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There was a fair bit of hullabaloo two years ago when Mini announced a return to the World Rally Championship for this season, but the road to making that happen has been as rocky as a gravel stage. It spent 2011 developing its JCW Countryman WRC challenger, changing its mind about how it wanted to work with Prodrive, dumped a driver due to budget issues, then registering its entry after the deadline had passed in a ploy that might or might not have been a protest aimed at the WRC promoter.


If the 2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman gets you all hot and bothered, you're in luck. Mini has just released 191 high-resolution images of its largest JCW offering, sporting its signature black paint job complete with contrasting red stripes, mirrors and roof. We're sure it'll be a total hoot to drive.


The Mini Countryman equipped with the John Cooper Works package is the latest diminutive to be loaded into the brand's eccentric ad machine. As if a 211-horsepower, all-wheel-drive crossover on 18-inch alloys from a brand called "Mini" weren't novel enough, we're admonished to "Expect the unexpected" as the most powerful vehicle it makes is flicked through the desert and the snow.


It was only a matter of time before Mini spiced up its Countryman crossover with the application of its go-fast John Cooper Works kit, and it's now made an official debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.


Mini Countryman - Click above for high-res image gallery

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