August 31st, 2017 by

The Countryman is the biggest and most capable model in the MINI lineup, but it seems that the automaker has some new and creative plans for the 2018 version. Still deep into its second generation that started in 2017, the standard MINI Countryman is likely to not change drastically for 2018. However, MINI has been teasing two brand-new sub-models for the Countryman that greatly expand its appeal. Check out what we know so far about these upcoming alternative models.

Plug-in Hybrid or JCW Performance

As the biggest MINI vehicle, many drivers wished for a bit more fuel economy or extra power to compensate for the Countryman’s size. Lo and behold, the 2018 MINI Countryman will offer two new trim levels: the Cooper SE and the John Cooper Works, or JCW. The Cooper SE is a plug-in hybrid, and the JCW model is a souped-up, sporty treatment than many other MINI vehicles have gotten before.

Exclusive Powertrains

The Cooper SE uses a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine for front wheels and an electric motor for the rear wheels, adding up to 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. It can drive exclusively on electric power for up to 24 miles and has a charge time of only three hours from a 240-volt outlet. The Cooper SE can also switch to one of two driving modes at any time for either maximum power or to save the battery. While not tested yet, its fuel economy should far exceed the 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway of the base Countryman.

The JCW Countryman comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It builds upon the already fun-to-drive standard Countryman by adding 18-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, a sport suspension, adjustable dampers, and an electronic front axle differential. The JCW also has special modes for regular driving, sporty driving, and maximized fuel economy.

Exterior and Interior

The JCW Countryman looks suitably assertive, with bigger air inlets that replace the fog lights and bold red accents along the hood, grille, spoiler, and roof rails. The JCW model will also boast several exclusive color options, like Rebel Green, plus detailed package options to customize the body, wheels, and other areas to your liking. The inside is equally stunning, with a special shifter and steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, and sport seats all standard.

As for the Cooper SE hybrid, the model will look mostly identical to the standard 2018 model, lightly redesigned and with special trim-level exterior badges. The interior will be mostly the same as the starting Countryman as well, with returning driver assistance features like rear parking sensors. When considering interior and exterior features, the Cooper SE is a great upgrade over the base 2018 Countryman without getting as wild as the JCW Countryman.

If these new hybrid and high-performance alternative trims are anything to go by, then 2018 should be an interesting year for the Countryman. For the time being, contact us today if you’re interested in the 2017 MINI Countryman or other new MINI vehicles.

Posted in New MINI Vehicles