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MINI Reveals Countryman JCW, The Uber-CUV

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On: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 9:56AM | By: Chris Salamone

MINI Reveals Countryman JCW, The Uber-CUV

While reviews of MINI’s most controversial model have rated the Countryman from great to confusing, the company has seen fit to bring their performance-oriented badge to the Countryman’s offbeat exterior. And so, a back roads-friendly John Cooper Works was born.

MINI has just released the first official teaser images associated with the Countryman JCW, to be sold as a 2012 model. Perhaps channeling the pseudo-utility of Ford’s F-150 Raptor, the Countryman JCW should comfortably dominate modest soft road terrains with all the quick handling and pizzazz you’d expect from a proper MINI JCW.

Although the model is currently undergoing refinement and testing in Austria, we can expect to see a full unveiling at the Geneva Motor show in March. Power is anticipated to stem from the company’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 207 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque – a substantial bump over the current Countryman S. In addition to a power boost, the Countryman JCW will also get improved handling via sport-tuned suspension, larger anti-roll bars, and 10mm reduced ride height. MINI modestly projects that tech upgrades should amount to a 0-60 time below 7.6 seconds.

Former spy photos suggest this latest JCW will boast larger brakes and alloy wheels to match. A typical JCW body kit with front lip spoiler, aggressive side skirts, and potent rear fascia incorporating a dual exhaust system accentuate the exterior. And what JCW package would be complete without the appropriate black body stripes and badging?

Pricing and detailed specs will probably pop up in the coming months, but putting together the current information draws us to an interesting theory. A main reviewer complaint of the base Countryman is that the vehicle tries to accomplish too many traits without being really good at any one skill in particular. The Countryman JCW might provide enough oomph and nimble road handling to make up for concerns over ride height and sluggishness.

After all, who wouldn’t want to fly around a mud pit, ski slope, or gravel road with a Countryman on steroids? Stay locked for more pics and tantalizing mental images as information becomes available. Will a JCW treatment be enough to give the Countryman a more positive driving experience or identifiable image? Your guess is as good as ours, but don’t ponder over the Countryman’s former label as a crossover or CUV – then we might have to come up with a new acronym.

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Stephy21 | 8:59AM (Fri, Dec 16, 2011)

Great article, cant wait to see this car hit the streets.

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