By: IOL Motoring Staff

New York Auto Show - The least miniature Mini has received a makeover to help it keep up appearances among the trendy compact crossover clan.

The new Countryman will hit South African shores this September, but you won't notice any radical exterior design changes, except for the new hexagonal grille, LED foglights and daytime running lights, and redesigned alloy rims.

Three new metallic colours (Jungle Green, Midnight Grey and Starlight Blue) have also been thrown into the mix, along with even more ways to personalise the roof and mirror hopusing colours, and bonnet stripes.

To give it a slightly tougher pose, under-body guard panels now feature at the front, side and rear of all-wheel drive models (barring the JCW) and are optional on front-wheel drive versions. Cabin changes are also on the subtle side, but include improved acoustic comfort and a few redesigned displays and controls.


All Countryman models now consume a bit less fuel thanks to various aerodynamic and mechanical modifications, but the most exciting news on the engine front is that the Cooper S gains a 5kW power boost. The 1.6-litre turbopetrol now produces 140kW, while maximum torque remains at 240Nm from 1600rpm - with 260Nm available on overboost. According to Mini, the 2WD six-speed manual model will screech to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds.

The John Cooper Works version is still the most potent Countryman, however, its 1.6T pushing 160kW and 280Nm and reaching 100km/h in 6.9s.

At the other end of the range, the Cooper Countryman soldiers on with its normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine that produces 90kW and 160Nm. As before, the turbodiesel engines available in Europe won't be offered in South Africa.