John Cooper Works badge extends to SUV; Clubman gains a van version
BMW has topped-off its Countryman range with this, the Countryman John Cooper Works, at the Geneva show.
The Countryman JCW will be the first all-wheel-drive JCW Mini, and also the first to offer an automatic gearbox as an option.
Power from the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is 211hp at 6,000rpm, while torque is up at 207lb ft between 2,000rpm and 5,600rpm, with the familiar overboost function pushing that up to 221lb ft for brief bursts. That's enough to push the Countryman JCW to 62mph in a healthy-ish 7.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 127mph (although that falls to 7.5 seconds for the automatic version).
But although the the Countryman gets uprated springs and dampers, strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10mm drop in ride height, it won't be quite as extreme as other JCWs, as Mini boss Dr Kay Segler is keen to expand the appeal of JCW sub-brand's line-up.
The new Countryman JCW will go on sale in the UK this autumn, with an expected price hike of roughly £5K over the 184hp Countryman Cooper S, bringing the JCW in at just under £28K.
Also on the stand is a further twist on the conventional Mini theme in the shape of the Clubvan concept.
Now, it might not seem the most innovative take on the Mini theme, but it certainly seems to make sense to dump the Clubman's rear seats and turn it into a commercial vehicle.
We're not sure about Mini's claims that the "exterior design cuts a distinctive figure", but the extra right-hand-side door and side-hinged rear doors of the Clubman ought to be a useful addition to a van, at least.
Inside, meanwhile, it's also basically a Clubman, only with a flat load area in the rear, which features six attachment loops, a fixed partition grille and side walls, floor and roof lining trimmed in anthracite-coloured cloth.
Et voila - the 'first premium model in the small car-based van segment'. Niche-tastic or what?
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They are indeed- there's not enough capacity to build them at Oxford with the other MINIs. I think the reason they went to Austria was because of the drivetrain requirements (X3s used to be built there, but are now built at Spartanburg).
V8s ONLY07 Mar 2012
The van is a stupid idea unless your a florest!
I run several vans and I'm not a florist.I will probably buy a Clubvan when(if) they become available. Why is it stupid to buy a vehicle you can reclaim the VAT on it's purchase price,all of its maintenance costs and all of it's fuel costs?
Pumpsmynads07 Mar 2012
I think they put 'Mini' on it becasuse it's the company's name - Doh!
sad61t07 Mar 2012
No different to what BMW and others do with their individual models. Start off with the basic then build up to the hot version. Look at the hot versions of all the 4x4's, SUV's, MPV's none of them really make a lot of sense dynamically but they sell and give a halo effect to the rest of the range. Any way it's built in the UK and brings in much needed jobs and money for the economy. As long as they export them all you won't have to look at them.
The advantage of the hot 4x4 is that it can put down the power in a less compromised form than the FWD hatch. Read (but can't remember where) a review of the Coupé JCW where a Countryman JCW mule was also being trialled - it was a wet alpine road and the Countryman was much more usable. On a dry track, I'm sure the hatch/coupé would be faster, but on an average UK day you can understand why people look for the security of all wheel drive.