The freshly revealed Mini Countryman John Cooper Works boasts 170kW of power and 350Nm of torque, making the brand's all-wheel drive crossover its most powerful and largest production model to date.
BMW Australia product communications manager Adam Davis told CarsGuide that the newest addition to the JCW stable will arrive locally mid-year after its public debut at the Shanghai motor show in April.
The Countryman's 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is shared with the entire JCW family, producing the same 170kW, but this model's additional 30Nm of torque gives it a heady peak figure of 350Nm.
The crossover's maximum power spread (5000-6000rpm) is wider than other JCW models (5200-6000rpm), but peak torque is more restricted – 1450-4500rpm in the Countryman compared with its cousin's 1250-4800rpm offering.
Sprinting to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds with either the six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission fitted, the Countryman JCW is 0.8 and 0.7s faster than the previous model, respectively, along with a top speed of 234km/h.
Fuel economy figures are improved - rated at 7.4L/00km for manual variants and 6.9L/100km for the automatic versions.
Mini's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system has been recalibrated – now incorporating electronic differential lock control and dynamic traction control – and a tricked-out clutch with rear axle differential has been installed, which helps power reach all-four corners.
A routine supermarket shop will be a more economical front-drive only experience with the JCW functioning as a two-wheel drive until extra grip is needed when the rear axle is brought into play.
Most prominent is the addition of a sports bodykit that is fitted to the Countryman.
The top-of-the-range model also receives extra performance from its sports suspension for all-four corners, 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels and upgraded Brembo brakes with four-pot calipers.
The Mini also cops some serious styling upgrades with JCW-branded sports seats, a roof-mounted spoiler, red-accented indicator surrounds, roof rails, LED headlights and selectable driving modes as standard kit.
Most prominent is the addition of a sports bodykit that is fitted to the Countryman to “optimise aerodynamic properties and cooling air intake”, according to Mini.
Mini is currently in the process of determining local specifications, but the options list is expected to include a panoramic glass sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, an upgraded satellite navigation system and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.
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