When the new-generation Mini Countryman was unveiled in September, the emphasis was very much on the battery variants that will lead the brand to an all-electric future.
But because that future has not yet arrived, Mini has just pulled the covers off the black sheep of the family: the Countryman John Cooper Works, or JCW as it’s more commonly known.
This of course means the fitment of a highly-tuned 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine that produces 233kW and 400Nm. That’s sufficient to get the all-wheel drive SUV from 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
The exterior design package includes 19- or 20-inch alloys and many model-specific details, such as a unique octagonal grille in high-gloss black, LED headlights with horizontal bars, chilli-red C-pillar element and various aerodynamic elements.
JCW sports seats and a two-done textile dashboard in black and red lend a sporty appearance to the cabin, which is also more practical than before owing to the car’s increased dimensions and sliding rear seats. The luggage compartment, depending on the seat configuration, can handle anything from 460 to 1,450 litres of luggage.
Tech wise, and as per the regular Countryman, the cockpit boasts a high-resolution central OLED display that also features new Mini Experience Modes that allow drivers to create a unique ambience using specially designed graphics and sounds.
What’s more, Level 2 semi-autonomous driving is possible with the optional Driving Assistant Professional system, thanks to 12 ultrasonic sensors and four surround-view cameras.
The Mini Countryman JCW is scheduled to hit South African showrooms in the second quarter of 2024, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.