TopGear.com29 February 2012

It's the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works

Mini’s chubby crossover gets four-wheel drive and 215bhp

The Countryman is so fat its belt size is equator*. And its blood type is Yazoo**. But that hasn't put off John Cooper Works, which will debut this sportier four-wheel drive version at the Geneva motor show in March.

It gets Mini's all-new ALL4 AWD system as standard and a newly developed 1.6-litre direct injection four-pot with a twin-scroll turbocharger. Which means power's up to 215bhp and 207lb ft - that's 31bhp and 30lb ft up from an ordinary Cooper S.

See more pics of the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works

The JCW also comes with an aero kit, lowered sports suspension, 18-inch rims and - if you really really must - a six-speed automatic gearbox. Which makes it the first JCW to be offered with a slush ‘box.

There's no news on whether it's been on a diet, though.

This portly sportster brings the total number of Mini variants up to 41. But is it one too many, TopGear.commers?

Now watch James being driven by WRCist, Kris Meeke, in a slightly sprightlier version

*This isn't true.
**Nor is this.

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