MINI John Cooper Works Officially Released

Today marks the release of official information regarding the factory JCW Coupe and Clubman MINIs. While MF readers have had the details about these cars for quite some time, the information and photos below is the first official word from MINI about this new factory JCW car. Here are some of the highlights of the full release (which is also available below).

  • Production starts in June, on sale in August
  • US pricing starting at $28,550 for the Coupe and $30,800 for the Clubman
  • Euro pricing starting at 27,700 and 29,500 Euros / UK Pricing starting at £20,500 and £21,700
  • 211 bhp (207 hp) & 192 ft lbs or torque (207 ft lbs with overboost)
  • Upgraded/Optimized Turbo Pistons and four piston brakes (adapted from the MINI Challenge race car.
  • Upgraded Air Intake (same as dealer installed kit)
  • Revised 6 speed Manual Transmission
  • Upgraded Clutch
  • Upgraded Full Cat-back JCW Exhaust
  • Fully Optimized ECU
  • JCW “Challenge Spoke” light weight alloy wheels (21 lbs)
  • Electronic Differential Lock Control
  • Full range of John Cooper Works accessories available
  • New speedometer to allow for higher maximum speed (148 mph)
  • Full press release after the jump…

Full Photo Gallery

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You can see hi-res versions here.

MINI USA Official MINI Press Release

A big name, a long tradition, outstanding performance, figures and an incomparable driving experience: the MINI John Cooper Works arouses motor racing passion which goes beyond the race track. In August 2008 the new model – produced at the British MINI plant in Oxford – will be coming to Germany along with the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. With their world premiere at the International Automobile Salon in Geneva (March 6th–16th 2008), these versions are the first two models to be launched by MINI under the brand MINI John Cooper Works.

The heart beating under the bonnet of each of the two new extreme sports cars is that of a racer. The 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engine with Twin Scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection delivers 155 kW/211 bhp (207 hp US) and develops its maximum torque of 260 Newton-metres (192 lb-ft US) between 1,850 and 5,600 rpm – by means of overboost the torque can actually be increased to 280 Nm. (207 lb-ft US). The power unit is based on the engine of the John Cooper Works CHALLENGE, which will see its premiere at the MINI CHALLENGE 2008. It accelerates the MINI John Cooper Works in 6.5 seconds from 0–100 km/h, the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman manages the spurt in just 0.3 seconds more.

It is not only the engines of the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman that provide genuine racing feeling. Both models are also fitted with extensive motor racing technology as standard: exclusive light alloy rims with especially light and extremely high-performance brakes, a new exhaust system and the modified 6-speed manual transmission, also created with close reference to the new racing car for the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE. Rarely before has motor racing expertise found its way so directly onto the road. The MINI John Cooper Works will be available in Germany at a price of 27,700 Euros, the price of the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman will be 29,500 Euros. (US Pricing yet to be announced)

Fascinating power due to motor racing expertise.

The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are driven by a true power package based on the current engine of the MINI Cooper S, extensively revised for the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racing vehicle and now back on the road with refreshed power. Even the basic design of the 1,598 cc 4-cylinder engine has details which are drawn from motor racing. The cylinder block and bearing housing are made of aluminum, the four valves per cylinder are controlled by two upper camshafts, friction-optimised cam followers and hydraulic valve clearance compensation elements. The outlet valves are filled with sodium so as to meet the increased cooling needs of a turbo engine. The camshafts of the 4-cylinder are composite. Instead of using the conventional die-cast procedure, the cam rings are made of high-strength steel and shrink-fitted to the actual shaft. The intake camshaft has a continuously variable phase adjustment function by means of which the valve control times can be adapted to the relevant performance requirements.

The engines for the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are made at the BMW Group engine plant Hams Hall (Great Britain) where the engine units for all MINI model variations are manufactured. In the case of the top-of-the-range engine, there are a number of special modifications to the production process to do justice to the increased output and the resulting higher temperatures in the combustion chamber, thereby guaranteeing maximum reliability of the drive system. The engines are fitted with reinforced and specifically ground pistons as well as a cylinder head with optimised rigidity and modified gasketing. The intake valves and valve seat rings are also made of especially resilient material, and as compared to the engine of the MINI Cooper S there is a slight reduction of the compression.

More air, more power, more torque – the formula for increased driving pleasure.

The power increase as compared to the engine of the MINI Cooper S is mainly achieved by means of optimised air intake and outlet due to an adapted turbocharger. The air filter, air mass sensor, exhaust system and catalytic converter have been modified so as to achieve a power-enhancing dethrottling on the induction and exhaust side. This is also reflected in an engine sound which is peculiar to this model. Due to the adaptation of the exhaust system, a significant reduction of counterpressure is achieved. The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman fulfil the requirements for adherence to the particularly stringent threshold levels defined by the exhaust norms EU5 in Europe and ULEV II in the US.

The through-flow capacity of the clean air duct to the turbocharger has also been increased. The design of the Twin Scroll turbocharger enables an especially spontaneous power build-up. In the exhaust manifold and the turbocharger, the channels of two cylinders are separated in each case. The supercharger blades are set in optimum motion even at low engine speeds. A turbine was developed in very high-quality material especially for the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, and the maximum boost pressure was increased from 0.9 to 1.3 bar overpressure.

The maximum torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft US) is available even at an engine speed of 1,850 rpm and up to a level of 5,600 rpm. During acceleration, torque is raised to 280 Nm (207 lb-ft US) by means of a brief increase in boost pressure between 2,000 and 5,300 rpm. This overboost function gives the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman an even more powerful response. The engine reaches its maximum output of 155 kW/211 bhp (207 hp US) at 6,000 rpm. The spontaneous response is also reflected in the car’s acceleration figures. The MINI John Cooper Works takes 6.5 seconds to accelerate from 0–100 km/h, the time required by the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is 6.8 seconds. Both have a maximum speed of 238 km/h.

Petrol direct injection: fuel is precisely measured and efficiently used.

With a specific output of 132 bhp per litre of capacity, the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman advance into the realm of the purebred sports car. What is more, both new models have the characteristic MINI quality of offering unique driving fun in combination with exemplary efficiency. The key function here is the fuel supply system. The turbo 4-cylinder is fitted with petrol direction injection according to the common rail principle. Injection valves positioned laterally in the cylinder head feed the fuel in precise doses under a pressure of 120 bar from the tank directly into the combustion chamber. This means that in every situation on the road, precise fuel supply is guaranteed which is adapted to the given load requirements. The average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is at an unusually low level for vehicles of this output category. The MINI John Cooper Works makes do with 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres, the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman requires 7.0 litres. The respective CO2 figures are 165 and 167 grams per kilometre.

Conceived for maximum driving fun: chassis, brakes, assistance systems.

The standard range of features of the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman not only includes a particularly high-performance engine but also a wide range of other components which ensure that this irrepressible power is put safely onto the road. As is characteristic of MINI, the engine powers the front wheels. The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission whose components have been adapted to the very high level of torque of this new top-level engine. In addition to the sophisticated chassis technology with McPherson struts at the front axle and the central control arm rear axle, which is itself unique in the small car segment, the electromechanical EPAS (Electrical Power Assisted Steering) is a further guarantee of reliable and precise handling. The electrical servomotor also contributes to efficiency in that it is only activated when steering support is required or desired by the driver.

The steering system EPAS allows various settings to be programmed. The basic set-up guarantees balanced steering support depending on road speed. With the sports button, which is positioned as standard next to the gearshift lever in the centre console in the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, it is possible to activate a perceptibly more dynamic characteristic curve with higher steering torque and increased steering precision. In keeping with this, pressing the sports button also changes the accelerator pedal to a much sportier characteristic setting.

The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are fitted with sporty suspension settings as standard. As an alternative, a sports chassis with harder damper characteristics and stronger stabilisers is available for the front and rear axle. For a more extreme racing orientation, there is also a John Cooper Works chassis available in the accessory range for the MINI John Cooper Works. It includes a lowering of the suspension by 10 millimetres, even harder damper characteristics and stabilisers with a diameter which is larger than those of the sports chassis.

The standard sports brake system guarantees short braking distances and is characterised by precise response and fine controllability. The fixed caliper disc brakes with aluminium callipers finished in red – inner vented on the front wheels and bearing the John Cooper Works emblem on the callipers – are large in their dimensions. The type and function of the brake system is based on those in the MINI CHALLENGE racing vehicle. The same applies to the exclusive 17-inch light alloy wheels in John Cooper Works Cross Spoke CHALLENGE design. Weighing less than 10 kilos, they are the lightest standard wheels within the competitive environment of the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. The high-speed tyres in 205/45 W 17 format have runflat properties, and both models are equipped with a tyre damage display function.

As standard and unique in front-wheel-drive vehicles: DSC with DTC.

In addition to sporty suspension settings and powerful brakes, the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman also have sophisticated driving stability systems. Their standard equipment includes ABS, EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control) and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) including hill-start assistance and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control). By applying the brakes to individual wheels and reducing engine power, DSC applies a stabilising effect when required, intervening early on to prevent the vehicle from swerving at the front or rear wheels in especially dynamic driving situations or on slippery surfaces. The brake assistance function, likewise an element of DSC, detects emergency braking situations and ensures instant build-up of maximum brake pressure should the need arise.

DTC is a sub-function of DSC which is available here for the first time in a vehicle with front wheel drive. It enables the response threshold levels of driving stability regulation to be increased so as to allow controllable slip on the drive wheels. In this way, the models MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman can be controlled on snow-covered surfaces or loose sand with slightly spinning front wheels, or taken more intensively to the physical limits in highly dynamic driving situations. When the threshold range is reached, the stabilising intervention of DSC is also guaranteed in DTC mode. If necessary, DSC can be entirely deactivated.

What is more, in DSC-Off mode an electronically controlled lock function for the differential of the drive axle is activated. This system is also a standard feature and known as Electronic Differential Lock Control: it supports an ambitious, sporty driving style when accelerating out of bends and hairpins, for example. The electronically controlled lock function has the effect of applying specific, appropriate brake force to a spinning drive wheel on tight bends. This enhances the forward propulsion of the vehicle without having a negative impact on self-steering response. The bend can thus be taken more smoothly but also more swiftly.

Interior: sports car ambience and a wide range of individualisation options.

In the interior, the standard fittings of the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman boast a strikingly impressive elegance which is both simple and sporty in style. A three-spoke steering wheel in leather is the point of connection between the driver and his sports machine, while the anthracite roof liner and the interior surfaces in a glossy Piano Black finish create a calm atmosphere which promotes concentration on the road. Another feature of the two top-of-the-range sports cars is a speedometer scale which goes up to 260 km/h.

In addition, MINI also offers a wide range of individualisation options for configuring the two new extreme sports cars. In terms of exterior paint finishes, interior design, seat upholstery types, interior colours and decor options as well as the comfort features, the full breadth of variety is available as for the other model variations. Additional comfort, versatility and sporty flair can be achieved with items from the extensive accessory range of MINI and of John Cooper Works.

Ten exterior paint finishes are available to choose from for the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. Contrasting roof finishes and roof decor options provide a wide range of possible combinations. The basic fittings of the interior include seat covers in the fabric Chequered. Optional extras include leather upholsteries, sports seats with fabric/leather covers, sports leather seats and Recaro sports seats (not available in the US) from the John Cooper Works accessory program. The decor strips of the interior can be selected in Fluid Silver as an alternative to Piano Black. The accessory program also includes an interior strip in Carbon.

The high-quality entertainment and navigation systems of the MINI equipment range are also available for the two top-of-the-range sports cars. The controls of the audio system – with CD player as standard – and the 6 ½ inch TFT colour display of the optional navigation system are situated in the central circular instrument. The standard AUX socket enables music saved on an MP3 player to be played through the audio system, for example. A special interface for full integration of an Apple iPod is also available as an accessory. For optimum and safe communication on the road there is an optional mobile phone preparation or integrated hands-free facility with Bluetooth interface and USB connection. An interface for integrated operation of the audio and telephone functions is also specially available for the Apple iPhone.

Performance at premium level: John Cooper Works accessories.

The highlights of the John Cooper Works accessory program include the aerodynamics package and sports chassis with springs finished in red for the MINI John Cooper Works, as well as perforated brake discs and rear spoilers for both model versions. Other items include a suspension cross-brace for the engine compartment, mirror caps in carbon finish and so-called side scuttles – direction indicator surrounds with a sporty grid structure. To match this there are also decor strips, handbrake handles and sports gearshift levers in carbon decor which provide an even sportier ambience. The gear shift indicator in the John Cooper Works accessory program also contributes to an intensive driving experience.

With the John Cooper Works Performance components, the character of the two new models is given even greater emphasis and visually highlighted, too. Premium-quality sporty flair characterises them as it does the two new models themselves, both of which bear the John Cooper Works logo. The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman have to be able to meet both the extreme challenges of the race track as well as the extensive requirements of everyday traffic in terms of functionality, design, reliability and durability. Together, the brands MINI and John Cooper Works stand for a promise of quality which is uniquely powerful within the competitive environment of MINI.

MINI and John Cooper Works: shared roots in motor racing.

The two top sports cars are sold through the MINI dealer network. Like all variations of the MINI and MINI Clubman, both models are manufactured at the MINI plant in Oxford according to customer wishes. In this way, the integration of the John Cooper Works label under the umbrella MINI is now also reflected in the range of vehicles available ex works.

The close connection between MINI and John Cooper Works, based on a motor racing tradition stretching back decades, has a defining influence on the development of new vehicles and components. The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman represent the shared values of driving fun, premium quality and individuality in an especially concentrated form. In terms of reliability, quality of workmanship and authenticity of design, they fulfil the high standards of the BMW Group, as do the John Cooper Works Performance components with their perfect adaptation to MINI. The new models are thus also subject to the warranty conditions applicable to MINI.

We’ve also got a few new videos of MINI’s factory JCW, including an exclusive look at the interior. However don’t forget that not everything seen on the cars comes standard as part of the JCW model.

JCW MINI at the Track

JCW Interior Design

JCW Exterior Design (Coupe)

JCW Exterior Design (Clubman)

JCW Engine Shots

  • Jason

    All that for $28,550, sign me up!

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  • Wizz

    After translating the official press release from German to English ( it seems that the official numbers are actually: Power – 155kW/211hp Torque – 260Nm (280Nm with Overboost) 0-100km/h – 6.5sec

  • Allen

    damn, does mini have a return policy? =)

  • rkw

    The wheels are described as light weight at “less than 10 kilograms”, but how much less? 10 kg is over 22 lbs!

  • Liam

    Sounds very nice. Can’t wait to see Australian pricing!

  • Gabe

    After translating the official press release from German to English ( it seems that the official numbers are actually:

    Yeah looks like the initial release we got had a few incorrect numbers. We’ve since changed it to correspond with the German release.

  • Mac
    The wheels are described as light weight at “less than 10 kilograms”, but how much less? 10 kg is over 22 lbs!

    9,6 kg

  • Paul

    I’m attempting to lead a ‘greener’ lifestyle. Any idea on how big of a hit the JCW will take on epa gas mileage ratings?

  • Mark R

    It would be great to have high-res versions of these photos. 😉

  • dave


    i’m assuming lsd is also part of the package. the coupe is the looker, but the clubman is the coolest one to get. i want one!

  • Petey

    pop pop pop Will the burble return?

  • Charlie

    Mark R Feb 24th, 2008 Link

    It would be great to have high-res versions of these photos. 😉

    Maybe these ?

  • Mac

    no limited slip on the standard version. lsd can be found on the option list (aftersales)

  • dc

    “Full range of John Cooper Works body styling products available”

    what the hell does that mean? OF COURSE it would be available… question is, does it come with that $28K starting price. That is pure retardation to use the words “available”… they might as well put “recaro seats available” as well, since technically they fit inside, albeit you would have to take the stock seats out yourself, special order the seats to ship to the US, and have yourself install it…

  • eager2own

    Someone should tell the guys at that body styling products are “available”. Their release this morning says body kits are part of what you get for $28,550 (coupe) or $30,800 (Clubman)

  • Gabe

    It would be great to have high-res versions of these photos. 😉

    Yes we have all the high-res photos on our flickr site: JCW Flickr Set

    Up to 3164 x 2332 if you really want to get crazy.

  • dickdavid

    Thanks for the high res pics. My computer is lookin’ sweet with these new shots.

  • rkw

    There is an English version of the press release on Jalopnik (LINK).

    Electronic Differential Lock was introduced in the 135i and is new for MINI. Seems odd that it is active only in DSC-off mode (I would have thought DSC-on).

    What is more, in DSC-Off mode an electronically controlled lock function for the differential of the drive axle is activated. This system is also a standard feature and known as Electronic Differential Lock Control: it supports an ambitious, sporty driving style when accelerating out of bends and hairpins, for example. The electronically controlled lock function has the effect of applying specific, appropriate brake force to a spinning drive wheel on tight bends. This enhances the forward propulsion of the vehicle without having a negative impact on self-steering response. The bend can thus be taken more smoothly but also more swiftly.
  • Gabe

    There is an English version of the press release on Jalopnik (LINK).

    The English version above on this page.

    damn, does mini have a return policy? =)

    I can’t say we haven’t been warning you for the past few months :) Seriously though I don’t think this car is really that much above and beyond the dealer installed kit. Especially considering the price.

  • AlexM

    Ok, so DSC is going to come standard now right? Or did I read it wrong? : P

  • Jon

    Love it…

    $28,800 isn’t to bad at all, though even with slight additions this is going to be a expensive Mini. Mu list would read something like.

    $500 LSD $500 Xenon headlights $100 Rear fog ights $250 Anthracite headliner $500 Auto AC $2000 NAV $95 Carpet Mats $1295 JCW suspension $1595 JCW aero kit $129 JCW shifter $585 JCW steering wheel $255 JCW shift indicator

    $7304 $36,104 total

    Not to sure about spending 36k for a car that will be indistinguishable from a dealer kit. Meanwhile I can get into a BMW 135i for 37.105 with it equipped as I am wanting.

  • Mac

    DTC as a standard in the factory works, DSC as a standard in all other models from march onwards

  • Marty

    is it just me, or do the new factory JCWs have new badges on the side (where the turning light indicator is)

    and how does one get those?

  • dc

    “Full range of John Cooper Works body styling products available”

    I’ve worked in the autobiz long enough to know that is the single dumbest line on a press release one could ever put. I mean, they might as well put “gas available” as well.

    At first, I thought the JCW would be the car I’ve waited for the past few years. Then the first release that Gabe put out disappointed me, because of the horrible value the car really is.

    So for me to buy this JCW, and get the kit that SHOULD have come with the price, it would cost me roughly $31K+, not including TTL. For that money, Id even argue that the VW R32 would be a better value… and I HATE VW… I laughed when the pricing for the first gen R32 came out, and I laughed even harder when the more recent version came out… But this JCW takes the cake! Mini’s reliability isn’t that great, at least not good enough to command that premium over the competitors.

    What crack is are those Germans thinking this time around? Their interior is vastly inferior for a $25K+ price point, their motor isn’t much to be wowed upon at that price point, their reliability isnt that great, they dont offer anything exclusive at all… I only fell in love with the car because I’ve always liked the older versions from the hippie days. I loved driving the R53 when Mini used to send the media vehicles to my door. It was FUN to drive, but that does not justify a price point of over $30K. Thats STI/EVO/R32/1-series/base 3-series territory.

    So after Gabe’s initial reveal of the JCW, I said screw it, im going to buy a Scion or something useful, just to drive the next few years in hope someone over at Mini would wake the hell up.

    Then this press release comes out, the car looks GREAT, but again, they insult us with those “available” remarks, and the high price point.

    So now I’m on the fence again… dammit

  • Gabe

    Not to sure about spending 36k for a car that will be indistinguishable from a dealer kit. Meanwhile I can get into a BMW 135i for 37.105 with it equipped as I am wanting.

    And you didn’t even spec out leather, metallic paint or any of the other nice to haves.

  • Jon


    In a heartbeat I would buy a Mini that is a more complete build even if it surpasses the 135i as I love the brand. Still can’t help but to feel that Mini has missed the mark. I still think that the car should have been built more as a M development instead of piece mealing something together that blends with the rest of the brand.

  • dc

    My God I just read the press release after I typed up my rant up above… What the hell kool-aid is Mini sipping? Seriously?!!

    6.5 sec 0-60, and “fascinating power from motor racing expertise” does NOT compute! 6.5 was perhaps fast back in 1980, but these days, thats the barrier to entry for a so-called hot hatch.

    German owned. Sucks. French motor. Sucks. Built in England. Sucks.

    Why do I like this car so much and actually considering buying it??!!

  • greylight

    Sounds like the new DTC (with DSC on) + Electronic Differential Lock Control (with DSC off) is the electronic version of LSD, correct?


  • MarkD

    If you installed only the performance options how would the car stack up.

    LSD and JCW Suspension 2200 dollars installed (approx)

    That would bring the price to 31000 dollars

    How would this car perform versus other cars in the 30-32k price range.

    MY guess is it would be the ultimate performer in this range.

    Do I think it is a little over priced, yes, but what modern car is not. The new Evo and Sti are going for 35-40k and that is a real joke. I feel a base 135i is a far better deal than the Evo or Sti and is the best performance bargain in the 35k to 37K category. It looks like BMW has locked up performance cars in the 30k dollar range.

  • Mac

    well….MINI is a premium brand and in the end thats what you’re payin for, as simple as that. if you ask me: i think its way too expensive and i really doubt that there will be a lot of r55 john cooper works units on the road

  • zm

    so, $5500 more than the dealer JCW kit gets you:

    -15 more hp -8 ft lbs more torque -upgraded brakes -nice wheels i like the car, but when laid out like that, doesn’t seem as compelling.

    there used to be a huge difference b/n the base cooper s & the JCW model (’06). but, with the improvements to the base model, plus the ‘cheap’ dealer installed kit for ’07-on, this doesn’t seem like much of a bargain.

    can someone convince me otherwise?

    sure, it has an upgraded driveline, but that doesn’t matter unless you’re driving the car beyond warranty.

  • MeanMrMstrd

    Haven’t read any other comments here. I think the black roof with black accent that frames the bum is so much better than the silver one on the standard Clubman it’s spank’n.

  • Mozza
    $250 Anthracite headliner

    Jon they’re actually throwing in the anthracite headliner and your choice of either piano black or brushed silver for interior surfaces. Not much I know but better than nothing I guess. Quick observation on the press photo of the tailpipes, they don’t seem to be engraved with the JCW branding. I’m wondering whether this is a photoshop omission or the pipes really will be left sans logo.

  • Chris B.

    How does one select bigger sizes for photos hosted on Flickr??? Do I need to be a member or what?

  • Tony UK

    It’s not as “special” as I’d hoped and feels expensive, especially as the Aero kit is additional. I’ll be looking to change my R56 in about 12 months (maybe sooner if the rattling gets worse) and will probably go for either a very clean GP or possibly 500 ABARTH SS.

  • Dr Obnxs

    wow to the pricing…. Let’s just say I’ll stay in the buy cheap and mod camp….


  • Alan Smithee

    Thankfully, this is almost exactly what I was hoping/waiting for. Considering the R&D, stronger drivetrain, and factory installed parts, to me this is a much better alternative to the aftermarket or dealer installed JCW pieces. I think all of the factory body kits are ugly and am thrilled the car will be hard to distinguish from a regular MCS.

    It would be perfect with some sport buckets, JCW suspension, a mechanical LSD, and without stability control…but the DTC/EDLC sound like a reasonable alternative to the latter two given the upcoming government mandates.

    If you have to have leather, sunroof, etc, for most the 135i is a better deal at $36k…but there are no other 200+ hp cars weighing less than 2,600lbs on the market. For $31k with JCW suspension, sign me up!

  • Braden

    Big Disappointment, I can’t beleive that they wouldn’t include the JCW suspension in a factory car. The power is only at 207hp with a claimed 0-60 at 6.5 sec!! :( This can’t be right, this is conservative right?? I have to agree with DC, these are performance figures from the 1980’s. Come on Mini, this is supposed to be the PERFORMANCE factory JCW, the top dog Mini!! It seams they could have done a bit more in the hp area for that price. I understand about conserving gas mileage, but I don’t think it should have been such a issue with this car. If you want a quick car with great gas mileage then buy the stock S, but this is the car that should satisfy the performance group. When you have 4cyl turbo cars out there like the new Evo or Subaru STI that will do 4.9 and 5.2 sec to 60mph in stock form, this is quite embarrassing :( I prefer the look of the Mini to these cars, but their performance figures are sure tempting.

  • Gabe

    Big Disappointment, I can’t beleive that they wouldn’t include the JCW suspension in a factory car. The power is only at 207hp with a claimed 0-60 at 6.5 sec!! :( This can’t be right, this is conservative right??

    It seems MINI really knows how to shoot itself in the foot with technical figures. First off we know (from a couple inside sources) that this car dynoed at least ten hp more than the published 207 number. Secondly we also know that stock MCSs will do 0-60 in well under 6 seconds already. So why the hell would they give us such conservative figures that we know will be proven incorrect? It makes the car look much less impressive than it is and certainly less of a performance value.

    Granted the MINI has never been about power figures and 0-60 times. My own MCS with JCW suspension pre JCW dealer installed engine kit has had no trouble embarrassing M3s at the track. I can only imagine that this car (assuming you get the JCW suspension) will do the same even a little quicker.

  • dave


    those who immediately diss this car base on hp figures and 0-60 times, this ain’t the car for you. go drive a mustang

    the e-diff lock is pretty cool, but a mechanical lsd should’be been included like the factory r53 jcw. i thought the unit on 135i is e-lsd. diff lock and lsd are not exactly the same thing

  • Mills

    I hope your right Gabe, because 211hp & 6.5 seconds sounds pretty lame. They should of gone for at least 230hp.

  • Chris B.

    I think there’s only so much that can be done before they’d have to bring in an AWD setup (correct me if I’m wrong); anything more than this they’d have to do some serious drvietrain mods.

  • Jon

    Still the hardest thing for me is to understand how Mini came up with developing this without making it visually stand out. I have no doubts that its going to be a great little car but buying a car at the top end of the price range that will not look different than any other car is a mis-step. Believe what I was hoping for is something more like a GP development. I personally believe the GP has met its match for performance with this car but the GP still wins hands down on the more desirable product in my small world view.

  • cct1

    I’m mildly disappointed in the HP/Torque in comparison to the Stage I, but what bothers me the most is lack of the JCW suspension, and the lack of a true LSD. The ediff may be just fine (it does have the advantage of saving weight), but I’ll be waiting until some better drivers than me give a verdict on it. I really wanted a car balanced for performance–an included aerodynamic package and suspension, as well as weight loss, and they probably would have had me. I guess what I was hoping for/expecting was something more focused like the GP or M with regard to performance; maybe that will come later–toward the end of the life cycle of the R56.

    For me, I’ll either get a 135i, depending on how much its going to cost to set up, or see if a GP like variant of the R56 is in the works (no pun intended).

    But as things stand now, the best bang for the buck is JCW (or after market) suspension, brake upgrade, stage I and LSD for an all around package. I hate to be bummed out about this, but I am….

  • robble

    “Fully optimized ECU” haha – I don’t think so. There would be a LOT more torque it it were. It must keep what torque it does have into a higher RPM range though to get those HP figures.

    I find the upgraded trans, clutch, and pistons to be of interest but not enough to justify the cost.

    Add a piggy back ECU or GIAC flash and this car has potential to be a monster.

  • Woj

    Well… I put money down for one, so I’ll wait and see. That e-diff is BS. If it doesn’t fit the bill, I’ll walk across the showroom and order a basic 135i and be done with it.

  • Woj

    I’m assuming that after it’s intro at the Geneva auto show that we’ll get a better handle on the cost by being to “build your own”? I can’t believe that there is so little being given for the extra $$$. 17″ wheels, WTF? The dealers will be happy as they do more installs of the JCW stage I.

  • dc

    Mini wants to be a premium brand, but isn’t. Their interior doesn’t even come up to par when it comes to being “premium”. The materials used are worse than a Honda Civic. VW is the king of interiors, and they cost less than Mini. Thats why I said in my previous post that even the R32 is a better deal (sadly) than this JCW. And the R32 was the biggest overpriced joke in the world today.

    The STI and EVO are both offered at $35K, but they aren’t a one-price shop like Mini is. You can negotiate. And sadly, both those companies even improved on their interiors to be better than Mini’s.

    PLUS they have AWD and a much stronger motor, and ACTUAL performance. The only advantage I see so far for the JCW is perhaps their MPG the motor gets… but for how long that motor will last is beyond me. Subaru and Mitsu both have better records than any german brand. And being that Mini is owned by a german brand, built in england, and motor designed by the french, you’ve essentially picked the worst of the WORST to do anything.

  • Fillip

    You are paying a little more than $3000 for the extra power, better brakes, the wheels, and the upgraded tranny/clutch over a basic MCS with dealer-installed JCW kit and comparable options. I’m basing this off of $21,850 base price, plus $250 for the piano black interior, $250 for the anthracite headliner, $750 for 17″ wheels, and the $2300 MSRP for the dealer JCW kit installed. Certainly not a bargain, but it isn’t that bad either. Also, do we know what you get for a suspension on this car? I know it is not the JCW one, but it is it the standard or the “sport” suspension? And any chance they might include the LSD with the US car? Seems silly to not make it standard when you’re putting out this much power, as the basic MCS without the JCW kit already suffers from torque steer.

  • Fillip

    oh, and another $500 for the DSC that is standard on this car… the gap is getting smaller.

  • http://deleted cct1

    No, read the specs–no LSD, but an ediff instead. You get the sport suspension.

    Again, what I personally was hoping for was a car geared more toward balanced performance, but still reasonable to drive on the street. This doesn’t quite hit the mark. It leans toward being more of an everyday car with added power but not so much focused on overall performance, rather than a performance car that can be driven everyday (more like the GP), if that makes sense…

  • Chris B.

    ^ Maybe that’s because this isn’t the last word for the MKII? I’d assume so. Guys, this is only the second year for the MKII, I’m sure that if anyone was going to make mods to their current R56 they would have done so by now. The JCW R56/55 will no doubt find plenty of homes and be all things to many people.

  • Chris W.

    OK, I don’t think I missed anything. Here’s a 2008 Cooper S equipped with the JCW engine kit and other similar accessories:

    Base MSRP: $21,200 Destination & Handling: $650 Sport Suspension: $500 JCW Tuning Kit (installation not incl.): $2,100 JCW 18″ R105 Wheels, black: $2,775 Total MSRP: $27,225

    Factory JCW R56: $28,550.00

    Difference: $1,325.00

    $28,550 may be expensive, but the price difference seems reasonable considering the upgraded brakes, transmission, and turbo. Or, am I looking at this all wrong??

  • chrisb

    Pretty much as expected and as detailed within WRR #222: it’s built with a degree of compromise to appeal to the mass market, rather than an all out, no-compromise track weapon; the standard 17in wheels alone attest to this.

    Regarding the numbers and as many have already mentioned: they have to be ultra conservative, the ‘standard’ R56 Cooper S is quick, this thing is going to be an absolute rocket. Can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one.

  • Woj

    RE: Chris W. I believe that you are off on your calculations as you forget to include the additional cost of the JCW suspension and 18″ wheels on the factory ledger. In addition, both cars should have the cost of the LSD added. It’s anybody’s guess as to how much they will rape us for the stg I or II factory JCW suspensions….argh!

  • nuvolari

    There MUST be something better coming, because this just won’t do.

  • Chris W.

    RE: Woj

    Yeah, I should have taken a little more time reviewing the differences and options. Turns out that 17″ wheels would have been a better comparison. However, it doesn’t look like LSD is standard on the factory car, but I should have included DSC, anthracite headliner, and piano black dash.

    Either way, although there are a few key items missing from the factory car, it is nicely equipped and the price is seems reasonable when compared to a similarly equipped non-factory JCW.

  • dc

    I can already see those German’s that head Mini patting themselves on the back saying “damn we did a GREAT job! we are so smart and awesome!” … while the economic recession looms over the horizon… this car isnt mass market, because the mass market cannot and will not buy a car like this for that price. not anymore. not for a while.

  • Fillip

    I’ve heard that their sales projections are <1000 units per year for both the Coupe and Clubman versions, so they are not concerned about high volume for this car.

  • Thameth

    I’m just amazed the the factory JCW car doesn’t come with every JCW part available?? Are we absolutely sure it doesn’t come with the JCW suspension, JCW Steeing wheel, the JCW Aero Kit and so on? From reading the release and seeing the pictures it would seem it comes with the Aero Kit.

    I agree with most that this car should have been basically fully loaded at that price, basically minus Nav….

  • Fussner

    DC if you are so against this car then why do you keep coming back to this website, you honestly have nothing better to do with your day than sit here and try and rag on MINI, really? thats sad have fun out driving your Evo or STI which motors don’t out last that of a Porsche which last longer then any Japanese car plus they still have performance figures even from their cars that are 20 years old that will keep up with the STi and Evo. so have fun with that.

  • JustJAY

    WOW! Thank you MINI for making My R53 with mods just that much better.

  • Alan Smithee

    cct1 and Chris W…the sport suspension does NOT appear to be part of the JCW:

    “The MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are fitted with sporty suspension settings as standard. As an alternative, a sports chassis with harder damper characteristics and stronger stabilisers is available for the front and rear axle. For a more extreme racing orientation, there is also a John Cooper Works chassis available in the accessory range for the MINI John Cooper Works.”

  • Timmee

    No Cooper S Badge

    Hmmm… No Cooper S badge – just the JCW logo on the back…

    Just like Gabe’s car…

    Gabe did you know about this before?

  • Jon

    Did notice in several of the shots the JCW Recaro seats that more than a few have dreamed of here in the States for years. This is one option that I would happily pay for .

  • Coo

    This is all so relative and depends so much on what is your starting point and what are your expectations…

    Just returning from US back to Europe I can better understand many of the comments here and how people seem to be disappointed with the performance figures. Basically I saw during my visit to US in a week more V8 engined cars and high performance BMWs, Porches etc. than I see in year here where I live (well more V8s than I’ve seen in my lifetime here). So I can see how in peer-to-peer comparison the top of the range Mini may seem disappointing. For my peer-to-peer review it still appears more powerful car than most I see on the road.

    However, even if I do understand this, I can’t help thinking this is not the right approach for this in the long term. If 6.5 secs isn’t satisfactory anymore then what is? 5.5 secs? And if the R56 Works Mini was a 5.5 sec car, how should the next model perform like that it wouldn’t dissatisfy people? For me even the basic Cooper S has more power than I practically need anything on top of that is simply added bonus and since always craving for more is a never ending story, I try to enjoy the other fine elements of the Mini. Everyone to their own though.

    Another perspective for the issue. My rather full packed Mini Cooper S JCW stage 1 cost me around $63 000, so any price you discuss here is peanuts :) Like said, it’s all very relative…

    (btw the official 0-60 is going to be less than 6.5 secs as 0-100 km/h is equivalent to 0-62 mph. The right figure is probably closer to 6 secs).

  • Paul

    Regarding the JCW aero kit, have there ever been any figures released (from Mini or independent sources) showing any true aerodynamic benefit or improvement?

  • Fillip

    to address this quote by Tameth, “I agree with most that this car should have been basically fully loaded at that price, basically minus Nav….”– it is unreasonable to expect the JCW car to be “fully loaded” with all the JCW mods including suspension and Aero kit at $28,550. Try building a regular Cooper S with the same features that come standard on the JCW (DSC, anthracite headliner, piano black trim, 17″ wheels), and then add the JCW tuning kit, brake kit, aero kit, and suspension. I assure you that you are not getting in to this car south of $28,550. So how can they give you all of this, and much more, at that price? Compare this to the cost of the GP, which was just over $31k nearly 2 years ago. If you take the $28,550 and add the cost for the JCW suspension and JCW aero kit, then you are just over $32k, which is a reasonable jump to expect for a similar model after 2 model years and a body style change.

  • Darren

    Why have press release images showing the JCW aero kit on the car and this not being part of the spec? If this is the ‘factory’ car then why not show photos of the car that comes from the factory? This is what it could look like if you are prepared to spend the extra cash! Many of the images are heavily re-touched too, very badly I might add. Does the car really sit that low? Nope. Does the spec include the Recaro seats? Nope.

    Anyway, rant over … I’m tempted by the car, I think a back to back test with a standard S is a must to justify the high premium though. I’m sure it will be huge fun to drive, just a big shame its missing the body kit, seats, suspension and LSD, IMO.

    I do think BMW have missed a trick and many customers who would definitely have parted with the cash, will be having second thoughts.

  • BSUCardinalfan

    Soggy Cereal. That’s my reaction to this thing. I’m really sad, because I thought for sure this would be my next car.

    I’m not so down on the power numbers, but simply the fact that the car doesn’t come with the suspension and aero kit standard. When fitted at the factory, the additional cost of those items is negligible. (they don’t have to put the ‘stock’ parts on, so you don’t have to pay for parts you are going to remove from your car.)

    As of now you are looking at low $30s with a few options for a MCS with a bit more power. That car just won’t sell when you look at all of the competitors out there which offer far more for much less.

    It’s too bad, but I think MINI is losing the ‘value’ part of the equation in a bad way right now.

  • Calogero

    Good price for 28,000. Wow. Seems like a steal.

    I thought though, the hp was going to be around the 220 mark with the JCW kit?

  • Tim Murphy

    I don’t think this car is going to cut it against the current competition, e.g. Golf GTI, Megane 230, or even Clio Cup. Not to mention the forthcoming Focus RS.

    I had hoped for a step up on the GP, with at least 220-230 bhp, LSD, JCW suspension and Recaro seats as standard. Though I’m glad to see they’ve moved to multi-piston calipers at last.

    I read about the AC Schnitzer version in EVO this month, sounds like a better machine.

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  • Gabe

    Hmmm… No Cooper S badge – just the JCW logo on the back… Just like Gabe’s car… Gabe did you know about this before?

    What.. me… know something before it’s released. I have no idea what you’re talking about…

    Regarding the JCW aero kit, have there ever been any figures released (from Mini or independent sources) showing any true aerodynamic benefit or improvement?

    I’ve driven R56s both with and without the JCW aero-kit over 140 mph and can tell you there’s no question the aero-kit seemed to help the car equipped with it stay much more planted at speeds. From my experience, without the kit the MINI will start to get very light in the front end around 135 mph.

    After I had this experience I had a chance to speak with the very designer who created the JCW aero-kit. I specifically asked him how they created the kit and if there were any benefits. His answer: yes it was created in a wind tunnel and yes it was designed to reduce lift at high speeds.

    I thought though, the hp was going to be around the 220 mark with the JCW kit?

    This is what we said recently in an exclusive report on the car a few weeks back:

    210bhp to 220bhp is the unofficial range given by our sources. And based on these same sources, 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.

    The final number is obviously 211 bhp which matches up well with the 214 bhp of the GP’s.

  • dnor72

    “DTC as a standard in the factory works, DSC as a standard in all other models from march onwards”

    So after March DSC will be a standard feature on all MINIs? Will this be reflected in an increase in the base price of the cars and/or a decrease in cost of the Sports Package? Or will the price stay the same and DSC just get ‘absorbed’ into the base price? That would be nice.

    With DSC-Off how will this Electronic Differential Lock Control work in conjunction with the optional mechanical LSD? It seems to me that if this Electronic Differential Lock Control is anything like what comes on the 135i it is seen as a replacement to a mechanical LSD. Will they be redundant? Will a mechanical LSD not be able to properly function while this system is doing it’s electro-lock thing?

  • edijak

    If you were to “fully” equip this “Factory JCW” with both performance and creature comforts the price tag is over $40k. Shipping $650, Metallic paint $500,cold & convience pkgs. $2000,leather $2000, sat & premium radio $1500, aero kit $1250 (at factory),suspension $1300, sport stripes,a couple carbon fiber options,some driving lamps and on it goes plus sales tax. $28,800 gets you very little over the S with aero, suspension and tuning kits. What do you get, a beefed up clutch and illuminated gear shift knob?? I’ll stay with my MCS and kits. Not worth the price.

  • MeanMrMstrd

    Yo “DC” why are you wasting so much time here? This car is obviously not for you. I’m thinking a Ferrari or some other high end brand would be a better choice for you and your “high end” budget. LOL

  • dc

    I complain a lot about this car because i REALLY WANTED it to be my next car. Ive wait this long after the R56 first came out, and was hoping for the new generation of the GP. This was supposed to be it! I’m more than willing to pay $30,000 USD for the car, its just that if I pay that much, it better be comparbly equipped… for which this car is far from. That price of $28,800 without a doubt should have included the aero kit and LSD. I’m extremely happy about the new brakes because that’s a definite new barrier to entry for new niche-performance cars… its just a shame they don’t know how to price these things.

    And I KNOW people at Mini NA read these websites. But sadly Mini NA doesn’t have much of a say when it comes to the real decision makers… the Germans.

  • Craig

    Let’s see a price breakdown. A base Cooper S is $21200 add another $7350 for the JCW. The the factory JCW on the R53 was comparatively more expensive. IIRC the JCW package on the R53 was $6,300 and required the Sport package at $1400 for a total of $7700. If you add in the Xenon headlamps which is the only option that is not included in the R56 JCW that is in the R53 combo the price increase is only $150 over the R53 JCW. There also can be no argument that this factory JCW is much more capable than the R53 JCW. So how can anyone critisize the price of this option? Especially if you take out the cost of the anthracite headliner ($250) and Piano black dash ($250) this JCW ends up being CHEAPER than the R53 JCW!

  • http://deleted cct1

    The R53 JCW was horribly overpriced–I have one, I love it, but the fact remains it is quite a gouge. Gouging a second time on the R56 doesn’t make it right….

    Fussner, don’t know where you got that about the Porsche engines–they’re not known for their longevity, although their performance is out of this world. Most Porsche owners, especially those with the earlier Cayman’s and Boxsters, recommend unloading the car well before 100,00 miles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Porsche’s, but….

    I wonder if the ediff is BMW’s solution to the torque steer issue. We’ll have to see some track tests.

    So how could have this car been a home run? Simple. Allow for a factory installed aerokit and JCW suspension, which would be much cheaper way to do it rather than buy the car and mod it at the dealers. Everyone is happy, except for the dealers, who lose the extravagant service fees. This would have gotten me into one. Now I’ll be waiting toward the end of the cycle, to see if a GP type model will become available, or go with a 135i.

  • scott

    Any update on when the JCW brakes will be available?

  • Jon

    Scott, Gabe has released the info before that the brakes will be available as a JCW option. I believe this will be available to both the R56 and R55.

  • Jon E

    This is the car that I was considering waiting for. I finally decided that I couldn’t wait any longer and ordered a 2008 MCS in December and took delivery about a month ago. At this point I’m glad I did because equiped with the same options and adding the JCW suspension would total $43,395; a bit more than I can justify for a MINI. By the time I finish with aftermarket mods that so far include wheels (@ 15.5 lbs. each) with non-runflat tires and the JCW suspension w/Mach V Springs; and in the future will likely include intake, exhaust, intercooler, and ECU upgrade I’ll probably have better performance #’s and will have spent several thousand $’s less. However, I intend to start saving my pennies for the future factory JCW in probably 2012.

  • Greg

    “a greener life style”, please, I’m gonna puke. It seems that the stage one JCW really has turned out to be a bargain when you add things up. Jon, you forgot to add $650 for s&h as $28,550 does not include that. Also, when you add up the JCW suspension numbers and add BMW install charges it scrapes $2400 before sales taxes. Everyone forgets the huge cost of install that Mini/BMW gouges you with when adding up their accessories cost.

  • Callahan

    As much as I love the MINI, I would have to saY I would definately not go with the Stage II JCW. I’ll stick with my original plan of a pretty loaded R56 {with all four packages and Factory Nav plus some other nice to haves topping out at 30,500} and add the Stage I after purchase. A kick butt car I’m sure but as it hits and exceeds 35,000 with few options, it is hitting some territories of some other cars such as the 135 and 330, Mustang GT’s, new Camaro etc.

  • Brian

    It’s insane that it doesnt come with the Aero kit.

  • DBM

    I really wonder how much beefier the clutch and tranny will be to justify the premium price. These are the only two items that really can’t be quantified in value in the overall package from this release. IMO I think they better be bullet proof for the price they are charging for this car.

  • c4

    The 1-series will take away sales from heavely specced/Factory JCW cars. I think $40K for a JCW R56 or R55 is really insane.

  • Jon

    What still shocks me about this development is this is the first of what I hope are factory JCW cars. Think John Cooper Works/Mini should have taken a very different path with this car. Not including the JCW suspension I think is a blunder but making a new car that doesn’t stand out at all as being something special is flawed. Special wheels and badging, 99.9% of everybody, Mini owners included will look at this car not be able to tell if its a entry R56 or R55 or what.

    Base minimum I think they should have made a slight change to the JCW aero kit and developed a Factory car only color. These could have still been options but at least would make a high dollar Mini purchase a little more worthwhile. Sure hope that MiniUSA, BMW/Mini, and John Cooper Works reads the feedback on this story to get some idea how their community feels about this development.

  • Craig

    I don’t get all of the comments comparing this with the 135i. Oh my gawd! A well loaded JCW is the price of a base 135i! I could just as easily say: Oh my gawd! A loaded 135i is the same price as a 5 series!

    You can get $6,475 in options on a JCW for the price of a BASE 135i. Leather seats, metallic paint, cold package, premium package and convenience package only add up to $5500. If you add similar options to the 135i (since you insist on adding them to the MINI) the price goes up to $42825 for a difference of $8125.

  • c4

    I don’t know, but I would feel more comfortable paying $42K for a well specced 135i than mid $30’s for a JCW R56.

    In other words, I think the Bimmer, in this case, is a better value, dollar per dollar.

    In my honest opinion, once you break the $30K barrier in the MINI (Which unfortunately is very easy to do), the value aspect of the car diminishes considerably.

    $30K-$40K buys you a nice set of wheels…

  • Greg

    I specced it out with the same options as I put on my stage two. $47k! Granted, I got about everything, but I wasn’t rediculous about it. Everything is a “functional” option. I didn’t do CF bits or anything (about $40k total). SO, I can see where the 135i comments are coming from. A loaded 135i is right there(or less???) than a loaded stage 2.

    Hey Mini, have you shot yourself in the foot this time? Taking away the LSD and not inluding SS or body kit was a bad idea. A lot of people seem p***ed. But thanks for bumping up the value on my used stage one for sale.

  • Mac

    q: There MUST be something better coming, because this just won’t do.

    a: nope – at least not within the next 3-4 years. there might be a “last edition” (like the gp) just before the next generation will start production but really nothing concrete…

    taking away the limited slip was no “bad idea”, it was kind of necessary as the machine simply wasnt “drivable” in combination with the dtc. thats why its available as an “option”

  • AlexM

    Umm if a LSD + dtc = an undrivable car, then why would they even let you get it as an option?

  • Calogero

    Yes Gabe I totally understand that.

    I just was hoping the total would be about the 220 mark or 225 mark. I know the actual bhp would be lower but still higher than the current models if the starting point of the bhp was higher.

    Know what I mean.

    And forgot to mention how much I liked seeing your MINI without that S logo and just the JCW. Gets me thinking to maybe do that to mine. Way to go.

    Nice write up once again.

  • Mac

    i actually ment it the way i posted it 😉

    dtc+lsd simply was a little “too much”, so if you guys order your r55/r56 with the john cooper works tuningkit and you also go for the lsd, please swith off the dtc when you drive the car – ha ha ha ;-)))) (maybe a litte exaggerated here 😉 )

    there are also some “heritage” reasons why lsd is an option because – as we see – people ask for it!

  • AlexM

    Ok. So the dtc is basically an electronic LSD? And the electronic and mechanical ones would conflict? Pretty sure if people knew that having both of them would cause problems in the drivability of the car they wouldn’t want both. Sure you can turn off the dtc but you cant really “turn off” the LSD. right?

    I guess it depends on what you mean by un-drivable and “too much”

  • Mac

    Exactly – the dtc is more or less an electronical “substitute” for the mechanical lsd, though its very hard to replace some hard- with software but the mini dtc is very very good and close to it!

  • AlexM

    Ok cool, think I got it now : )

  • AlexM

    Thanks for answering my questions Mac

    *curses the lack of an edit option : P

  • Mozza

    So basically I don’t need to spec LSD? Marvellous, another $500 staying in my pocket.

  • Mozza

    By the way Mac, care to elucidate on your comment a couple of weeks ago about the new black? Just wondering when we can expect it? Go on, you know you want to :-).

  • Volker

    I saw the pics and was in awe. I saw the price and was in love. I saw that the car shown does not seem to include the Aerokit etc. (right?) and the deal was off…

  • dc

    very well said volker. if the kit was in the price, i would be at a mini stealership right now ordering my next car.

  • Alan Smithee

    Conversely, some people (maybe just me?) would never consider the car with that godawful body kit.

    I just don’t get why people here like it so much. To my eye it looks like it was designed for a completely different car. Not one element of it flows with the car’s basic design. To each his own, I suppose…

  • Thameth

    “So basically I don’t need to spec LSD? Marvellous, another $500 staying in my pocket.”

    No,no,no! Definitely get the LSD, you much rather have the mechanical LSD over the electronics. You can turn off the electronics if you ever hit the track or an autocross.

  • Jon

    Don’t get me wrong Alan, the JCW aero kit isn’t the best design ever, but its the only decent looking aero kit for the R56 and a functional aero-kit is mandatory in my world view for a little better hold to the ground and helps visually separate the car.

    The funny part is that Mini seems aware of this as every last picture of the R56 Factory car released by Mini has the aero kit on it. Still believe that even putting the standard Mini aero kit on the car is the wrong path, it still screams out loud “look, nothing special here”.

  • Dr Obnxs

    If you want to have some fun… Look at the exchange rates and figure out that if you could, it would be cheaper to buy the car here and ship it back to Europe! Think if we had to pay the full exchange rate difference. Take the Euro price and multiply by about 1.4…. Then these cars would be far from cheap. It’s interesting to watch BMW grow the price of the minis while simultaneously lowering the cost of entry into BMWs with the one series. While it means that car buyers will align more with driving experience, than with price points, it’s got to be a marketing deparments nightmare!


  • David T

    The press release is not real clear about what is included with the JCW or not and what is optional or not without reading and re-reading. It seems like it is saying that the JCW steering wheel is included and there are other bits like the new speedo so I am going to wait and see instead of jumping to conclusions right away. It looks to be a much better deal than my $34K ’06 JCW. Think about it, sports suspension plus JCW package was $7900 and then I got the $500 wheel upgrade and $250 Anthricite headliner etc. I still need to get the JCW stearing wheel since I agree with some of the posts above, the interior is cheap and the stock stearing wheel feels terrible. Of course, I was spoiled by the interior of the M3 I had before the Mini. I remember my Father getting a Momo steering wheel for his ’86 5 series because the stearing wheel was large diameter and plastic…Oh, and Recaro seats also. What a great driving experience with the stearing wheel and seats!

  • Mark

    If you want to have even more fun… Look at the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar, and see that the Cooper S in Canada STARTS at $29,900. You people are whining about having to pay 30 – 40K for a JCW with some decent options. I’ll be lucky if I can get this new car out the showroom for less than 60K. Hopefully I can get some free floor mats thrown in…I hear that’s what you all get with yours. For more pricing info, and a couple of laughs, visit

  • Jon

    I for one am not whining about the price, rather I am bemoaning the lack of a real solution for the Mini people waiting for a performance Mini. I am sure they left the parts and pieces off to allow the dealerships to keep a measure of the high profit component installs such as the Aero kit and suspension. I like my dealership fine but have to say that all things considered I would much rather have a car built to specs on the line than with the rather wide range of talented mechanics at my dealership, many of which I can say I have questions trusting them with changing the oil in my car let alone anything complex.

    I also think its a huge error to not give this car something to allow it to stand out. Might as well pocket the change and buy a dealer kit in many ways.

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  • Aaron

    While this sounds pretty intriguing, the price is rather steep. I think that MINI and BMW have made somewhat major blunders in their development trajectory. In my opinion, they should have offered this car with some clear body changes and full JCW parts, and set it up as a completely separate model (just call it a JCW MINI. Drop the redundant Cooper…I know about the heritage, but it’s in there with the JCW bit).

    In the meantime, as VW gets ready to introduce TDI engines in all 50 states this May which do not require urea tanks (which has been MINIs argument for the MINI, I believe…no space for those tanks)…where is MINI/BMW?

    I’m just guessing, but with gas prices as they are, I am figuring MINI would probably have been able to sell far more MINI Coopers with TDI engines than MCS Factory JCWs they’ll sell. Only problem is that BMW would have had to team up with Daimler-Benz and VW/Audi for those engines. Apparently 40% of VW sales are in the 5 states with CA emission standards. VW can’t WAIT to be able to sell TDI cars to the high-income earning, environmentally obsessed peoples of CA, NY, MA, VT and Maine.

    MINI has hit the nail with an awkward glancing blow on one opportunity and missed it completely with the other.

  • David

    I for one was disappointed to see the gorgeous red Mini, just to find out that the aero kit and sport suspension does not come with the base price of the new car. It seems BMW can’t quite get their act together. My guess is with the weak dollar they did the best they could to bring the price in at a reasonable point. With the way it was brought to market, the price is at a point that to sell 1K copies probably will not be a problem.

    However I am not as critical of Mini for the pricing. I guess I look at this way; how much would one pay to have major work done on an engine? Just replacing pistons alone would run around 4 K with labor. Not to mention brakes, full cat back exhaust and wheels. Last I checked, typical brake kits ran around 1500 to 2K to start.

    Ultimately if executed correctly the car may just be more than the sum of its parts, consider the M3. That, IMHO is the key. I will reserve my final decision for when I drive the car.


  • Jon

    I still have no issue with the price, think its not horrible though I still think piece mealing together a factory performance car with options is silly. I would gladly pay more for a factory car that is a all in one solution that is visually different from the rest of the brand.

    My idea of the perfect Mini

    A unique body kit, maybe just slightly modify the front splitter and the rear diffuser from the race kit and add it to the jcw aero kit, also add a wing. Included or at least optional.

    A unique optional color

    JCW suspension


    JCW shifter

    JCW stearing wheel

    220+ hp

    Its not the piece meal approach I have as much of a issue with as much as not being able to have anything except wheels and a badge that shows you are anything different.

    I would choose a GP in heartbeat over this car for the mixture of performance and uniqueness, even with its ugly US seats and red mirror caps.

  • maximusGeek

    How soon will the new JCW Breaks, Wheels, and Door Sills be available for the rest of us? Noticed there is no mention of a new gauge kit. I heard a rumor from a MINI parts person it would be available Spring 2008. Figured it would be standard in the JCW Stage II. I’m looking to pick that up as well :)

  • Greg

    The GP IS ugly……but man would I love to drive one!

  • mike

    Any idea when or if this will show up in the configurator?

  • Eysmahn

    “…as compared to the engine of the MINI Cooper S there is a slight reduction of the compression.”

    Just how slight is “slight”? Does this decreased compression mean that the JCW will be capable of running on a lower grade fuel without suffering from pre-combustion? Doubtful, but if so, lower fuel prices combined with similar economy and better performance…

    Any Idea’s as to when the JCW will be put on’s build computer?

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  • Jon

    Just listened to Woofcast 228. Good show all in all as usual. I still believe the cost of these vehicles isn’t bad, however not doing something to let them stand out is in serious error.

    Think this is the one major thing the GP has over the new Factory car. Think Mini has chosen a rare path, very few manufactures around the world would even try to produce a specialty car that is visually identical to the rest of the brand. I would have no issues buying a aero kit and suspension, but a major part for me when purchasing a performance car is they stand our as something interesting. Right now, if Gabe were to buy the wheels, brakes, he would have a car that is visually identical to the top end car of the brand.

    I genreally label these cars as desirable but definitely a half-measure at best.

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  • Impulsive

    For someone not tracking the car, I don’t want or need the brake kit. The rims are not especially attractive, I don’t want them. The ride height is laughable, address this. The front bumper is weak and feminine, JCW bumper should be standard. The view that this is “a blank canvas for owners to express themselves” is B.S. marketing.

  • Impulsive

    … and stop removing my posts … I haven’t used profanity and I am not incorrect in any of the FACTS I have presented.

  • Gabe

    A quick search of our Akismet spam filter shows that it caught your comment due to a very specific highly offensive word that it always flags. You may want just watch the language a little in the future.

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  • Sean

    Okay, I am torn here. I am new to the MINI scene and I REALLY WANT ONE! I have gone back and forth with my local MINI Dealer about what to do, what opts. to put on it and how much is too much, yadda yadda. I am getting the impression that this is a “watered down” JCW Cooper S. With all the options that are available as “dealer installed options”, it seems this factory modded version leaves a lot to be desired. Thoughts?

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  • smokem

    What’s up with the missing photos and video?

  • Gabe

    They’re only there is your browser allows Flash.

  • smokem

    No, I’m in the internet biz. My lappy is fine. They’re all there now though.

  • s.m8o

    I posted this in another JCW oriented blog, so forgive if this was read and responded to by anyone or the moderators… but I’d really just want the mechanical bits; i.e. this JCW kit sans rims, brakes and body kit. Anyone think that’ll become an available from MINI? I’d hold off buying one now for the beefed-up drivetrain.

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  • Chris

    Is there a part number for the R113 polished alloys yet..?


  • thwrks/ed

    JCW question ….Just to clarify, the NEW JCW comes with a standard body Kit. For $1250 US, you can order a “Aero Kit” from the factory. Not a” JCW Aero Kit”. If you want the JCW Aero Kit , and pay addional then this is a Port or Dealer add on correct?


  • Gabe

    That is correct. The “factory aero kit” is the one that everybody loves to hate. The “JCW aero kit” is the one most people strongly prefer.

  • Jerry

    To everyone that has commented about the seemingly weak HP figures and 0-60 times, there is a reason a lot of auto manufacturers understate these figures- it’s called INSURANCE COMPANIES.

    During the muscle car heydays of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, this was a very common manoeuvre by American car manufacturers to keep insurance costs down and Ralph Nader off of their backs.

    Based on the performance figures of the MCS, I would say that the JCW figures are likely quite conservative or could be considerably pumped up with minor tweaking.

  • Matt Train

    I love this new car, but it has one very big problem:

    the 135i.

    Pricing the new JCW and the new 135i to where I wamt them options-wise, they are within $1500 of each other. While I agree they are both wonderful enthusiast cars, I just have to wonder if the 135 would be the better enthusiast buy.

    The other problem is no matter what you do to the MINI, the same mod money spent on the 135 would probably get you a more capable and faster car for the money.

    Granted it doesn’t have the cutesy whimsy factor of the MC, but I just jave to wonder what MINI USA was thinking here.

  • Peter Canston

    This sure is a beautiful car :D, and I want to share some pics with you guys! . This car is HOT!

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