If you believe that BMW ruined the new Mini when it introduced the Countryman, you’re probably not going to be happy that it then turned it into the most powerful Mini ever, producing 160kW.For fans of the original Mini, most of whom where so happy that the new Mini stayed true to the values of the classic, the introduction of the Countryman was blasphemy. Now Mini (or BMW, really) has tuned the Countryman, stuck the classic John Cooper Works badge on it and sent it out the door with 160kW of power and 280Nm of torque. Powered by a 1.6 litre turbo engine, like the other Countryman models, it’s all-wheel-drive. Take it to 100kph as fast as you can and you’ll get with three seconds change from 10.
Uniquely for Mini, it’s also offering an automatic version of the Countryman John Cooper Works edition. BMW claims the performance is nearly the same but the automatic sucks up just a little more petrol, a reverese of the trend we have seen lately with automatic engines with CVT becoming more fuel efficient than manuals.
The new model is 10mm lower than the standard Countryman and comes with massive 18-inch alloys. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.