MINI has been working on a
John Cooper Works version of its Countryman
crossover for quite some time. We first told you about the car
back in January of 2010, and there haven’t been a lot of credible updates since then.
We know that Prodrive, the constructor that builds MINI’s Countryman WRC cars, has been working on a road-going version of the Countryman WRC
. Could this be the basis of a Countryman John Cooper Works variant, or could we be looking at two variations on the same theme?
If Britain’s Autocar
is correct, we’ll find out at March’s 2012 Geneva Motor Show, since the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works will reportedly break cover there. The car is currently undergoing shakedown testing in Austria, which makes a March debut of a production version seem entirely possible.
No engine specifications have been leaked yet, but it’s believed the all-wheel drive Countryman John Cooper Works will be more powerful than the front-wheel drive JCW variants. We’ve previously speculated that a Countryman JCW could come packing as much as 225 horsepower, an increase of 17 horsepower from existing JCW models.
Underneath, the Countryman JCW will base its suspension on the Cooper S, but will sit some 10 millimeters lower and will use thicker front and rear stabilizer bars. Front brakes remain unchanged, but rear rotors will be upped to 11.7 inches in diameter instead of the 11-inch rotors found on the Cooper S.
The MINI Countryman John Cooper Works will reportedly begin production shortly after the Geneva Motor Show, with availability in the U.K. beginning next summer. It’s just a guess, but we’d expect it to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of next year.
Want more news from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show? You’ll find our comprehensive coverage here