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Here it is: the new Mini Countryman JCW

Biggest Mini ever gets big power to match in the John Cooper Works edition

Hot on the heels of our drive of the new Mini Countryman comes details of its upcoming JCW version. The most powerful version of the biggest Mini yet gets its official debut at Shanghai in April.

So, which parts of the Countryman have Mini beefed up to make the John Cooper Works? Well, you might be able to guess – the engine, suspension and brakes. Seems logical, doesn’t it? 

Underneath the bonnet is a tricked-up version of Mini’s 2.0-litre turbo four, with 231bhp and 258lb ft on offer. This is due to more turbo pressure – 32psi, in fact – as well as JCW-specific pistons and a sports exhaust.

Mini says it’s the “brand’s most powerful engine to date”, which should go some way towards clawing back the kind of performance one would expect from a JCW Mini. 

As such, despite the Countryman’s ever-larger dimensions – getting on for 4.3 metres long, and more than a ton and a half now – zero to 62 is all over in 6.5 seconds. And that’s still pretty brisk for a 2.0-litre SUV. 

The engine is, it must be said, the same as a three-door JCW. Even so, the official zero to 62 time is only 0.4 of a second faster in the much smaller hatch.

Check out the difference to the old Countryman JCW here:

An on-demand all-wheel-drive system should mean that all 231 horses and 258 torques can be safely deployed in most climatic conditions, but as it is a reactive system, there’ll likely be a moment’s response before you’re at the helm of an all-wheel-drive JCW.

Keeping this all in check is a revised suspension setup that’s guaranteed to be even harder and more screwed down than the Cooper S, as well as a Brembo performance brake setup with four-piston calipers up front. 

So, what do you think? Is the JCW Countryman a fun Mini in a family package? Or is it just a big and ungainly SUV, riding the coattails of the John Cooper name?

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