My thoughts on all things motoring, press releases, reviews & techie stuff, from around the world.
Please note that the pictures of vehicles within this blog are used as examples of the specific press releases, on occasions, due to the lack of available official pictures, examples are re-produced.
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I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
The largest MINI yet, the Countryman, receives the John Cooper Works treatment,
The largest MINI yet receives the John Cooper Works treatment, offering powerful performance and versatility
231hp enables a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds
MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive system fitted and sports suspension as standard
High quality standard specification includes MINI Navigation, LED headlights and Comfort Access
New touch-screen MINI Navigation XL available as an option
MINI Connected: the digital personal mobility assistant advises and informs on departure times based on calendar entries and traffic data
MINI Connected detects frequently driven routes and remembers them automatically
Presented in public for the first time in April at Shanghai Motor Show
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman market launch in Spring 2017
As the biggest and most versatile model in the MINI range featuring the brand’s most powerful engine to date, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman combines race track feeling and useful versatility on and off the road.
With an output of 231 hp working with MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman sprints from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds whether the customer chooses the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission.
The resulting vehicle is a based on John Cooper Works racing expertise. From the engine and ALL4 drive system to the upgraded sports suspension with 18-inch John Cooper Works Grip Spoke alloy wheels and Brembo sports brake system, the John Cooper Works racing influence is evident throughout the model’s build and design.
Special exterior body features highlight the vehicle’s sporty credentials, and optimise aerodynamic properties, whilst inside the vehicle features a model-specific cockpit and John Cooper Works sports seats.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman not only offers an exciting driving experience but with improved boot space and extra leg room over its predecessor it is both versatile and flexible.
More power, more space
With a power increase of 13hp compared to its predecessor, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also offers enlarged external dimensions and a considerable increase in space, versatility and functionality.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is 19 centimetres longer, 3 centimetres wider and has a wheelbase extension of 7.5 centimetres over the previous model, offering even more space across its five passenger seats. The luggage compartment can also be expanded as required from 450 litres to as much as 1,390 litres.
Engine: power delivery and sound with racing character.
The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine installed at the front of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman demonstrates performance characteristics inspired by motor racing. It has a specific version of MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology with a turbocharging system integrated in the cast steel manifold, petrol direct injection, the fully variable valve control system VALVETRONIC and variable camshaft control (double VANOS). Made of highly temperature-resistant material, the turbocharger generates a charge-air pressure which is now increased to 2.2 bar. The engine puts its maximum torque of 350 Newton metres on stream at between 1,450 and 4,500 rpm. It delivers its peak output of 231 hp within an engine speed range of 5 000 and 6 000 rpm.
The new John Cooper Works Countryman features specially developed components for John Cooper Works models, including specific pistons, a large charge-air cooler and an additional radiator. In addition there is a sports exhaust system that not only supports the engine’s performance characteristics but also gives them an impressive acoustic and visual dimension. Reduced exhaust gas pressure promotes spontaneous power delivery, while a controllable exhaust flap and the special geometry of the tailpipe help generate the recognisable John Cooper Works sound. The sports exhaust system also has tapered chrome covers for the dual tailpipes.
6-speed manual transmission as standard, 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission as an optional extra.
The standard 6-speed manual transmission is weight-optimised in design as well as exhibiting a high level of internal efficiency and shift comfort. A gear sensor enables active engine speed adaptation for fast gear changes. Short shifts and the model-specific gear lever knob facilitate precise gear selection. An 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission is also available as an option. Gears can be changed automatically or manually via the shift paddles at the steering wheel. It offers particularly short shift times and a Launch Control function enables the quickest possible acceleration from standing.
This also has a positive impact on efficiency. With the standard manual transmission, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman has a combined fuel consumption of 38.2 mpg and a CO2 emissions level of 169 grams per kilometre. In conjunction with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, these figures are reduced to 40.9 mpg and 158 grams respectively (provisional EU test cycle figures).
From the dirt road to the race track with ALL4.
Thanks to the MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive system, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman offers high performance on a variety of surfaces. The ALL4 system not only improves traction on unsurfaced terrain such as dirt roads, but also enhances ride stability in adverse weather conditions and improves agility when taking bends at speed. The system’s electronic control unit is linked to the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), ensuring a consistently fast and precise response at all times in distributing the drive torque between the front and rear wheels.
The current version of the ALL4 all-wheel drive system offers a particularly efficient form of variable power distribution due to its compact and weight-optimised design. It consists of a power take-off bevel gear on the front axle differential, a dual-section propeller shaft and a rear axle differential with an electrohydraulically controlled hang-on clutch. In order to reduce the torque loss that occurs when drive power is transferred to the rear axle, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman uses active DSC with the brand’s characteristic front-wheel drive in normal situations on the road. Torque is driven to the rear wheels only when necessary and within a fraction of a second.
Sports chassis for maximum agility when sprinting on bends and during braking manoeuvres.
The high-quality suspension technology of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman offers the perfect basis for maximum performance and excellent handling, with its high powered engine working alongside its specially designed long wheelbase, large track and low centre of gravity. A single-joint spring strut axle at the front is combined with a multilink rear axle. In addition, the standard sports suspension of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman features a particularly tight set-up of the suspension and damping systems. The speed-related Servotronic steering support – which is also offered as standard – provides excellent handling on bends and comfortable manoeuvring at low speeds.
The sports brake system was designed in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Brembo and comprises 4-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels, guaranteeing consistently high deceleration rates even under intense use. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the John Cooper Works logo at the front. The Dynamic Stability Control system also ensures optimum traction on sprints, agility on bends and safe deceleration. Its functions include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) – which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential – and Performance Control for agile turning when taking bends at speed. The standard trim also includes 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Black Thrill Spoke. John Cooper Works light alloy wheel in 19-inch is optionally available.
MINI Driving Modes and Dynamic Damper Control enable an individualised vehicle set-up.
MINI Driving Modes enables the driver to select a set-up that is geared towards the situation on the road and their own personal preferences. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever is used to select the preferred settings - SPORT, MID and GREEN. This influences the characteristic curves of the accelerator pedal and steering, the engine acoustics, the shift characteristics of the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, if the latter is fitted, and the Dynamic Damper Control set-up.
Exterior: versatile and athletic
With a length of 4,299 millimetres, a width of 1,822 millimetres and a height of 1,557 millimetres, model-specific John Cooper Works features are clearly visible on the exterior. These include the John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Kit and large cooling inlets in the front apron. The standard roof rails and the model-specific roof spoiler offer an aerodynamic finish to the model’s exterior.
Interior: a characteristic sports car atmosphere
Inside the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman there are five fully fledged John Cooper Works sports seats which have integrated headrests, the John Cooper Works sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever and the roof liner in anthracite for a racing car feel to the interior.
Head, shoulder and leg room are significantly more generous than in the predecessor model, both at the front and the rear. In addition, as an optional extra the rear seats can be shifted by up to 13 centimetres in a 60 : 40 split, while additional versatility is provided by backrest elements that are tilt-adjustable and foldable in a 40 : 20 : 40 split. The unique Picnic Bench, a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people, is available as an option. Also available as an option is an electric tailgate control that allows touchless opening and closing in conjunction with the standard Comfort Access.
Exclusive standard and optional equipment
The exclusive standard and optional equipment available with the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman means it stands out from the crowd. Standard equipment includes LED headlamps with cornering function and daylight driving light, cruise control with brake function and the 6.5” Colour MINI Visual Boost display including MINI Navigation, USB socket and Bluetooth. Comfort Access, Anthracite Headlining, MINI Driving Modes and Rear Park Distance Control are also offered as standard with MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
Modern driver assistance systems, high-quality options for comfort and individual style.
The driver assistance systems developed for the MINI range enhance comfort and safety in the new John Cooper Works Countryman, too. The standard collision warning with city braking function can be extended to include the Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection. Park Distance Control features sensors at the rear as standard, with other features such as front parking sensors, rear view camera and Parking Assistant optionally available. The optional Head-Up Display can display can inform the driver on all sorts of information, including road speed, speed limits and overtaking bans, navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems, telephone contacts and entertainment controls. The Head-Up display features a specific John Cooper Works mode where it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multi-coloured engine speed scale.
Other options available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman include a panorama glass roof, 2-zone automatic air conditioning, seat heating for driver and front passenger, windscreen heating and folding exterior mirrors.
Central instrument with touchscreen, MINI Find Mate and MINI County Timer.
The MINI Navigation XL with an 8.8-inch colour screen in the central instrument and the new recently introduced touch screen functionality is included in the newly enhanced Media Pack. Also included in the pack is MINI Find Mate, one of the latest digital services to be added to MINI Connected. MINI Find Mate uses wireless tracking function which enables objects to be tracked and located via MINI Connected.
The MINI Country Timer, which registers all travel over sloping, uneven, unsurfaced or snow-covered roads and tracks is offered as standard along with MINI Navigation. The duration and intensity of driving on demanding terrain is displayed in typical MINI style on the central instrument screen.
Other optional extras include Harman Kardon hi-fi system, which is available on its own or as part of the MINI Tech Pack which also includes rear-view camera, MINI Head-up Display and Media Pack X.
MINI Connected, the digital personal mobility assistant.
Going beyond the familiar functions of an in-car infotainment program, MINI Connected acts as a personal mobility assistant in the new John Cooper Works Countryman. Based on a flexible platform, the Open Mobility Cloud, MINI Connected integrates the vehicle seamlessly into the MINI driver’s digital life via devices such as the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch.
Thanks to the integral concept of MINI Connected, mobility doesn’t just start in the vehicle. MINI Connected informs the driver of the best departure time based on calendar entries and current traffic data. Address data and appointments saved by the driver previously on a smartphone via MINI Connected are automatically transferred to the car and do not have to be entered in the navigation system again. MINI Connected can also save regularly visited places as favourite destinations, and it detects frequently covered routes such as the daily run between home and work and alerts the driver in the event of unexpected traffic delays.