I’ve owned two of the first-generation examples of the R53 Mini Coopers — a Cooper S and a John Cooper Works version. I favor their smaller measurement and their simplicity. However I’ve to confess that I discovered the latest 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works version not solely to be a severe efficiency automobile, however one which bats means above its pay grade.

Opening my eyes to the capabilities of this bigger Mini was taking it on a current highway journey to the Carlisle Import and Efficiency Nationals in Pennsylvania. 

Mini claims a 4.4-second dash from standstill to 60 miles per hour for the automobile, however after driving one for per week, I feel that determine is conservative. The JCW Countryman is the quickest street-legal Mini. Take into account that the Mini Cooper JCW GP version wants 5.1 seconds to achieve 60, and in addition is slower than the Counryman in a quarter-mile drag race.

Whereas the engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, it is also twin turbocharged and gives 301 horsepower, with 331 pound-feet of torque out there as shortly as 1,700 rpm.

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Not solely is the Countryman fast, however the driving dynamics of this superb automobile are merely thoughts boggling, with an astounding quantity of grip and glorious dealing with when driving close to the restrict.

The Countryman I examined was utterly loaded with extras such because the Comfort Bundle, Driver Help Bundle, and the Iconic Bundle that features dynamic damper management. 

The automobile merely goes wherever you level it and does no matter you ask it to do from behind the wheel. Whereas driving behind a seeming countless line of tractor trailer rigs, the automobile simply swept round these cellular freeway obstacles. 

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It’s the form of a automobile that should you can suppose it, the automobile can do it. It’s actually that fast.

And but this quickest providing from Mini doesn’t include the choice of a handbook transmission. Nonetheless, I’ve to say the response from the automated gearbox makes you marvel about manuals as a result of it provides instantaneous response from up and down shifts and was by no means discovered to be looking for the correct gear. 

Even in automated mode, the automobile appears to know what gear you need to be in for the given state of affairs. I ponder if there’s a new telepathic part to this newest technology of I-Drive; I by no means was capable of catch the automobile flat footed. 

The experience is greater than bearable for a 300-mile driving day and niceties resembling adaptive cruise management make countless interstates stuffed with gradual automobiles within the passing lane a lot much less disturbing.

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Throughout the drive I made my normal pre-Carlisle cease at a White Fort in New Jersey, ate my burger breakfast, and received again beneath means in brief order. 

Arriving on the occasion on Friday I used to be greeted by a lot of Minis within the Mini corral and parked between one other JCW automobile, this one a second-gen R56 2-door, and a Nineteen Sixties period traditional Mini Cooper S. After answering a lot of questions and giving all who requested a fast tour of the brand new automobile, I made my means across the present to see what neat automobiles had come this yr. 

After my transient tour of the present I got here again to my automobile and located a brand new group checking it out, so I gave one other tour of the automobile, describing the driving expertise. A Mini proprietor along with his GP version on show was surprised to listen to that the 0-60 efficiency on my check automobile was greater than 1.5 seconds faster than his. I consoled him by telling him that mine is likely to be sooner however his is rarer and cooler than mine because of the truth that the GP was a restricted version.  His remark was yeah, however you possibly can carry 4 individuals and an enormous canine comfortably in yours and I can’t.

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True assertion, plus the seats within the JCW Countryman have been coated in glorious leather-based and Alcantara and have been as good as Recaros however, whereas racing oriented, have been way more comfy than pure racing seats. The rear seats have been additionally greater than usable, making this a real 4-seat automobile. Even with my 6-foot-4 self within the driver’s seat, an individual may sit comfortably behind me, fairly superb for a automobile as small because the Mini.

So, you recognize what I like concerning the automobile, however are there any negatives?

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    Mini cluster in entrance of driver
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    Mini-style round array in center of dashboard

I dislike the look of the primary instrument cluster. It seems to be to me as if somebody discovered a small flat-panel show and caught it on the column. I’m not a type of individuals who hates digital gauges, however there must be a extra elegant and traditional technique to do digital. Each time I appeared on the most important gauge show I noticed a missed alternative for exercising some Miniesque whimsy.

However that was my solely problem with the automobile. Positive, it’s the largest Mini constructed, making some query the identify Mini being utilized. But it surely does fortunately afford all of the enjoyable of driving you count on from a Mini, and the added efficiency makes for one thing that you could possibly take for a observe day within the morning after which choose up the youngsters from faculty within the afternoon.

This appears the perfect automobile for many who need a severe efficiency automobile that is also sensible for day by day driving duties. And for many who love the Mini anyway, this huge however fast Mini is an incredible automobile that may hold you smiling with each mile pushed.

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2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

Automobile sort:  5-passenger sedan, all-wheel drive station wagon

Base worth:  $41,500 Worth as examined:  $51,450

Engine:  Twin turbocharged 2.o liter inline-4, 301 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm, 331 pound-feet of torque @ 1,700 rpm Transmission:  8-speed automated

Wheelbase:  105.1 inches Total size/width:  169.8 inches / 71.7 inches

Curb weight:  3,745 kilos

EPA mileage estimates:  23 metropolis / 30 freeway / 26 mixed

Assembled in:  United Kingdom

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Andy Reid

Andy Reid’s first automobile, bought at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his school financial savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned greater than 150 automobiles—none of them regular or cheap—in addition to quite a few traditional bikes and scooters. A veteran of movie, tv, promoting and serving to to launch a number of Web-based corporations, Reid was a columnist for Basic Motorsports journal for 12 years and has written for a number of different publications. He’s thought of an professional in European sports activities and luxurious automobiles and is a revered concours choose. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.