Hearing the letters “JCW” attached to a MINI’s model name will always pique the interest of automotive enthusiasts. These letters have become equated with peak factory-tuned performance in the power, handling, braking departments, along with an overall go-kart-like driving experience. So, when MINI released the stats on their latest 2024 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, BimmerLife raised an eyebrow.
As with most new MINI models, the 2024 Countryman has grown in all dimensions. Thankfully, it has grown in power output as well, with a 2.0-liter four under the hood (or bonnet) putting out 312 horsepower and 295 pound feet. This is good for a quick 5.4-second run to 60 and a shocking 155 mph top speed. MINI credits engine performance to “optimized pistons, connecting rods, and engine mounts,” turning this turbocharged four up to eleven. Hello, Autobahn!
The ALL4 all-wheel-drive system ensures power is transferred to the pavement efficiently via 245-mm width tires, and even makes this four-door more capable off the beaten path. You’re not going off-roading in Moab with it, but you won’t get stuck on wet grass either.
The interior design follows the “less is more” approach, with a simplified cockpit and passenger compartment. The JCW model receives a red and black color scheme on the dash, door panels, and, ever-important JCW sport seats. An array of toggle switches on the dash, just below the round center display, control driving functions such as MINI’s Experience Modes, with equivalent functionality built into the steering wheel. Don’t worry, there’s a “Go-Kart” mode for peak performance and sporty driving experience. A projector on the back of the OLED center display projects Experience-Mode-specific color schemes and patterns onto the dashboard.
The exterior has been given the JCW treatment, setting it apart from the standard Countryman. MINI explains, “aerodynamic elements with vertical reflectors on the front of the vehicle emphasize its wide stance, while the new MINI LED headlights with horizontal bars in JCW Signature Mode give the vehicle a more expressive look.” A new JCW logo is adorned on the fresh octagonal grille.
MINI has proven again and again that good things can come in small packages. This not-so-small MINI, will have a starting base price of $46,900 (with $995 destination and handling). Expect these to be on dealer lots in May of 2024. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of MINI.]