MINI revealed the complete European specs of the new 2011 Countryman, and as well as other models that would probably not be offered in the US. The basic spec package was released last January but this is the first time for the entire set of details to come out. However, MINI is still mum about the John Cooper Works version that has been the subject of rumors. When browsing through the stats, the observant fan will likely notice that these models are considerably heavier than what’s expected of a MINI. In Europe, the Countryman will be offered in One, D (for diesel), Cooper, and Cooper S variants, with the Cooper D and Cooper S getting optional ALL4 all-wheel drive. Only the Cooper Countryman and Cooper S Countryman versions will be available in the US. This means that only one option is left for customers who want a sporty all-wheel-drive MINI hatch/crossover — the Cooper S ALL4 Countryman. This version is equipped with a 180hp turbocharged inline four-banger and buyers can opt between a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
The Cooper S ALL4 Countryman is quite heavier than the other Cooper hatch models. It weighs about 3,201 pounds by EU DIN spec, with the automatic transmission version bringing the weight up to 3,256 pounds. Performance will certainly be affected in comparison to the two-wheel drive standard MINI Cooper S. It’s likely to have slower acceleration, longer stopping distance, and lower lateral g-load. The Cooper S Countryman, without the all-wheel drive system, cuts 160 pounds from its curb weight to 3,045 pounds and has the same engine and transmission options.
It remains to be seen whether the all-wheel drive system will provide better acceleration or have improved off-road or soft-road performance despite the weight disadvantage. The regular Cooper Countryman, which will be the base model in the US, is lighter by 100 pounds when compared to the S. However, it only has the 120hp four-cylinder, the same engine used in the base MINI Cooper. It’s believed that if there really is a John Cooper Works version of the MINI Countryman in the works, it will likely come in the later part of 2011, after the regular models debut.