After 23,000 miles and over a year our time with our JCW Clubman test car we’re moving on to something even bigger – the MINI Countryman. But how do you spec a Countryman is the most enthusiast oriented way? That’s precisely what we intended to solve.

Mini Countryman

But first lets pour one out for the Clubman. If you’ve read MF or listened to Whiteroofradio over the past year you might have heard we’ve fallen in love with it. You can read all about it here But suffice to say the mix of performance, utility and design has won us over in a big way. So the question is, how do you follow-up the lighter and quicker Clubman with the Countryman?

MINI Countryman JCW

You do it by a less is more and a more is more philosophy. That means we’ve gone with the JCW Countryman for as much performance as MINI has on offer in its largest car. While we’ve enjoyed the 8-speed automatic in our Clubman, we are ecstatic to tell you that our new JCW Countryman will indeed be a manual this time around. Having sampled for still believe that the manual is an excellent choice for everything from the daily commute to the weekend road trips. It will add a dose of visceral interaction that we were missing in our Clubman.

But how do we get the weight down on a car that is 150 lbs heavier than the Clubman? For many we did the unthinkable – we removed the sunroof from the spec sheet. With a weight of around 60 lbs in the worst possible spot, we thought that would be the absolute best way to give up something on our new Countryman in exhanage for performance. That brings the center of gravity down a touch while creating a slightly quieter cabin. Will we miss that giant dose of sunshine and is the trade-off work that it? Perhaps but time will tell.

MINI Countryman JCW

Otherwise we’ve once again gone with what we believe is the best color MINI offers – Rebel Green. Although this time we’ve decided to do something we’ve never done in any of our seven previous MINIs – we’ve gone body color.

We’ll go into more detail on the specification and price of our Countryman in a future post. But until then we’ve love to hear your thoughts on how you’d create the ultimate Countryman.