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by Tim Beissmann

The most powerful production Mini in history – the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works – has been revealed ahead of its unveiling at next week’s Geneva motor show.

The Countryman becomes the sixth model line in Mini’s range to feature a high-performance JCW variant, following the Cooper hatch, Cabrio, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster models.

Unlike the rest of the range, however, the Mini Countryman JCW gets a unique engine tune, giving it a slight edge over the rest of the line-up. The BMW-developed 1.6-litre turbocharged engine produces 160kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 280Nm of torque (2000-5600rpm), which increases to 300Nm on overboost.

Mini’s ‘All4’ all-wheel-drive system comes standard, and for the first time the JCW model can be ordered with a six-speed automatic transmission as an option to the six-speed manual.

Mini says the Countryman JCW accelerates from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds (7.5secs auto), and uses 7.2 litres of fuel per 100km on the European combined cycle.

Under the body is a brake package specific to the Countryman JCW, as well as sports suspension and strengthened anti-roll bars, lowering the ride height by 10mm.

The on-board ‘Sport’ button enhances the responsiveness and sound of the engine and the power assistance provided by the steering.

The go-fast exterior kit includes 18-inch lightweight alloys, sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes, a muscular aerodynamics package and John Cooper Works badges.

Red, black and white paint can be used to contrast the roof and mirror caps, while red can also be splashed throughout the cabin across the exclusive sports seats, dashboard and door inserts.

Also included is a sports steering wheel with red stitching and JCW logo, anthracite-coloured roof liner, red-stitched gearstick with red pattern lettering and matching floor mats.

Expect the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works to be priced around $60,000 when it arrives in Australia before the end of this year. Local specifications will be revealed in the lead-up to its local launch.




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