini's navigation and Mini Connect systems will be available on this top-tier Countryman model, filling the center of the dinner-plate speedometer.
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Whether you shift for yourself or let a computer do it for you, the JCW Countryman's gearbox features six cogs.
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