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New MINI Countryman John Cooper Works arrives to spice up the range

The latest generation of the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works hot SUV arrives as the lineup’s flagship performance model

  • 2.0-litre petrol engine with 296bhp
  • All-wheel drive
  • Starts from £41,520 and available to order now

Following the unveiling of the new MINI Countryman SUV a few months back, the brand has now released its flagship high-performance John Cooper Works Countryman. 

Intriguingly, while the new Countryman JCW’s 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine means it will be no slouch, it actually produces 6bhp less than the outgoing model. This equates to a slightly slower 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds, compared to the old car’s 5.1-second figure. 

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The latest JCW model is only available with an automatic gearbox, getting MINI’s dual-clutch Sport DCT transmission.

As it’s based on the latest Countryman, the Countryman JCW gets its new, chunkier, squarer design with flush door handles replacing the classic chrome look from before. A new more upright stance compared to the old car means it’s more usable and practical day-to-day – boot space with the seats up has increased by 10 litres, while folding the seats down gives 60 litres more space than the old car.

As you’d expect, the John Cooper Works adds a touch of sporty character to the exterior styling, with larger air intakes on the bumpers, a blacked-out grille, and flashes of red on the roof, wing mirrors and bumpers. The sportiest Countryman model also gets unique 19-inch alloy wheels. MINI is also keen to point out that this new hot Countryman is the first of its cars to sport the newly redesigned John Cooper Works badge.

As with the standard model, the Countryman JCW gets a new minimalist interior, with the striking circular OLED infotainment screen in homage to the classic MINI’s central speedometer sitting atop the dashboard. Unique to the John Cooper Works version is a red and black colour scheme, and sports seats for the front occupants.

The dash also features MINI’s new Experience Modes switch, allowing the driver to toggle between driving modes including ‘Go-kart mode’, which increases engine noise into the cabin and firms up the chassis to make the Countryman JCW feel more nimble. The interior ambient lighting also changes to reflect the Experience mode you’re in.

The MINI Countryman is available to order now, costing from £41,520.

A new electric version of MINI's Cooper model is coming, as well as an updated version of the petrol model which you can read about here...

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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