With MINI migrating to a whole new level with the Countryman, one has to wonder what market would be best suited for it. Having just stepped out of a Countryman myself, I can easily imagine the crossover from Britain being a perfect weapon of choice for Australia, thanks to its higher ground clearance as well as drastically improved interior space. Now fans of the brand can also order the Countryman in JCW guise.

The John Cooper Works Countryman is now available in Australia and prices start at AUD57,900. That’s roughly $45,800 at today’s exchange rates and around $8,000 more than what customers have to pay for it in the US. Not to worry though, Australians are used to considerably high prices. At the same time, the cars they get for these added premiums are a lot better equipped than the standard ones we get in the US.

The standard kit on the Australian MINI JCW Countryman includes Mini’s Navigation Professional unit, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo,head-up display with JCW-specific content (driving speed, navigation info, phone and audio lists, engine revs, gear indicator, shift point), autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, front and rear parking sensors and semi-automated parallel parking system, rear-view camera and speed limit information. It also comes standard with LED headlights and a hands-free tailgate.

As it is the case with most JCW models, the brakes are now Brembo and the wheels are JCW-specific 19″ alloys. There’s also an intelligent differential up front to make sure you don’t understeer into oblivion while the interior is also decked with JCW bits and pieces. Under the hood hides the familiar 231 PS 2-liter 4-cylinder engine other JCW models also have at their disposal to play around with but in this case it’s sending its power to all four corners of the car.