The second generation of the Mini Countryman is the biggest and most versatile model in the entire range of the tradition-steeped British brand. And another superlative now applies to the power unit of the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman. With an output of 170 kW/231 hp, it is the most powerful engine ever to be fitted in a Mini: in combination with the standard all-wheel drive system ALL4 and a robust vehicle concept, it ensures that the latest addition to the family of top John Cooper Works athletes takes the Mini experience to a whole new level – in terms of both race track feeling on the road and extreme driving fun over unsurfaced terrain.
The new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds with both the standard 6-speed manual transmission and the optional 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission. In doing so it is 0.8 or 0.7 seconds faster than the Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4. The superior performance qualities of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman are likewise reflected in its elasticity on interim sprints, cornering agility and deceleration performance. These qualities are the product of an overall package that has been compiled based on John Cooper Works racing expertise, including not just the engine and all-wheel drive system but also a sports suspension with 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels and Brembo sports brake system, special body features to optimize aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake, and a model-specific cockpit with John Cooper Works sports seats.
The exceptional standing of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman within the premium compact segment is underscored by means of exclusive standard features including Mini Driving Modes, LED headlamps, Comfort Access and the Radio Mini Visual Boost.
The new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is the successor to the brand’s first top athlete designed for the compact segment and fitted as standard with the all-wheel drive system ALL4. The new car’s advancement over its predecessor is reflected not just in an output that is increased by 10 kW/13 hp and the efficiency-optimized design of the ALL4 system but also in enlarged external dimensions and a considerable increase in space, versatility and functionality.
With an addition of some 17 centimetres in length and 3 centimetres in width along with a wheelbase extension of 7.5 centimetres, space availability on the five fully fledged seats is now significantly optimised. The luggage compartment can be expanded as required from 450 litres to as much as 1 390 litres. This makes the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman a top athlete with all-round qualities that provides extreme driving fun and exceptional versatility – whether on the race track, away from asphalted roads, in everyday traffic or over lengthier distances.
The new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will be presented to the public for the first time in April 2017 at the Shanghai Motor Show. The market launch will get underway in spring 2017.
In addition to state-of-the-art technology, the distinctive character of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is also derived from the brand’s longstanding and successful motor racing tradition. It was 55 years ago that the classic Mini clinched its first victory – when the Mini Cooper won the British Touring Car Championship. Since then the name of legendary sports car designer John Cooper has stood for the brand’s racing success and the extreme driving fun it offers on the road.
Exactly 50 years after the last of three outright wins by the classic Mini at the Monte Carlo Rally, the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman now points the way to further success in this discipline. The new edition of this all-rounder provides the basis for the competition vehicle developed by Mini and the X-raid Team for long-distance rallies. The Mini John Cooper Works Rally is set to take on the challenges of the world’s toughest marathon contests, starting with the Dakar Rally in 2017. As such it succeeds the Mini ALL4 Racing, which was developed based on the first generation of the Mini Countryman and won the Dakar Rally four times in succession.
The John Cooper Works brand has been integrated under the Mini umbrella for ten years. This close connection dates back to the early years of the classic Mini, whose sporting talent was discovered and promoted by John Cooper. Today it impacts positively on the extreme driving enjoyment offered by the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman. The engine, transmission, all-wheel drive, suspension, aerodynamics and cockpit design are not just geared towards top performance, they are also precisely harmonised with the vehicle concept of the new Mini Countryman. As a result, the latest John Cooper Works model is an overall package for thrilling performance, assembled with racing expertise.
The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine installed transversely at the front of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman demonstrates performance characteristics inspired by motor racing. It has a specific version of Mini TwinPower Turbo Technology with a turbocharging system integrated in the cast steel manifold, petrol direct injection, the fully variable valve control system VALVETRONIC and variable camshaft control (double VANOS). Made of highly temperature-resistant material, the turbocharger generates a charge-air pressure which is now increased to 2.2 bar. This creates the basis for highly energetic and long-lasting power delivery. The engine puts its maximum torque of 350 Newton metres on stream at between 1 450 and 4 500 rpm. It delivers its peak output of 170 kW/231 hp within an engine speed range of 5 000 and 6 000 rpm.
The standard 6-speed manual transmission is weight-optimized in design as well as exhibiting a high level of internal efficiency and shift comfort. A gear sensor enables active engine speed adaptation for particularly dynamic shifting. Short shifts and the model-specific gear lever knob facilitate precise gear selection. An 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission is optionally available, operated by means of a distinctively designed selector lever as well as shift paddles at the steering wheel. It offers particularly short shift times and a Launch Control function for traction-optimized sprint manoeuvres from standing.
This also has a positive impact on efficiency. With the standard manual transmission, the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman has a combined fuel consumption of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometers and a CO2 emissions level of 169 grams per kilometre. In conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, these figures are reduced to 6.9 litres and 158 grams respectively (provisional EU test cycle figures).
The performance capacity of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is not just very high, it is also extremely versatile in terms of the potential range of uses. This is due to the ALL4 all-wheel drive system, which not only optimizes traction on unsurfaced terrain such as dirt roads but also enhances ride stability in adverse weather conditions and improves agility when taking bends dynamically on the race track. The system’s electronic control unit is linked to the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), ensuring a consistently fast and precise response at all times in distributing the drive torque between the front and rear wheels.
The high-quality suspension technology of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman offers the perfect basis for maximum performance and enthralling handling properties. It is designed to harmonise with the extremely high engine output of this versatile top athlete as well as its long wheelbase, large track and low centre of gravity. A single-joint spring strut axle at the front is combined with a multilink rear axle in a model-specific version. What is more, the standard sports suspension of the new Mini John Cooper Works Clubman features a particularly tight set-up of the suspension and damping systems. The speed-related Servotronic steering support – likewise a standard feature – promotes precise handling on bends and comfortable manoeuvring at low speeds.
The sports brake system was designed in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Brembo and comprises 4-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels, guaranteeing consistently high deceleration rates even when subjected to intense use. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the John Cooper Works logo at the front. The Dynamic Stability Control system also ensures optimum traction on sprints, agility on bends and safe deceleration. Its functions include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) – which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential – and Performance Control for agile turning when taking bends at speed. The standard trim also includes 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Black Thrill Spoke. John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in the sizes 18 and 19 inches are optionally available.
The standard Mini Driving Modes enable a vehicle set-up that is geared towards both the situation on the road and the driver’s individual preferences. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever is used to activate the settings SPORT, MID and GREEN. This influences the characteristic curves of the accelerator pedal and steering, the engine acoustics, the shift characteristics of the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, if the latter is fitted, and the Dynamic Damper Control set-up.
The characteristics of the electronically controlled dampers are geared to a particularly dynamic driving style in SPORT mode and support a more comfort-oriented style in the other two modes. GREEN mode is designed for comfortable yet efficiency-optimized driving. A supporting feature here is the coasting function, which can be used in conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission. In GREEN mode, the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h as soon as the driver’s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal.
The exterior design of the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman expresses the model’s distinctive combination of extreme athleticism and exceptional versatility. With a length of 4299 millimeters, a width of 1822 millimeters and a height of 1557 millimeters, it is unmistakably the biggest top athlete in the family of John Cooper Works models. The typical proportions of a dynamic all-round sports car are further emphasized by model-specific features, in particular including the John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Kit. Key elements of the car’s powerful appearance include the large cooling inlets in the front apron, which take up the space reserved for parking lights and fog lamps in the new MINI Countryman. The standard roof rails and the model-specific roof spoiler underscore both the height of the body and the fact that its design is geared towards optimum aerodynamic balance.
Inside the new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman, the versatile performance qualities can be experienced on five fully fledged seats and in a characteristic sports car atmosphere. In addition to John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests, features such as the John Cooper Works sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever and the roof liner in anthracite all contribute to the car’s intense feeling of racing flair.
A distinctive cockpit design is combined with optimized space and a high degree of versatility. Head, shoulder and leg room are significantly more generous than in the predecessor model, both at the front and the rear. The rear seats can be shifted longitudinally by up to 13 centimeters in a 60:40 split, while additional versatility is provided by backrest elements that are tilt-adjustable and foldable in a 40:20:40 split. One unique option for pit stops in distinctive Mini style is the Picnic Bench, a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people. Another optional fitting is an electric tailgate control that allows touch-less opening and closing in conjunction with the standard Comfort Access.
Other options include the Harman Kardon hi-fi system, the Mini navigation system and the Mini navigation system Professional. The features of the Wired package including Mini navigation system Professional comprise the Touch Controller on the centre console and an 8.8-inch color screen in the central instrument; the latter is a touchscreen, allowing functions to be selected and adjusted at the tip of the finger. Also included in the Wired package is Mini Find Mate, one of the latest digital services to be added to Mini Connected.