It was just a matter of time. With an all-new Countryman coming, it seemed all but certain that Mini would follow up with a high-performance version. And that’s what the automaker revealed during a special presentation in Greenville, South Carolina Wednesday night. Headlight.News was on hand for a first look.
Things are changing in a big way at Mini. Quite literally.
The British brand is in the midst of completely making over its product lineup and a critical piece of the puzzle comes with the debut of a newer — and notably larger — version of its bestselling product line, the Mini Countryman.
But, at least one thing won’t change: the automaker’s focus on performance. With the new four-door crossover, that comes in the form of the 2024 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman.
As with all JCW models, the Countryman package won’t be the fastest product in its segment but John Peyton, Mini’s U.S. chief, promises it will boast the sort of “go-kart” ride and handling the brand is known for.
All versions of this next-generation Countryman grow about five inches longer and more than two inches taller than the outgoing model. That reflects the demand of buyers around the world who wanted a bit more space for passengers and cargo, Peyton explained during a backgrounder ahead of the JCW version’s reveal.
The design of the third-generation Mini Countryman is also sleeker yet a bit simpler, with a drag coefficient of just 0.26. That translates into both improved fuel efficiency and better performance.
The four-door package boasts a more upright nose and octagonal grille getting a new lighting treatment. There’s also a new Mini logo. The crossover also gets larger, wider tires on the JCW package, with the choice of exclusive 19- and 20-inch rims and rubber.
Set to be the last Countryman running on internal combustion power, the John Cooper Works model delivers a significant boost in its engine specs, as well. The 2.0-liter package now delivers 312 horsepower — in U.S. trim — and 295 pound-feet of torque. That will launch the Countryman from 0 to 100 kmh (0-62 mph) in just 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
Power is directed through a 7-speed double-clutch automatic and then Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. A sound generation system “enhances” the engine note, though that might prove a bit controversial with some drivers.
To scrub off speed, Mini has equipped the John Cooper Works Countryman with a high-performance brake system with chili red calipers.
The 2025 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman adds a number of new tech features and boasts a total of 12 ultrasonic sensors and four surround-view cameras for its advanced driver assistance systems. The new model gets a first-time, hands-free system that can be used at speeds up to 37 mph — though drivers will need to be ready to immediately take control in an emergency.
The touchscreen infotainment system allows drivers to set up a number of different “experiences,” Mini explains, including “go-kart mode (which) provides a particularly sporty driving experience, and occupants can hear the engine sound with impressive intensity in the cabin.”
The 2025 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will reach U.S. dealers around May of next year. Pricing is expected to start at $46,900, but add $995 for delivery fees.