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Archive for February 2007

2007 JCW Kit Officially Announced

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch) Feb 28th, 2007 52 Comments

[Updated w/Official English Press Release] MINI has officially announced the JCW kit for the R56 that we reported about earlier in the week. The kit includes a JCW exhaust, intake and ECU software upgrade. The new components develop 192bhp and Torque 184lbf-ft/250nm (199lbf-ft/270nm with overboost).

The dealer installed kit will retail for 1689.80 Euros in Europe (presumably w/o installation). No other pricing was given in the press release but we expect more information in the coming weeks.

The new JCW kit will indeed debut at the Geneva Motorshow in early March as we predicted. Expect to see this kit available at your local MINI dealer later this spring. You can read both the German and English official MINI press releases below for more information:

MINI of Germany Press Release (English Version)

Get the Racing Feeling: John the Cooper Works Tuning kit for the new MINI Cooper S.

The International Automobile Salon in Geneva (March 8th – 18th 2007) is the setting for the world premiere of the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit for the MINI Cooper S. From mid-2007, what is already the most powerful version of the compact premium model will be given an additional power boost under its bonnet. With the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit for the MINI Cooper S, the output of the 1.6 litre twin scroll turbo engine is increased to an impressive 141 kW/192 bhp, with maximum torque up to 250 Newton metres in the engine speed range between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm. With the overboost function, the torque level can even be increased temporarily to 270 Nm for powerful acceleration in the engine speed range from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm.

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Does the MINI’s Production Location Matter?

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Feb 28th, 2007 33 Comments

With momentum building for BMW’s new “Colorado” (code name only) MINI soft-roader, production plans are starting to take shape. And it was with this knowledge that I posed this specific question to MINI USA VP Jim McDowel; “how important is it to the MINI brand to be built in Oxford?” As we reported on MF a few weeks back, Mr. McDowel’s answer was surprisingly straightforward; “while it’s important for MINIs to be built in Oxford, it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. For instance, BMWs are built in Munich. But that doesn’t stop BMW from having plants in such locations as South Africa and the United States.”

So based on that comment and reports that support it, we know MINI and BMW will be most likely manufacturing the “Colorado” outside of the UK. But does this matter to you as MINI owners and potential buyers? How does the location of the factory impact the brand and how you perceive the heritage? We know you have opinions… lets hear them.

Newsweek Road Tests the R56

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, R56 (Hatch) Feb 28th, 2007 14 Comments

You will actually be able to check this out in the March 05 issue.

When the Mini Cooper folks took me and a few other automotive journalists to a racetrack to test these new second-generation coupes, it had the trappings of a joke. We’re talking about a subcompact city car, not a Ferrari, right? But instead of laughing, I whooped it up. Ninety-five miles per hour in a hair over 15 seconds, and 0 to 60 in a respectable 6.7 seconds. Yeah, baby.

I really liked the electric steering, which took the shimmy out of the steering wheel while traveling over bumpy terrain. But it’s the whimsy that devotees of this English charmer clamor over.

[ Road Test: MINI Cooper ] Newsweek

2008 JCW Stage One Upgrade Revealed

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch) Feb 27th, 2007 51 Comments

MF Exclusive: Yesterday we broke the news that MINI would most likely be releasing two JCW vehicles rather than simply offering one JCW product as previously expected. Thanks to sources from three continents, we now have some limited details on the first product, what we’re calling (for the moment) the “Stage One Kit.”

In an effort to possibly bridge the gap between the upcoming high-output JCW MINI (coming for in late 2007 or early 2008) it looks like MINI will release a “Stage One” JCW kit that will have an output somewhere between 190 and 200bhp. Our sources are also telling us that the “Stage One” kit will be available as a dealer retrofit for all R56 MCS’s and will consist of three components:

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A New Dealer in the Midwest

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press Feb 27th, 2007 16 Comments

Next week, the fine state of Nebraska finally gets their very own MINI Cooper dealer!

Pop-art colors stand out against matte-black at the new Markel Mini Cooper dealership. The colors correspond to the bright, toylike cars that will be displayed inside and around the building.

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MotorWeek Road Tests the R56

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, R56 (Hatch) Feb 27th, 2007 15 Comments

Some of you might have caught this on your local PBS stations airing of the show. For those of you that didn’t, here is the written review.

When BMW took the wraps off the second generation MINI Cooper, the press and public alike sounded a sigh of relief. Though slightly larger, designers concentrated on improving rather than changing this modern icon. The old world MINI look remains pleasantly intact. In fact it’s about as close to natural evolution as a car can get.

The MINI Cooper is every bit a coming-of-age cultural phenom as say, Volkswagen’s Beetle. A British-borne classic of the 60’s, the sporty Cooper and Cooper S started out as successful rally cars racers and grew to become worldwide motoring icons.

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MINI’s Future JCW Vehicle(s)

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch) Feb 26th, 2007 42 Comments

MF Exclusive Yesterday we introduced the idea that MINI could releasing two JCW vehicles rather than the one we had expected to see late this year or early next. We now have some limited details on the first product, a “Stage One” type of kit similar to the JCW Sound Kit originally released for the R50. Only this time with a real power increase.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, first let’s recap the various rumors we’ve heard about this car over the past year.

In mid-2006 we heard from several people that the power figures that BMW were shoot for were around 210 – 220bhp. This would make the JCW MINI the fastest production MINI ever and go a long way in developing the JCW brand as the ultimate MINI performance marque – aftermarket or otherwise.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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