Filling out the new Mini Countryman family line, the range-topping 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman has been revealed and detailed before its public debut in April at the Shanghai Motor Show. Like every other Mini to wear the revered JCW badge, the newest, largest and most capable Mini packs a serious performance punch which is complemented by the automaker’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system.

The heart of the new JCW Countryman is a 228-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. While packing the same pony count as other current JCW-spec Minis, for duty in this hot Countryman, it cranks out a heady 258 lb-ft of torque compared to 236 lb-ft. On hand from 1,450 to 4,500 rpm, that extra twist helps blast this not-so-diminutive wagon from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds whether backed by the standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional, paddle-shift 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic that also incorporates a Launch Control feature.

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Ensuring that motive force can be fully exploited, the JCW Countryman ALL4 teams its on-demand AWD system with sophisticated Dynamic Stability Control that incorporates traction control and agility enhancing performance control systems as well as Electronic Differential Lock Control on the front axle. Complementing driver-selectable Mini Driving Modes and three levels of Dynamic Damper Control are an enhanced suspension or a more tautly tuned optional sport setup, speed-sensitive Servotronic power steering and upgraded Brembo brakes. Standard wheel/tire fitment on the JCW Countryman matches 225/50 performance tires on custom 18-inch lightweight alloys but harder-core enthusiasts can opt for a 19-inch upgrade wrapped in 225/45 rubber.

Tailored to thrill

In keeping with tradition, the new JCW Countryman boasts a selection of distinctive visual cues that elevate its curbside appeal. The John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit is highlighted by a bolder front fascia with larger air intakes and a model-specific roof spoiler. Also on hand are a unique grille flanked by LED headlamps, a panoramic glass roof, standard roof rails, a selection of JCW trim elements/badges and an optional JCW-only Rebel Green exterior with Chili Red accents.

The space-efficient 5-passenger cabin of the JCW has its own performance touches starting with John Cooper Works sports seats and multifunction sports steering wheel and an anthracite roof liner. Other standard features include the Mini Connected infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen, Comfort Access keyless entry, a rearview camera and rear Park Distance Control parking sensors, plus a distinctive JCW startup screen in the main instrument display.

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Beyond the bounty of personalization touches available on every Mini, JCW Countryman options include a Harman Kardon premium audio system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen and navigation, a JCW Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant and the Driving Assistant suite that brings collision warning with city braking function, camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection. The 2018 Mini JCW Countryman will be arriving in dealers here this April. Pricing will be revealed closer to the on-sale date.

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