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MINI is announcing their special John Cooper Works (JCW) edition Countryman ahead of its upcoming Geneva debut, touting it as a fun vehicle on any terrain.
The John Cooper Works edition will build on the already entertaining performance of the Countryman S to offer more horsepower, a tuned suspension and sport-inspired styling. MINI kept the same engine displacement, a 1.6-liter inline four cylinder, but tuned an extra 30 hp for a total 211-hp thanks to variable valve technology, direct injection and twin-scroll turbocharging borrowed from BMW.
Despite that power gain, the company claims the JCW will actually be more efficient. EPA numbers aren’t available yet but the car is predicted to get slightly better than 39 mpg, though MINI didn’t specify highway or city consumption. Those numbers will probably be available this Fall when production is set to begin.
A JCW suspension is supposed to keep the car feeling nimble and fun to drive, thanks to stiffer spring and damper settings, stronger anti-roll bars and a 0.4-inch lower ride. A chrome-tipped exhaust is also supposed to compliment the large intercooler present in the JCW model.
As was true in previous Countryman models, the drivetrain takes advantage of MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system, though consumers will be able to choose between the standard six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, a first for JCW cars.
Aside from performance tuning, the JCW package gets a number of visual upgrades. It’s available with a “chili” red roof and mirror caps as pictured above, among other exclusive paint color selections. The specified accents compliment the interior in the seats.
Specially-styled lightweight 18-inch aluminum alloys and JCW emblems set the car apart from other MINIs, though 19-inch wheels are an available option. Aside from the JCW badging, the car also gets new front and rear aprons and bespoke side-skirts.
We’ll be reporting from the Geneva Auto Show next week, covering this and all the other releases.
GALLERY: 2013 John Cooper Works MINI Countryman
The rally started back in 1978 and was originally called the Paris-Dakar rally due to its geographic location. However, due to safety concerns, the event was moved to South America in 2009, where it has remained to this day. The event is now simply called the Dakar rally, and for the 2012 event will cover 8000-kilometers (4968-miles). The route for the 2012 event will start from the Atlantic coast in Argentina to across South America and ending the event in Peru.
Each contestant will be required to cover 10% of the distance each day, and since the route will include vast desert landscapes, craggy canyons, impassable pebble plains and the Andes mountain, it will not be an easy trek. While only 50% of the competitors complete this grueling rally, it still attracts a vast array of trucks, bikes, quads and cars to this annual event.
One of the cars making its debut at the Dakar will be the Mini ALL4 Racing by the X-Raid team. They are entering five of these new rally cars which feature a 315-hp, 3.0-liter diesel engine. The all-wheel drive ALL4 is based on the new Mini Countryman.
Only time will tell if the Mini will prove victorious at the Dakar. The event starts on January 1, 2012.
A MINI Cooper S fitted with an experimental hybrid all-wheel drive system was spotted testing in winter climates, a surprise move for BMW, which has given no indication it was developing such a car.
Sharp-eyed readers will not the electric motor mounted between the rear wheels, as well as the “hybrid” stickers mounted on the vehicle. A traditional gas engine provides power to the front wheels.
Considering MINI has their All4 AWD system already, it could become superfluous if the hybrid AWD setup becomes a fixture during the 2013 revamp of MINI’s lineup. With BMW developing hybrid technology in collaboration with Peugeot and Citroen, the cost of such a system would be spread across a large number of models, and thus make it an affordable option for MINI cars.
[Source: Left Lane News]