Unlike a horror franchise that’s 16 sequels deep in a direct-to-Blu-ray cash grab, Mini has a way of keeping its stable of runabouts fresh, stylish and new without tarnishing its storied reputation. The latest model to get a makeover before its wide release this spring to U.S. dealers is the 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman All4, which sees a host of updates inside and out.
Lurking under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine up 20 hp to 228. Torque peaks at 258 lb-ft. Power is sent to all four wheels via Mini’s All4 all-wheel-drive system through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The automatic also has a launch-control function available. 0-60 mph takes 6.2 seconds while the top speed is 145 mph.
John Cooper Works 18-inch alloy wheels are standard while 19s are optional. Inside those wheels sit four-piston, fixed-caliper Brembo sport brakes. The Dynamic Stability Control system includes Dynamic Traction Control, Electronic Differential Lock Control, which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential, and Performance Control, which governs output and brakes to each corner to ensure the car remains balanced during high-speed cornering.
Visually, the John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit adds a little flare. There are large cooling inlets in the front fascia, occupying the area where the parking and fog lights would normally be found. Standard are roof rails and a unique roof spoiler. The body-side turn signals sport a red accent and a JCW logo, which also appears on the tailgate and hexagon grille.
Other standard features include LED headlights and daytime running lights, panorama glass roof, rearview camera and Mini Connected infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen. Four non-metallic and six metallic colors are available. Inside, it is JCW everywhere — from the sport seats and steering wheel to the gear lever or shifter. Interior options include a Harman Kardon audio system and 8.8-inch touchscreen navigation system.
There is an optional Driving Assistant system that adds a host of nanny features like collision warning with city braking, camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high-beam assist and road sign detection.
The 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman All4 will make its public debut this April at the Shanghai motor show before hitting U.S. dealers the same month.