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Mini Countryman Gains John Cooper Works Model

When the Mini Countryman crossover went on sale in 2011, it was only available in base Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper S with ALL4 models. Now, Mini is adding a 2013 John Cooper Works model to the lineup that may give shoppers who want a more powerful Countryman just what they’re looking for.

In a press release, Mini says that the John Cooper Works Countryman will have a standard all-wheel drive system called ALL4 and a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 211 horsepower. That’s 3 horsepower more than Mini’s other John Cooper Works models and 30 horsepower more than the Countryman S. The Countryman will also be the first John Cooper Works model to offer the choice between the standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

Car and Driver tested a preproduction version of the John Cooper Works Countryman, and while that model made a lower 208 horsepower, they were impressed with its performance. “The truth is, however, that no JCW Mini really needs more power,” says Car and Driver. “What they need is better traction, and that’s what the Countryman delivers. … Hard acceleration from a standstill or out of corners shows a marked improvement from the torque-steer-heavy front-drive JCW models.”

Inside, the John Cooper Works Countryman gets a few special touches. “The cabin is trimmed in piano black and features black cloth sport seats with red stitching; leather is optional,” says Inside Line. “Other touches include a sport steering wheel and gearshift gaiter with red contrast stitching, dark speedo and tach, and anthracite headliner.”

Outside, the John Cooper Works Countryman has 18-inch wheels, an aerodynamic kit, chrome tailpipes and a John Cooper Works logo on the door sills.

Mini hasn’t specified pricing, but the Hardtop John Cooper Works costs $10,400 more than the base Mini Hardtop. A United States release date for the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman hasn’t been announced, but global production begins in fall 2012.

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