Sympatico.ca Drives MINI’s Countryman JCW Prototype
Our Road Test Editor, Shawn Molnar recently reported for autos.sympatico.ca
in Kuhtai, Austria, delivering his impressions of MINI’s Countryman JCW prototype. The MINI Countryman JCW is expected to go into production in the second half of this year – and based on Shawn’s insight, it sounds like it’s worth waiting for.
“A plethora of vehicles have been sold based on not-that-I-would-but-that-I-could rationale. And so it’s easy to see why Mini would release a bucking-bronco version of its already giddy Countryman S four-door stable mate. To put it simply: sex and fast cars sell. The vehicle then, surfacing from the MIni design house, is called the Countryman John Cooper Works, lovingly named after the performance tuner who turned the original Mini Cooper into a rally-winning race car.
Though our test car was wrapped in psychedelic camouflage tape – the official launch of the Countryman JCW is still a year away – if you squint hard enough you can sort of see hints of the bulbous, bulging wheel arches and gaping air intakes of Mini’s factory World Rally Championship race car. If the intention is to get people’s juices flowing and meld thrilling performance into the metallurgy of a practical four-door hatchback, then modeling the Countryman after its big-brother race car makes perfect sense.
Adding excitement while losing practicality and value, however, would be a recipe for disaster in such a hotly contested premium crossover market. Read on to discover whether Mini nailed the bull’s eye.”
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