As mentioned previously on MotoringFIle MINIUSA has officially released the JCW Suspension Kit for the US. MINIUSA also has just issued a parts bulletin describing the suspension in detail. Here are some excerpts of that PDF:
Aftersales is pleased to announce the release of the John Cooper Works Sport Suspension for MY05 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S hardtop, produced after 07/04.
Mike Cooper designed the John Cooper Works Sport Suspension in conjunction with the BMW Group chassis specialists to improve dynamic handling performance while maintaining a proper on-road ride comfort. The components have been specially designed for outstanding road holding and superior driver feedback on all surfaces. The JCW Suspension reduces ground clearance by about 10mm to ensure even more exciting cornering. To distinguish the sport suspension from the stock suspension, the coil springs are finished in red.
The Sport Suspension kit for the MINI Cooper S includes four McPherson strut shock absorbers and the required mounting parts. For the MINI Cooper the kit also includes two stabilizer bars. The coil springs need to be ordered separately, depending on the options installed on the individual vehicle.
SALES FEATURES/BENEFITS The targets for the development of the John Cooper Works Sport Suspension have been:
- Increased cornering
- Improved traction
- Reduced roll angle in corners
To achieve these targets, stiffer springs are the heart of the sport suspension kit to lower the center of gravity. The shock absorbers are customized for these stiffer springs, with a shorter piston rod and a special control valve assembly. This combination allows improved road holding in combination with enough ride comfort for the day-to-day driving.
Why only 10mm lower? The John Cooper Works Sport Suspension has not been developed for a smooth racetrack. It has been developed to deliver enhanced cornering speed on different road surfaces, like twisty mountain roads. That is the main reason, why the car has been lowered by just 10mm. As the main development targets, it was important that even with the improved road holding, the suspension has to deliver an acceptable amount of comfort. The John Cooper Works Sport Suspension also harmonizes perfectly with the MINI DSC system. This is another unique feature of this suspension kit. Cars with aftermarket suspensions with extremely lowered ride height may lose traction on uneven surfaces, which can lead to interruptions of the smooth operation of the DSC system.
To improve the steering response and get even more precise handling, we recommend the combination of the sport suspension with the 18ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ John Cooper Works Wheels. In addition, the large wheels together with the lowered ride height deliver an impressive custom look. Please refer to bulletin M 36 01 04 for more details on the wheel.
In the words of Rauno Aaltonen, rallying legend and winner of the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S, after rigorously testing the sports suspension:
ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½On difficult, tight runs the MINI with JCW sports suspension can be steered even better into bends. The slightest of steering-wheel movements are enough to maintain the MINI on course. The inner front wheel maintains contact with the road surface, thus allowing the MINI to accelerate faster out of the bend. … I wholeheartedly recommend the JCW sports suspension to adventurous drivers, who like nothing better than taking to country roads and winding mountain routes.ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½
NOTE: The recess in the vehicle body above the rear axle is already provided from the factory on all cars built after 07/04. The described work in the installation instructions to modify the body flange is not required for these vehicles!
Does anyone else think this release contradicts itself regarding the installation of the kit in cars built before 07/04? If we get more info on this we'll be sure to pass it along.
Official retail pricing for the kits are as follows:
Cooper S: $945 (plus install)
Cooper: $1120 (plus install)
The PDF lists the kits out separately but I would assume you'll only be able to buy the kit as a whole.
You can download the entire PDF here.