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MF Exclusive: Factory JCW MINI In Detail

MF Exclusive: A few months ago we broke the news on a few of the upgrades expected on the new factory John Cooper Works MINI and some of the general performance figures. And while official details won’t be released until the Geneva Motor Show this March, today we’re going to reveal the full specifications on this (as MINI will market it) entirely new model. As some of you may have guessed, our previous report touched on just a few of the upgrades expected. Here’s a full list of upgrades to expect on the new factory JCW MINI Cooper S:

  • Upgraded/Optimized Turbo
  • Upgraded/Optimized Pistons
  • Upgraded Air Intake (same as dealer installed kit)
  • Revised 6 speed Manual Transmission
  • Upgraded Clutch
  • Four Piston Front Brakes / Upgraded rear pads
  • Upgraded Full Cat-back JCW Exhaust
  • Fully Optimized ECU
  • JCW Logos and door sills
  • JCW “Challenge Spoke” light weight alloy wheels (seen in the photo above)
  • 260 km/h speedometer limit (as opposed to the normal speedometer on the Cooper S with a limit of 240 km/h)

Now let’s talk details and how MINI will be getting 210bhp to 220bhp out of an already well optimized engine.

As we reported, one of the biggest upgrades to the car will be the use of a larger and more optimized turbo. The stock component is made just large enough for the current application so a new version was a must if MINI wanted to get more power out of the engine than the current dealer installed JCW kit.

But here’s where things start to get interesting. Also included in this new JCW kit will be a set of new pistons. This will help the engine rev quicker and create an even smother power delivery. We’re told the pistons are probably the most important change under the hood made with the factory JCW kit.

Helping to give the engine life will be a revised air intake that we believe will be the same or very similar to the one found in the “Stage I” or dealer installed JCW kit.

Elsewhere MINI will be using an upgraded full cat-back exhaust – different than the one used in the “Stage I’ kit. The exhaust should allow better flow and even more aggressive sound than the dealer kit.

Finally MINI will be updating the ECU to fully utilize these new components to the maximum potential.

All this adds up to some serious power. 210bhp to 220bhp is the unofficial range given however we believe that the final output will be on the high-side of that number. However don’t confuse the official number with the final number. We expect the official figure to be relatively conservative and right around the GP’s power output. Torque figures will most likely be just over 200ft lbs – not far off the dealer JCW kit currently offered. We’ve seen the 206ft lbs number from several sources.

As you can imagine all this power could conceivably tax the stock drivetrain. So MINI will be including a revised (and much more robust) clutch with the factory JCW car. Of course this verifies something we reported a few months back – the factory JCW MINI will not be available with an automatic.

Helping bring the car to a stop will be a new JCW brake kit with four piston front brakes (the current MINI makes due with one mind you) and much larger rotors and pads than the stock MCS.

All pretty impressive. But there’s one more thing. Coming standard with the new factory JCW MINI will be a new six speed manual transmission. This new unit will feature shorter throws, improved feel and (most importantly) be able to cope with the extra power and torque that the factory JCW car will put out. According to sources the current Getrag unit is only designed to handle power in the range of the dealer installed kit. So if BMW wanted to reach it’s normal longevity targets a new transmission and upgraded clutch was in order.

MINI plans to keep things rather low-key on the exterior of the new JCW MINI. We’ve verified the presence of the new JCW logos both on the car and on the front brake calipers (which are actually designed to look like he JCW logo). Wrapped around those calipers will be new JCW Challenge Spoke wheels that, we are told, will be the lightest factory wheel MINI has offered to date. Reportedly they’ll be identical to those seen on the JCW Challenge race car.

MINI plans to keep things rather low-key on the exterior of the new JCW MINI. We’ve verified the presence of the new JCW logos both on the car and on the front brake calipers. Wrapped around those calipers will be new JCW wheels which will be identical to those seen on the JCW Challenge race car.

Unlike the previous JCW products, MINI wants to treat these new factory JCW cars as different products and will market them as such. You can expect lots of language in the upcoming press releases that tout these car’s racing pedigree and similarity to the newly released JCW Challenge cars.

The factory JCW MINI will debut at the Geneva Motorshow this March with production and sales starting this June worldwide. The factory JCW option will be available on the Coupe, Clubman, and eventually the R57 MINI Convertible expected to debut in March of 2009.

Look for official information and European pricing in late February or early March. However don’t be surprised if final costs are a little higher than the previous factory JCW kit as this will be marketed as a separate model and a very special car.

We’d like to thank several sources that made this report possible.

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Written By: Gabe


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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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'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
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'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
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