Safety Regs Kill the JCW GP for Canada

Canadians get the shaft in the name of safety. Here’s an excerpt from an internal MINI Canada document:

In bulletin PB2006MY MINI-04, details were provided regarding the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit. The bulletin provided information regarding product highlights of the special edition kit and the latest Canadian status. It was communicated at that time that the redesigned front and rear aprons were a key challenge in meeting Canadian safety regulations.

After thorough evaluation, MINI Canada would like to inform you that the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit will not be available for sale in Canada. While the redesigned front and rear aprons will meet US standards, they do not meet the tougher Canadian safety regulations and therefore the John Cooper Works GP Kit will not be homologated for Canada.

MF Analysis: I suppose the one piece of good news in this annoucement is that the aprons will indeed meet US safety standards. Not sure what that says about the differences between the US and Canadian safety agencies.

In related news, expect illegal cross-border trafficking of front and rear MINI JCW GP approns to increase in 2006.

Written By: Gabe

  • Al

    I think our minimum limit is 8 km/hr in terms of crash regulations.

    I’d rather have something that adheres to the higher standards.

  • http://www.northamericanmotoring.com Dave

    The tougher Canadian safety standards for molded plastic bumpercovers? Sounds like a red herring to me.

  • Z4MINI

    This does make some sense.

    The US has a 5-mph bumper standard. Canada might be slightly higher standard and therefore the GP bumpers might not work.

    Any Canadians want to confirm?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    The tougher Canadian safety standards for molded plastic bumpercovers? Sounds like a red herring to me.

    That’s sort of what I was alluding to. Sounds like they basically didn’t want to pay the cash to re-test the new bumpers and figured this was the best solution.

  • http://www.northamericanmotoring.com Dave

    I think our minimum limit is 8 km/hr in terms of crash regulations.

    Sorry, I don’t believe for a second that the shape of the plastic bumpercover plays any appreciable roll in the crashworthiness of the car. It’s the metal structure behind the bumpercover that counts. Since the release says the problem is with the “apron” they are talking about the bumpercover, not the metal bumper.

    Sounds like they basically didn’t want to pay the cash to re-test the new bumpers and figured this was the best solution.

    Agreed. That seems to be the far more reasonable explanation.

  • Ed

    “That’s sort of what I was eluding to.”

    Gabe — I don’t mean to be a priggish grammarian, but I think you meant to say “alluding” :) Cheers

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    You can seriously expect me to spell correctly during the day?

  • David

    I’ve heard ‘The Insurance Industry’ can influence the suitability of a vehicle for sale when the cost of repair for a given class of accident is considered too great by ‘Insurance Industry’ standards. When this happens the reasons are usually cited as safety or crash related. I suggest the JCW GP model could have suffered some such fate because the cost to replace the (limited production) aprons contributed to an unacceptable total cost to repair.

  • Jeffro

    The US bumper standard, while at one time was 5 mph,is now just 2.5mph. You hear of the 5 mph standard because several automakers still maintain that level. The Canadian standard maintains 5mph (8KPH). This is the probable difference. It has nothing to do with safety, but rather repairability (insurance cost).

    cheers, jeffro

  • Badburro

    Does that mean more cars for North America (read U.S.) or does it mean more cars for the rest of the world (including U.S.)?

  • http://kropp.poetshome.com Grendel

    Does that mean more cars for North America (read U.S.) or does it mean more cars for the rest of the world (including U.S.)?

    Those poor Canadiens – the vultures are circling already ;)

  • Quickbrick

    We Australian Mini fans are in the same boat as the Canadians! I was told by a Mini dealer here in Australia (in November last year)that we were not going to see any GPs in Aus. Mini Australia was trying to secure 25 cars for the Australian market, but once the accountants crunched the figures, the cost of testing the GP for Australian compliance was prohibitive. I guess spreading those costs over 25 cars would mean that the Australian issue of the GP would have cost over $US60k each.

    I wasn’t planning on buying one, but was looking forward to maybe seeing one on the roads. I guess our loss just means more cars for the US market.

  • CW

    I’ve always wondered why Canada couldn’t permit a “specialty marque” exemption class for wacky and wonderful cars from around the world.

    Cars in that class would be given a pass from the usual federalization procedures, but there would be a tight limit on the number of copies sold (firstly to avoid dumping, secondly to mollify domestic producers) and a tariff slapped on them to offset additional costs (i.e. those to our medical system when someone wraps their Clio 182 around a maple tree). ;)

  • minihaha

    Not surprised by the usual Canadian “nanny state” approach to safety and all other things associated with fun. It is a shame really that manufacturers have to go through this type of spin in individual markets. Now you know why these things are so bl***y expensive.

  • Lee L

    THe whole 2.5 or 5 mph bumper thing is not for safety, but is supposed to be how much your bumper can take without damage. It is really more of an insurance thing IIRC.

  • Dennis

    Well we might not be able to get a new JCW GP in Canada but we can buy a 15 year old Skyline GTR with 600hp from Japan which can’t be done in the states. We have to be able to gloat about something.


  • RHT3

    Skyline GTR?!?! You lucky bast!

  • GrumpyGills

    Our Canadian household says “Fine, it’s ugly anyway!”


  • GrumpyGills

    Egad, didn’t mean to make it big ‘n bold like that… LOL!

  • Derek

    uh like 5mph, what’s that in Canadian?

  • beken

    I am wondering if the issue is something else. The inserts for the foglamps are separate pieces (or at least different colors lending to the thought that they are pieces that might fall off under certain circumstances and require additional testing. Also, it he front bottom lip of the front end lower than the standard JCW aero front end? The height might be an issue as I’ve scraped bottom over a few speed bumps on my MCS. I’m not sure what all the front end requirements in Canada are but there are some significant differences mainly to do with the height where some things are mounted…like why we Canadians can’t get the Mitsubishi EVO here because the intercooler is mounted too low.

    But then again, I’ve seen some pretty exotic cars available in Canada that look a lot lower than anything normal people can buy.

    In any case, for a car of such low volume (in Canada, maybe 5 cars?), testing for conformance would probably make the cost prohibitive.

    Too bad for us.

  • Beecher

    the new gto is not allowed in canda because of safety related issues. just on a side note.


  • Jack07734

    If any one says that the bumper is the reason then you need to take a look at this picture.


    The car is a 03 Canadaian spec Cooper. If you look at the middle of the bumper US has been crossed out and CAN written in by someone at the factory. The rest of the signatures are from atendees to the first Niagara Falls/ Toronto Pulley Party.

    Cheers, Jack

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  • Didier P

    Hi guys,

    here in belgium we have the GP. Whoooahhhh it’s a mighty great car dudes, it runs easily 230 km/h

    See You soon Canada… Greetz from Belgium

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