Mini’s most powerful models to date will make you want to take the long way home

While the original Mini wasn’t designed to race, it didn’t take long for race car drivers on both sides of the pond to discover its huge performance potential. The BMW-owned firm is keeping this tradition going by releasing John Cooper Works-badged variants of its Clubman and Countryman models. Both earn the honor of being the most powerful models the firm has ever released in its 60-year history.

While they compete in different segments of the market, the Clubman (pictured above) and the Countryman (pictured below) are nearly identical on paper. Both are powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that channels 301 horsepower and a stout 331 pound-feet of torque to the four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual transmission available previously is gone, likely due to a lack of demand from buyers.

Mini quotes 0-to-60-mph times of 4.9 and 5.1 seconds for the Clubman and the Countryman, respectively. To put those figures into perspective, the latest John Cooper Works variants are 1.4 and 1.5 seconds quicker to 60 mph than the models they replace. That’s a significant difference motorists won’t need to visit a race track to feel. Fuel economy figures will be released closer to both models’ on-sale date.

Engineers tweaked the suspension and installed bigger brakes to help twisty road addicts make the most of the turbo four’s power. An array of different driving modes change the car’s character from a corner carver to a comfortable cruiser, and any setting in between.

Both models emerged from the design studio with a trim-specific look characterized by bigger air vents chiseled into the front bumper to direct more cooling air into the engine bay, a sprinkling of red accents, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the front passengers are treated to sport seats and a 6.5-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The list of options includes a bigger 8.8-inch screen with navigation and real-time traffic information, among other features. Apple CarPlay compatibility is an optional extra.

The Mini Countryman John Cooper Works and the Mini Clubman John Cooper Works will both begin to arrive in showrooms in time for the 2020 model year. Look for a pricing announcement in the coming months. While we love the sound of a 301-horsepower Mini, we’re even more excited for the Hardtop-based John Cooper Works GP model expected to land soon with the same engine and a Batman-approved design.

Product Review

You don't need a gaming phone, but the Red Magic 3 will make you want one

Gaming phones have arrived, and Nubia has pulled a tempting example from its top hat in the shape of the impressive Red Magic 3. A huge display, speedy performance, and more make this a dream phone for gaming.
Product Review

The 2020 Alpina B7 is a BMW 7 Series crossed with a bullet train

Alpina began making hot-rodded BMWs years before anyone heard of an M5. Digital Trends traveled to scenic Bavaria to put the B7, its flagship model, through its paces on a variety of roads.
Gaming

Dr. Mario World gets downloaded 2 million times in first 72 hours after launch

Dr. Mario World was downloaded 2 million times and earned $100,000 in its first 72 hours, according to Sensor Tower. The game did not match the performance of other Nintendo mobile games, but its revenue is still considered healthy.
Computing

What's the best affordable but powerful laptop? We compare two of the best

There are a growing number of 13-inch laptops that provide great performance, build quality, and battery life at increasingly affordable prices. Our favorite is the Asus ZenBook 13, but can it be challenged by the Acer Swift 3?
Cars

Ford and Roush built a Mustang inspired by a legendary WWII fighter plane

Ford and tuner Roush teamed up to build a one-off 2019 Mustang GT inspired by the P-51 Mustang World War II fighter plane. The car will be auctioned off to benefit programs run by the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Cars

Lotus Evija electric supercar is bursting with cutting-edge tech

The Lotus Evija is the latest in a steadily growing crop of electric supercars. Lotus is aiming for 2,000 horsepower, with the fastest-charging battery of any electric car so far.
Cars

You won’t believe how quickly Red Bull changed all four tires on this F1 car

Red Bull has just bagged the record for the fastest pit-lane stop in the history of F1 racing. The team changed all four tires on the racing car in just 1.91 seconds at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
Deals

Walmart extends its Prime Day deals on Schwinn, Razor and Hyper E-Ride ebikes

Amazon Prime Day 2019 may have passed but Walmart doesn't care. Walmart's Google Week and Big Save summer sale continue with excellent deals on five ebikes including two each from Schwinn and Hyper E-Ride and an electric Razor Metro.
Cars

Playing Forza inspired this gamer to 3D-print a Lamborghini for his son

Lamborghini charges about $400,000 for an Aventador S, so Colorado physicist Sterling Backus decided to make one in his garage for $20,000. Working with his son, he is painstakingly 3D-printing the supercar's body panels.
Cars

AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the difference between the two and which is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Manual vs. automatic vs. CVT: Different types of transmissions explained

From automatic to manual to CVT, there are several types of transmissions in the automotive world. In the battle of automatic versus manual, which wins? We'll help you pick the right gearbox for you.
Cars

There is no way to say pickup truck in emoji, and Ford wants to change that

Ford asked the Unicode Consortium to include a pickup truck in the database of emojis. The company is confident its request will be approved, and a blue pickup truck loosely shaped like an F-150 will be available in early 2020.
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Mobile

Uber’s in-car shopping service now sells way more than just snacks

The Cargo Box launched in 2018 to offer Uber drivers an easy way to sell snacks and drinks to riders. The service is now expanding to include lots more items, including tech products and travel accessories.