Mini’s SUV is about to get a bit louder.

    Mini has released details of the flagship model in its updated Countryman range, the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman.

    The John Cooper Works will headline a new, petrol-only range with a freshened look inside and out when it arrives in the fourth quarter of this year.

    The flagship model of Mini’s flagship line has a new, exclusive exhaust system with two 95mm exhaust pipes.

    Performance figures are unchanged, with the John Cooper Works’ turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

    That power is delivered through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels, with the JCW sprinting to 100km/h in just 5.1 seconds.

    The JCW has standard 18-inch alloy wheels with brake calipers finished in red to match the grille. The brakes are four-piston fixed caliper discs up front and single-piston floating-caliper disc at the back.

    As on the rest of the updated Countryman range, there are restyled front and rear ends plus LED headlights and Mini’s now trademark Union Jack tail lights.

    The John Cooper Works grille features a horizontal red stripe instead of the old telephone receiver-shaped red outline.

    It’s not quite murdered out but the new Piano Black Exterior option darkens the head and tail lights, grille, door handles and rear badging. There are also two new colours: White Silver and Sage Green.

    Inside, there’s a new 5.0-inch digital instrument cluster shared with the rest of the updated Countryman line. Mini’s also tidied up the centre stack, with reorganised controls and touch-capacitive buttons for the radio presets.

    Pricing hasn’t been released yet, though the outgoing model retails for $65,900 before on-road costs.

    The modest updates help keep the Countryman fresh in the small SUV above $40,000 segment. In terms of sales, it occupies a second tier in the segment – it’s outsold by more than two-to-one by the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40, but sells in similar volumes to the Audi Q2, BMW X2, Jaguar E-Pace and Lexus UX.

    Its platform-mate the BMW X1 may be more popular here, but the Countryman is a crucial model for the Mini range.

    It accounts for around 30 per cent of all global Mini sales despite being the brand’s largest and most expensive model.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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