What is it?
Be it winning the Formula 1 World Championship, dominating at the Monte Carlo rally or having a hand in producing one of the most iconic automobiles of the 20th century, Charles and John Cooper have arguably done more for British motorsport and the perception of the UK’s automotive industry than any other constructor, tuner or mainstream manufacturer.
But do you think either ever stopped to consider, after all their success with predominately lightweight racers, that one day, their family name would be affixed to the back of a near-1550kg ‘Mini’ crossover? No, we don’t think so either. But that hasn’t stopped BMW from subjecting its ‘big Mini’ to the full JCW treatment.
As with the Clubman JCW, the standard Countryman Cooper S’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been uprated with a new heat-resistant turbocharger and additional intercooler. The net result is 228bhp, 258lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of 6.5sec - 0.8sec faster than the next-hottest Countryman. And that time should be repeatable too, thanks to standard-fit launch control and Mini’s All4 four-wheel-drive set-up.
Naturally, to support this extra performance, the Countryman’s chassis has also come in for some attention. Firmer JCW sports suspension with adaptive damper control promises flatter cornering, Brembo brakes with four-piston callipers should help to reduce fade, and the eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox has been tweaked for faster shifts.