This study investigated the use of Co to enhance the magnetic driving force for inducing the martensitic transformation of Mn50Ni40-xIn10Cox alloys. These alloys present a martensitic transformation from a Hg2CuTi-type austenite to a body centered tetragonal martensite, with a large lattice distortion of 15.7% elongation along the c direction and 8.2% contraction along a and b directions. The martensitic transformation temperatures, transformation enthalpy and entropy changes decreased with increasing the Co content in these alloys. The maximum magnetization of the austenite increased significantly, whereas that of the martensite changed much less prominently with increasing the Co substitution for Ni, leading to increase of the magnetic driving force for the transformation. The magnetization increase of the austenite is found to be due to (i) formation of ferromagnetically coupled Mn-Mn due to new atomic configuration in off-stoichiometric composition, (ii) magnetic moment contribution of Co and (iii) widening of the temperature window for magnetization of the austenite by lowering the temperature of the martensitic transformation. These findings clarify the effect of Co addition on martensitic transformation and magnetic properties in Mn-rich ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, and provide useful understanding for alloy design for magnetoactuation applications. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.