RAC Cars News


Next year’s JCW Mini Countryman spied

By raccars Published


New Mini SUV-style range-topper is spotted ahead of its predicted release next year.

There has been another sighting of the range-topping Mini Countryman John Cooper Works (JSW), fuelling speculation that it will be launched in the early part of next year.

The latest spy shots also reveal a little more detail about the hot Mini Countryman, including its redesigned grille, front bumper and side windows. And, of course, the standard Countryman has already made its debut at the recent LA motor show.

Shared features

The JCW Countryman is believed to be powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, shared with the standard JCW Mini hatchback. This produces 228bhp and should be accompanied by the All4 Mini all-wheel drive; the same system that can be found in the JCW Clubman. The latter can manage a zero to 62mph sprint in 6.3 seconds, although the Countryman is expected to be slightly slower.

Mini has refused to confirm when the JCW Countryman will be available to buy but there is no doubt that it has reached an advanced testing stage. When it comes to cost, logic suggests that the price tag for the Mini JCW Countryman should sit around the £32,000 mark, given that the SD All4, which is the next-best spec variant, costs £29,565.

The Mini Countryman in LA

The new Mini Countryman is the second-generation of the model since the rebirth of the brand and is the largest car ever produced by the firm. The model is 30mm wider and 200mm longer than previously and it moves up to become a C-segment car, sitting between its major rivals, the Audi Q3 and Q2, when it comes to size.

The wheelbase is 75mm longer, offering 50mm more legroom in the rear and an additional 100 litres of boot space. This means that the new Mini Countryman offers 450 litres of storage at the rear as standard and 1,309 litres if the seats are down.

The increased size has influenced a design which emphasises the car’s SUV elements. All of the cars destined for the UK market have silver sill plates and roof rails, creating an on-trend off-roader appearance when combined with the model’s high shoulder line and sculpted sides.

It will available to buy in Britain from February and prices will start at £22,465. Nicolas Griebner, the head of product at Mini UK, said that the new design offers a rugged and tough feel, highlighting the fact that the model is the perfect car in which to enjoy an adventure.

The new Mini Countryman gets the same pop-out rear tail-lamps as the Mini hatch and also shares its wide grille and large LED headlights. The rear number plate, meanwhile, moves up onto the car’s boot lid to mirror the other cars in Mini’s updated range. Griebner claims that it is the customisation of the Countryman which differentiates the model from its rivals.

Get inside the new Countryman

Inside the new Mini, it is clear that many elements are shared with the Mini hatch, including the circular central screen, gear lever and dials. The dash is more substantial, however, and has a more grown-up feel thanks to its ambient lighting and vertical air vents.

Under the bonnet, the Countryman will be offered with a choice of five engines including two diesels, two petrols, and a plug-in hybrid. The latter marks a first for Mini. There will be the opportunity to have the All4 system across the range and there will be plenty of options in terms of manual or automatic gearboxes.

When the new Countryman is launched at the start of next year the Cooper with a three-cylinder 134bhp petrol unit will be the entry-level model. The Cooper D will have a four-cylinder 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel and the Cooper SD will be powered by the same unit tuned to deliver 187bhp.

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