Mini’s updated Countryman SUV gets the John Cooper Works treatment

Mini used to offer just one model, but that is no longer the case. The Mini Cooper has spawned an array of variants including hatchbacks, a convertible, a wagon, and the Countryman crossover. And Mini now wants to make a John Cooper Works performance version of all of them.

The new Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is based on the second-generation Countryman unveiled two months ago at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It boasts the same turbocharged engine as the John Cooper Works Clubman wagon, plus a tuned version of the standard Countryman’s All4 all-wheel drive system, sportier suspension and brakes, and some boy racer styling bits.

At the heart of the John Cooper Works Countryman is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions. Mini says it will go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which is 0.8 of a second quicker than the Countryman S All4 this model is based on. Top speed is 145 mph.

Mini is quick to note that 50 years ago, it won the prestigious Monte Carlo rally three times, but while those original Mini cars emphasized nimbleness and simplicity, the John Cooper Works Countryman emphasizes power and technology. Still, with its substantial Brembo brakes and sport-tuned Dynamic Damper Control adjustable suspension, this souped-up utility vehicle should be pretty lively.

The John Cooper Works is distinguished from other Countryman models by a body kit and special 19-inch wheels on the outside, and a sport steering wheel, sport seats, and lots of red trim on the inside. This model also comes fairly well equipped, with standard features like LED headlights, panoramic glass roof, Mini Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch display screen, parking sensors, and keyless entry.

Whether the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will be a good value is unclear, as Mini won’t discuss pricing just yet. The John Cooper Works Countryman will make its public debut in April at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show, around the same time that it arrives in U.S. dealerships.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.