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First Drive: 2013 Mini Countryman Cooper S John Cooper Works

Mini to turn JCW into new performance sub-brand.

by on Dec.27, 2011

Faster than a speeding skier...the new 2013 Mini Countryman S John Cooper Works.

You’re likely to be halfway down the slopes by the time you can pronounce the full name of Mini’s newest – and fastest – crossover model, the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works.  Take our word for it, as we had our first chance to check out the Countryman JCW during a snow-covered preview in the Tyrolean Alps.

One of the semi-finalists for North American Truck of the Year, the Mini Countryman has generated more than its share of controversy since its 2010 debut.  No surprise: it’s not only the biggest offering ever from Mini and the first to fall into that gray space between car and truck, but it also was the first to offer all-wheel-drive – and four doors.

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But buyers seem to be dismissing the debate and focusing on the Countryman’s blend of functionality and fun-to-drive dynamics– making it the brand’s new best-seller.  So, we wondered as we packed up our ski gear, what would happen when you pack in some more punch?