Mini brings John Cooper Works performance to Countryman crossover

Why? Because it could, that's why!

Mini can shove just about any engine it makes in just about any model it produces. And that, dear readers, is why Mini just built a performance crossover.

For the 2018 model year, Mini will offer the John Cooper Works Countryman, which mates Mini's performance engine with a body style not usually associated with performance. Its turbocharged I4 engine puts out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to clear 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds quicker than the Cooper S Countryman All4.

BMW will force you to enjoy performance crossovers, no matter which of its brands you're interested in.

Mini

Speaking of All4 all-wheel drive, that comes as standard equipment on the JCW Countryman. Other additions unique to this trim level include a sportier suspension, Brembo brakes and new 18-inch alloys. After all, when you've got that much more power, you'll want to make sure the car can handle it, even if the driver never takes it farther than the Nordstrom across town.

Other than the JCW-specific touches inside and out, the Countryman remains pretty well equipped. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, a panoramic moonroof, keyless entry and rear parking sensors.

Sadly, one cannot combine the JCW trim with the Countryman's new plug-in hybrid variant, because a speedier electric car wouldn't be a bad idea. That model is still not yet on sale, with a release date set for June 2017.

In fact, the 2017 Countryman has barely had time to breathe on dealer lots, so it's sort of silly to see a 2018 model previewed already, nevertheless one that's slated to go on sale in April.

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