It’s been less than three months since the all-new Countryman was launched, and Mini has unleashed the John Cooper Works version of the second generation crossover. As the new Countryman is the largest vehicle ever to wear a Mini badge, this new variant is naturally the largest Mini to sport the JCW name. Set to make an official debut at the Shanghai motor show in April, the beefed up Countryman will combine “race track feeling and useful versatility”, says Mini.

Powering the JCW Countryman is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 231bhp and 350Nm of torque. Mated to either the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional eight-speed automatic transmission, this engine is good to push the hot little crossover from zero to 100kph in 6.5 seconds. Apart from the new powertrain offering 13 horses more than the previous model’s, the new JCW Countryman also boasts increased practicality compared to its predecessor, thanks to its larger dimensions. At an overall length of 4,299mm, the new model is 190mm longer and at 1,822mm, it’s 30mm wider than the one it replaces while the wheelbase is longer by 75mm.  This means more space for the five passengers it can accommodate, as well as extended cargo space, which ranges from 450 litres with all seats up to as much as 1,390 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Mini says the all-wheel drive system, which has its electronic control unit linked to the Dynamic Stability Control, ensures “a consistently fast and precise response” distributing the torque between the front and rear wheels as needed. The suspension has been upgraded, and the JCW Countryman gets a set of 18in John Cooper Works Grip Spoke alloy wheels and Brembo sports brake system. It also gets some upgrades to its exterior as well, including the John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Kit and large cooling inlets in the front apron, along with the standard roof rails and the model-specific roof spoiler.

Standard equipment in the JCW Countryman include LED headlamps with cornering function and daylight driving light, cruise control with automatic braking function Mini Driving Modes and Rear Park Distance Control, while also including all the other driver assistance systems from the Mini range such as collision warning with city braking function, camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection, among others.

Mini has yet to reveal pricing, but we’ll surely get an idea closer to its Shanghai debut.