MINI John Cooper Works Countryman: addictive

Today we're talking about John Cooper Works. More precisely, about the MINI JCW Countryman. And there is something to tell about here! Firstly, it has 306 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque, taken from 2 liters of engine displacement. Secondly, the eight-stage classic hydromechanics. And thirdly, four-wheel drive and fully switchable stabilization, which allow you to easily and naturally put the car on an arc in a controlled slip. And all this - in a practical five-door body!

I'm sure many of you have seen the MINI Countryman in your backyards and on the roads of your cities, but the model with the John Cooper Works badge is meaner, more aggressive. It is the quintessence of sporting elegance and a tribute to legendary racer and constructor John Cooper.

Too lazy to read? Watch the video test MINI Countryman JCW:

Key features of JCW Countryman

The settings of the JCW drive and its habits have been made as much as possible so that this crossover (or rather, almost a crossover, because there is only 14 cm of ground clearance) can behave in "combat" modes as clearly and predictably as possible ... The rear wheels are connected with lightning speed, and, despite the front-wheel drive layout and a transversely mounted motor, the clutch has never overheated in three hours of continuous winding circles around the track. The slightest press - and you are already standing sideways. He pushed harder - increased the angle. I did not expect an inherently front-wheel drive car to be capable of this behavior so easily and, most importantly, precisely.

And there is a reason for that. The all-wheel drive system in the JCW Countryman is different from the civilian versions. Not only is the eight-speed hydromechanical gearbox reinforced here, which in manual mode keeps the selected gear and does not shift to an overdrive. The power take-off mechanism and the torsional vibration damper are also reinforced here, and the drive shafts of the rear wheels - with increased torsional rigidity.

At the heart of the MINI Countryman is the second generation UKL platform. Both BMW X1 and X2 are built on it, as well as a couple of other BMWs of lower classes. Roughly speaking, it is the Bavarian manufacturer's most compact modular platform for transverse engine vehicles. And - regardless of our JCW version - the Countryman can be either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. And in our version, this all-wheel drive also has modified elements. Not to mention the performance of the 306 hp motor. from. and 450 Nm, which I already mentioned above.

The reason for this is the four-cylinder 2.-liter aluminum engine with variable valve timing and the Valvetronic throttleless control system. But this version of the B48 engine features a twin-scroll turbine, which is designed to increase thrust and power from the lowest rpm. Here the torque shelf spread out in the range from 1750 rpm to 4500 rpm. Excellent result as for a gasoline engine!

But these characteristics need to be talked about in comparison. For example, you can compare the JCW Countryman to the Volkswagen Golf R. And no, the comparison doesn't look tight (even with the clearance arguments) - they are indeed competitors, at least on paper. So, in the R-version, with similar engine characteristics, the torque reaches its peak when it reaches 2100 rpm. And the moment indicator itself is lower. That is why the performance of this MINI is impressive. So much so that I want to (re) check the reliability of the factory indicators. Which is what we did by driving the test MINI to the dyno.

Dyno Measurement Results

And here's something to think about. The same B48 motor is installed not only on the most powerful version of the JCW, but also on the simpler versions with the “S” nameplate. And four-wheel drive is also there. So maybe you can turn Cooper S Countryman into JCW purely programmatically?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, everyone here takes their own position), it just won't work to turn 192 forces into 306, because the modifications of the B48 engine differ not only in firmware, but also in the actual hardware. Specifically, in our case, the crankshaft, main bearing shells, connecting rods and pistons were changed, and another torsional vibration damper was installed. In addition, the cooling system has also been redesigned due to the increased heat load. (And these are just improvements in the motor.)

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