MINI invited us to Cascais in Portugal to get acquainted with the new Countryman. We’ve already shown you the fully electric SE ALL4 model but there was also an entirely different all-wheel-drive version on location. Yes, we’re talking about the fully fledged John Cooper Works model. It shouldn’t be confused with the namesake John Cooper Works Trim that the Oxford-based marque is also selling with visual upgrades but no performance enhancements.

Painted in Midnight Black Metallic with Chilli Red accents on the roof and mirrors, the 2025 Countryman JCW has chunky 20-inch wheels with a two-tone finish and a flag-like design. The version MINI decided to showcase had dark roof rails, blacked-out badges, and that discreetly updated John Cooper Works logo. The exterior theme carries over inside the predominantly black cabin with red contrasting accents. If the black look isn’t your cup of tea, MINI also had a Countryman JCW in Nanuq White in Portugal.

The new MINI Countryman JCW is an alternative to the BMW X1 M35i for those who want a bit more visual pizzazz. Once again, the BMW Group has done a great job of differentiating two models that use the same underpinnings. Not just on the outside but also on the inside since the OLED circular display is exclusive to MINIs. The infotainment has a different interface even though it runs on the same Android Automotive OS as BMW’s iDrive 9.

Although it remains boxy, MINI has managed to lower the Countryman’s drag coefficient to only 0.26. Another notable change is the adoption of bigger tires for improved traction to ensure optimal power delivery from the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine. The four-pot has 296 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) on tap, enough for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.4 seconds. Flat out, it’ll do an electronically capped 155 mph (250 km/h). These performance figures mirror those of the X1 M35i sold in Europe.

You can’t necessarily tell by looking at these images, but the third-generation model has blossomed into a true compact car. Indeed, the Countryman (“U25”) is now 4433 millimeters (174.5 inches) long, 1843 mm (72.5 in) wide, and 1656 mm (65.2 in) tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2692 mm (106 in). Not much of a mini anymore, is it?