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Auto Show:  2012 New York Auto Show

Mini John Cooper Works Countryman: New York Auto Show

author photo by Nick Palermo April 2012
  • Compact SUV with 4- or 5-passenger seating
  • 208-horsepower turbo engine and optional 6-speed automatic
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Performance components, including brakes, suspension and aerodynamics

Each model in Mini's six-car lineup offers several degrees of tuning and performance, including the base Cooper trim and sportier Cooper S version. Mini's highest performance package, called John Cooper Works (JCW), bumps horsepower and includes suspension and styling tweaks. Their four-door vehicle is the latest to receive the Works treatment. At the New York Auto Show, Mini is displaying the John Cooper Works Countryman, the company's first vehicle to combine all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission with JCW tuning.

Offered in four-passenger or five-passenger configurations, the JCW Countryman sits lower than the Cooper and Cooper S and rides on 18-inch light alloy wheels. An aerodynamic body kit includes revised front and rear aprons and unique sills. Chrome tailpipes and John Cooper Works badges differentiate the model. Inside, contrasting red stitching accents the seats, sport steering wheel, shift knob and floor mats.

While more aggressive styling is certainly part of the JCW package, the real changes are geared toward performance. Output of the 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder is up to 208 in the JCW. It makes 207 lb-ft torque, which can temporarily jump to 221 lb-ft with an overboost function. Sportier exhaust tuning enhances power and gives the JCW Countryman a meaner sound.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. All-wheel drive is standard. The JCW Countryman also gets tighter suspension, with stiffer springs and beefier anti-roll bars. A model-specific high-performance braking system is standard, too.

The JCW Countryman may be larger and considerably heavier than other Mini JCW models with the same engine, but no other offers all-wheel drive or an automatic transmission. Four drive wheels should make the Mini more capable in a variety of driving conditions and allow it to more effectively put its increased power to the pavement. While negatively affecting performance, the automatic transmission option puts the John Cooper Works package in reach of those who prefer a two-pedal setup.

What it means to you: The John Cooper Works Countryman puts 208 horsepower to the pavement through all four wheels.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mini John Cooper Works Countryman: New York Auto Show - Autotrader