The new generation of Mini Countryman is unabashedly the biggest Mini ever, for better or worse. Its performance grows to match too, with the 2024 Mini Countryman JCW All4 bringing more power than ever, allowing the compact SUV to knock on the door of the Subaru WRX.
Mini's new performance crossover is centered around a reworked 2.0-liter turbo-four, which gets an enlarged intake, twin-scroll turbocharger, and stronger pistons, rods, and engine mounts. It makes 312 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (conspicuously matching the BMW X1 M35i and X2 M35i), and meets an unspecified transmission—probably an eight-speed automatic. That output's then split by Mini's All4 all-wheel drive, allowing zero to 60 mph in under 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.
Fun fact: Emissions regulations in Europe limit the spicy Countryman to 296 hp on that side of the pond. In other words, the North American version happens to be the most powerful of them all, and also the most powerful car the brand's ever sold.
Mini is proud to tout the Countryman JCW's 0.26 drag coefficient, as well as its valved exhaust that pipes sound into the cabin. Because that doesn't annoy people enough already, Mini adds artificial "racing-inspired engine sounds." Great.
The JCW gets red calipers, exclusive 19- and 20-inch wheels (which look sharp), and enlarged 245-section tires to sharpen handling. Mini didn't say what the JCW weighs though, or announce any suspension changes, though it did add sport seats and a "go-kart" driving mode. You're guess is as good as ours as to precisely what that means, though the automaker promises it "provides a particularly sporty driving experience."
The recycled polyester dash is pretty neat, and does a lot for the altered styling that still comes across as the Suzuki Swift Sport that mom says we have at home. It does get some nifty tech however, such as a hands-free (but eyes-on) driving assist up to 37 mph, and smart cruise control that can change speeds to make safe lane changes easier.
The 2024 Mini Countryman JCW All4 is expected to reach dealers in May 2024, and start at $47,895 delivered. At that price, it'd better be a big step forward for performance Minis, which in recent years have left a lot on the table. Fingers crossed.
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: email@example.com