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Mini Reveals New JCW Countryman

2012 Paris Motor Show

JCW crossover is the most powerful Mini yet and the first with all-wheel-drive.

Like the M division is to parent company BMW or Abarth is to rival Fiat, the John Cooper Works line represents the top performance models in the Mini family. And now Mini has applied the JCW treatment to the least mini of all the Minis: the Countryman. Channeling the spirit of the racecar which Mini campaigns in the World Rally Championship, the JCW Countryman is the first all-wheel-drive John Cooper Works model and also the most powerful to date.

It packs a new version of the company's 1.6-liter turbocharged four, with Valvetronic variable valve timing, direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger to deliver 218 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through the brand's All4 four-wheel drive system. That's the same power as the hardcore JCW GP hatchback, but with more torque. The result is a 7.0-second 0-62 time, combined with a sportier appearance and tighter handling than a standard Countryman and more utility than any of the five existing JCW models which the upgraded Countryman joins in the Cooper catalog.

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It comes equipped with a full aero kit, rides on unique 18-inch wheels, and can accommodate four passengers with the individual rear buckets (or five with the no-cost optional rear bench) or up to 1,170 liters of cargo space. Buyers can choose from seven exterior body colors and three roof/mirror colors, including black, white or the JCW-exclusive red, with optional stripes to match the roof. The vehicle will be unveiled at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, and built by Magna Steyr in Austria, with the engine shipped in from Mini's main plant in England.