Mini Adds More Zip to High-Performance Lineup

For the 2013 model year, Mini's entire high-performance John Cooper Works lineup gets a revised engine and a new optional automatic transmission. The automaker also announced that its Countryman crossover is getting a high-performance John Cooper Works model starting in the 2013 model year.

The turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that's found in the John Cooper Works models now gets BMW's variable-valve timing system, otherwise known as Valvetronic. The Valvetronic system will reportedly optimize the engine's responsiveness and fuel efficiency. For the first time ever, the John Cooper Works version also can be had with an optional six-speed automatic transmission; a six-speed manual is still standard.

The new acceleration times compare almost evenly with the old ones, so we're guessing the changes will help refinement and fuel efficiency more than anything else. Fuel-efficiency figures weren't available.

These changes are for the 2013 Mini Cooper hardtop, convertible, coupe and roadster as well as Clubman. The models will hit showrooms this July, says the carmaker.

The newly announced John Cooper Works Countryman model will produce 208 horsepower and comes with standard all-wheel drive. It will have a zero to 60 mph acceleration time of 6.6 seconds with either an automatic or manual transmission. Comparatively, the 2012 Cooper S All4 with a manual transmission makes the trek in 7.3 seconds. Pricing and additional feature information will be made available closer to the launch date.

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