MINI introduces all-wheel-drive John Cooper Works Countryman

Article by Anita Panait, on September 11, 2012

MINI is introducing the latest member of its John Cooper Works range -- the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, which promises to provide race-bred excitement coupled with driving exhilaration brought by its all-wheel-drive transmission setup. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is powered by a newly developed four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

Considered to be the most powerful engine in the MINI model range, this 1.6-litre power plant could provide up to 160 kW/218 hp of output and 280 Nm/207 lb-ft of peak torque, which could be increased up to 300 Nm/221 lb-ft with overboost.

The engine powering the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is made using construction principles and materials tailored particularly from race-trim cars. The engine is a combination of twin-scroll turbocharger, petrol direct injection and fully variable valve management that is based on BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology.

With this specs, the engine enables the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.0 seconds while logging one of best efficiencies in this output class. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also employs an extensive range of minimalism technology, including Brake Energy Regeneration, Gear Shift Indicator, Auto Start-Stop function and Electric Power Steering.

Power from the engine is transmitted through the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, which allows its drivers to cruise on any terrain.

In addition to its powertrain and chassis technology, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is fitted with four doors, a large tailgate and up to five seats, allowing it to be marketed towards additional target groups in another new segment. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will be available in the United Kingdom for a price of £28,595.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is laden with an array of sporty equipment exclusive only to the model. These interior equipment features reflect the sporty and dynamic exterior appearance of the all-wheel drive MINI Countryman John Cooper Works as well as its race-inspired interior.

For instance, the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works features – as standard -- front foglamps, a run-flat indicator, air conditioning and remote control central locking as well as electric front and rear windows. In addition, the new MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is provided – also as standard – with the Centre Rail storage and attachment system and the radio MINI Boost CD.

Of course, buyers could personalize their new MINI Countryman John Cooper Works with options that are available for MINI Countryman models, thereby making it more comfortable, more functional and more suitable to the taste and preferences of its new owners.

Drivers would be delighted to learn that their throne inside the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works will be specially designed sports seats, as specified in Diagonal Track John Cooper Works Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching. Customers may also avail of sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red.

As standard, the vehicle’s cockpit, door panels and center console are accented with trim strips in Piano Black, although Chili Red trim elements could also be availed. The optional Chili Red trim elements include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, as well as a red stripe for the black trim elements on the vehicle’s center console. The door sills feature special John Cooper Works lettering.

On the other hand, the new MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is provided with a sports steering wheel with the John Cooper Works logo and red contrast stitching. The vehicle is also provided with dark dials for the rev counter and the speedometer, a gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering and red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter. In addition, the vehicle features an anthracite-colored roof liner and floor mats with red stitching.

Press Release

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman

The MINI family is constantly expanding, and new additions have also been made to the range of John Cooper Works models. For the first time, race-bred thrills can be experienced in combination with the transfer of power through all four wheels. The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works, fitted with the most powerful engine in the MINI model range and equipped as standard with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, assures the driver of extreme driving fun on any terrain. Powertrain and chassis technology underpinned by extensive motor sport expertise teams up with the vehicle concept of the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate and up to five seats to introduce the famed handling characteristics and looks of John Cooper Works models to additional target groups in another new segment.

The MINI Countryman has displayed its sporting potential in a string of impressive performances in the World Rally Championship (WRC) - proof, were it needed, that the brand's first five-seater shares the racing genes which define the character of every MINI. Now John Cooper Works has polished these inherent talents to dazzling effect in a production model.

Unique combination: variable-usage interior, impressive output, poise and assurance in an extremely wide range of road conditions.

Within its class, the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works brings an unrivalled combination of race-focused powertrain technology, all-wheel drive, premium profile and versatile interior to the table. And its inimitable style also comes to the fore through various design features and an exclusive selection of paint finishes, light-alloy wheels and interior materials. The standard equipment of the sixth model in the John Cooper Works line-up includes an aerodynamic kit which lends extra muscle to the front and rear apron, as well as bespoke side skirts, 18-inch light-alloy wheels and the sports car cockpit ambience which has become a speciality of John Cooper Works models.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works captures the imagination by imbuing the traditional MINI go-kart handling characteristics with an even sharper edge. The fast and precise responses of the all-wheel-drive system allow it to demonstrate impressive poise and assurance in challenging road and weather conditions and off the beaten track. The 4,133-millimetre-long, 1,789-millimetre-wide and 1,549-millimetre-tall MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is equally adept when it comes to crossing the boundaries of urban mobility, and its generous levels of space and seating comfort encourage the driver and passengers to admire the qualities of this versatile performance athlete over longer journeys as well.

Four or five seats, up to 1,170 litres of luggage space.

With short overhangs, a high waistline and a powerful over-the-wheel stance, the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works draws its design inspiration from the time-honoured MINI template. The family ties are also emphasised by styling cues such as the characteristic contours of the radiator grille, large headlights set into the bonnet, voluminous wheel arches and vertical rear light clusters. Features particular to this model include the John Cooper Works badges on the radiator grille and tailgate, and red-backed, anthracite-coloured side indicator surrounds on the diagonal link between the A-pillars and the front wheel arches. Customers can choose from a selection of seven exterior paint shades. The contrast paint finish for the roof and exterior mirror can be ordered in the red shade exclusive to John Cooper Works models, as well as white and black. Sport Stripes in the same colours are available as an option.

The rear of the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works can be specified with either a seat bench for three passengers or - as a no-cost option - two individual seats. The rear seats can slide fore and aft in a 60 : 40 split (if the three-seat bench is specified) or individually, and their backrests can be adjusted for tilt and folded down individually or in a 40 : 20 : 40 split (three-seat bench) to increase boot capacity from 350 to as much as 1,170 litres. The Centre Rail storage and attachment system is also part of standard specification.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works will be built at the BMW Group's partner firm Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz, Austria. Production will take place alongside the other variants of the MINI Countryman on a separate assembly line set up and operated according to the exacting standards of the BMW Group. As with all the brand's models, the high-performance powerplant for this sharpest of all MINI Countryman models will be sourced from the Hams Hall engine plant, one corner of the MINI Production Triangle in England.

Cutting-edge technology delivers unbeatable performance. Engine and gearbox.

The motor sport roots of John Cooper Works are reflected in a constant thirst for new performance benchmarks. This ambition has inspired even more power from the new four-cylinder engine in the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works, as well as ensuring further gains in efficiency. The latest generation of the twin-scroll turbocharged engine benefits from both petrol direct injection and variable valve control based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology. This throttle-free load control system significantly improves both the engine's responsiveness and its efficiency. Reinforced pistons and intake valves, and further optimisation of the cooling, air supply and exhaust gas discharge system, enable additional increases in output and torque. Added to which, the 1.6-litre engine's turbocharger is given a particularly large intercooler.

Central construction principles of the four-cylinder engine and many of its technical details betray a direct link to the development of race-trim engines. Its cylinder block and bearing mounts are made from aluminium and join forces with reinforced pistons, a particularly high-strength cylinder head and low-weight crankshafts. The four valves of each cylinder are operated by two overhead camshafts, low-friction rocker arms and hydraulic valve clearance compensation elements. The exhaust valves are sodium-filled to help provide the extra cooling required by a turbocharged engine.

High output, extra torque via the overboost function, distinctive soundtrack and the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works's engine develops its maximum output of 160 kW/218 hp at 6,000 rpm. Peak torque of 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft) is on tap between 1,900 and 5,000 rpm, but can be increased to 300 Newton metres (221 lb-ft) for short and particularly sharp bursts of acceleration between 2,100 and 4,500 rpm using the overboost function.

The sports exhaust system - its slanting tailpipe embellishers providing an extra dose of the hallmark John Cooper Works design - gives this outstanding power delivery a fitting soundtrack.

As an alternative to the standard-specification six-speed manual gearbox, customers can also order a six-speed automatic as an option. Detailed tweaks have been made to both the gearboxes themselves and the clutch for the manual variant to take into account the extra engine power and ensure outstanding performance combined with optimised efficiency. The automatic's Steptronic function allows the driver to change gear manually using either the selector lever on the centre console or the steering wheel shift paddles. Pressing the standard-fitted Sport Button, located in front of the selector lever on the centre console, speeds up the gear changes in automatic mode to enable particularly rapid acceleration. The Sport Button also tweaks the engine's responses and acoustic profile, and the power assistance provided by the steering, in both automatic and manual models.

Intoxicating acceleration, impressive efficiency.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works needs just 7.0 seconds to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) - with either the manual or the automatic gearbox. Top speed is 225 km/h (140 mph) for the manual and 223 km/h (139 mph) for its automatic sibling.

The standard-fitted MINIMALISM technology and the engine's inherent efficiency combine to provide levels of economy that are all the more remarkable given the performance available. The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works records average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.4 litres per 100 km / 38.2 mpg imp (automatic: 7.9 l / 35.8 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 172 (184) grams per kilometre.

These low fuel consumption and emissions figures are the result of constant additions to the suite of MINIMALISM technology. Brake Energy Regeneration, for example, focuses on generating electricity for the on-board network during periods when the car is coasting and braking. If the manual gearbox is specified, the Auto Start-Stop function switches the engine off automatically when the driver stops at junctions or in a tailback, while the Gear Shift Indicator advises the driver of the ideal time to change gear in order to maximise efficiency. Among the other components helping to give the John Cooper Works Countryman its efficiency edge are the Electric Power Steering, whose electric motor only uses energy when power assistance is actually required, a map-controlled oil pump, an on-demand coolant pump, lightweight construction elements and optimised aerodynamic properties.

Poise and assurance on the road and beyond. Power transfer and chassis.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works delivers extreme driving fun on any terrain through the confluence of unbridled engine power, traction optimised to the situation at hand and assured roadholding. Its new engine develops higher output than any MINI before it, the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system transfers this power to the road to maximum effect, and the John Cooper Works chassis conjures up inspirational agility with every turn of the steering wheel.

The racing expertise of John Cooper Works, built up over many years of competition experience, is also reflected in the precise interplay of engine, power transfer systems and chassis. Spirited acceleration, enthralling handling and variable power distribution between the front and rear wheels combine to imbue the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works with a fresh take on the classic racing feeling.

MINI ALL4: the key to extreme driving fun on and off the beaten track.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is the first model from the fold to send the imposing output from its motor sport-inspired engine through all four wheels. The new car's ALL4 all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic centre differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front and rear axles. This ensures the engine's power always finds its way to where it can be converted most effectively into forward motion.

In normal driving situations ALL4 diverts 50 per cent of the engine's power to the rear wheels, rising to as much as 100 per cent in extreme conditions, such as on ice and snow-covered surfaces. This provides a traction-led expression of the handling talents for which MINI is famed, whatever the weather and road conditions.

The control electronics of the MINI ALL4 system are integrated directly into the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) management unit, which gives ALL4 response times of less than a tenth of a second. The system examines the data collected by DSC precisely and uses it to carry out pre-emptive adjustments in the distribution of power. And that means the driver enjoys outstanding agility combined with surefooted - in other words, typically MINI - driving characteristics. The MINI ALL4 system's proactive interventions optimise stability and traction through dynamically taken corners, for example, by distributing drive as required and therefore delaying the moment when DSC has to step in to prevent spinning wheels.

Sports suspension, including lower ride height, as standard.

Another central element in defining the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works's elite sporting character is its chassis technology, which includes a single-joint MacPherson spring strut front axle and forged cross members, a central-arm rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speed-sensitive power assistance, and extremely effective brakes with red callipers. The front brake discs are 307 millimetres in diameter and 24 millimetres thick, while the rear discs measure 296 x 10 millimetres. The standard sports suspension includes extremely firm tuning for the springs and dampers, strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10-millimetre drop in ride height.

18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels with polished spoke fronts and black rim wells are fitted as standard and come with 225/45 R18 format tyres. 19-inch light-alloy wheels designed exclusively for the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works are also available as an option.

The standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system also comprises DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode, which allows a degree of wheel spin to help the driver pull away on loose sand or snow, for example. In DSC Off mode, an electronic locking function for the front axle differential comes into play. In tight corners it brakes a spinning wheel as required to improve handling. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system enhances the car's traction without adversely affecting its steering properties.

The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works's assured road manners are complemented by a comprehensive array of safety equipment. The car's high-strength body structure teams up with standard safety features that include front and side airbags, side curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, three-point inertia-reel seat belts for all occupants, belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the front seats, and ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear to provide outstanding occupant protection all-round. The MINI Countryman was awarded the maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing.

That racing feeling - with an individual touch. Equipment and accessories.

Exclusive equipment features underline both the premium character of the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works and its unmistakable racing focus. The all-wheel-drive performance model matches its distinctive exterior details with a bespoke interior that conjures up a full-blooded sports car ambience. Also included in standard specification are front foglamps, air conditioning, a run-flat indicator, electric windows front and rear, remote control central locking, the Centre Rail storage and attachment system, and the radio MINI Boost CD. Customers can also order their cars with all the comfort, functionality and individuality-enhancing options available for the other MINI Countryman models, a full complement of MINI Connected features and bespoke John Cooper Works accessories.

Racing ambience for the cockpit.

Sports seats in Diagonal Track John Cooper Works Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching have been designed specially for the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works, while similarly exclusive options such as the sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red can also be ordered. The trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and centre console come in Piano Black as standard. The optional Chili Red trim elements, meanwhile, are exclusive to the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works and include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, and a red stripe for the black trim elements on the centre console.

The door sills come with special John Cooper Works lettering. Added to which, the sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, the dark 260 km/h (162 mph) speedometer and rev counter dials, an anthracite-coloured roof liner, a gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering, red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter, and floor mats with red stitching add further depth to the cockpit's racing ambience.

High-quality options for enhanced comfort, functionality and individuality; innovative MINI Connected functions.

The John Cooper Works model can also be ordered with all the options offered for its MINI Countryman siblings. Highlights include xenon Adaptive Headlights with black headlight housing, Comfort Access, automatic climate control, heated seats, Park Distance Control, multifunction buttons for the steering wheel (including cruise control), an electrically operated tilting/sliding glass sunroof, a rain sensor with automatic headlamp activation, and automatically dimming rear-view mirror and exterior mirrors. Among the features available to further enhance the car's functionality are a storage package, a level load compartment floor with removable cover and a luggage compartment partition net.

As alternatives to the standard radio MINI Boost CD, options such as the harman/kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system, radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI navigation system are on hand to take care of entertainment and navigation requirements. They are joined on the options list by a voice control system, a hands-free system/mobile phone preparation and a DAB tuner for receiving digital radio programmes.

The MINI Connected option also gives John Cooper Works Countryman owners access to a wide range of infotainment, communications and driving experience-related services, and allows full Apple iPhone integration. Specially developed apps enable numerous functions to be accessed inside the car, such as web radio, Facebook and Twitter usage, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement, Mission Control and the MINIMALISM Analyser.

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