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Revised 2011 JCW: More Power & Unique Styling

The current JCW has been a disappointment for MINI in terms of sales. They won’t ever say it but it’s clear that the car hasn’t performed up to expectations. But that’s not to say it doesn’t posses all the ingredients for success. We’ve written about it quite a bit on MF (you can read out review here) and even put together an official MotoringFile point of view around what the JCW should be. We’ve even thrown it out to readers in a poll awhile back.

MINI JCW Challenge

It now looks like MINI has been listening. They know that the car needs one thing above all else; exclusivity. As it stands now the JCW looks on different from a bone stock Cooper S with the exception of a few very minor pieces of trim and a unique set of 17″ wheels. For 2011 MINI will be making an updated JCW aero-kit standard on the JCW in every market. That means installation of the kit will be done at the factory with all other assembly. But there is one massive update to the kit; a huge (functional) rear air diffuser that is lifted (mostly intact) from the JCW Challenge Race car (seen above).

We expect a unique exterior paint (potentially a roof color) option as well as a few unique trim choices as well. Also updated (across the entire MINI line) will be the interior center stack with a completely updated hard drive based Navigation system that will include MINI Connect.

Under the hood look for MINI’s addition of VALVETRONIC to filter into the JCW range and bump not only power (we expect a figure over 215 hp) but also efficiency. The stock MCS is up 8 hp and has 10% more efficiency.

The 2011 JCW will debut online with a public debut at the Paris autoshow. The car will start production around September 1st and reach dealers later that month. Any price increases should be in line with previous years.

You can see photos at Leftlanenews.

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Written By: Gabe

  • goat

    @ that.guy – NAM = North American Motoring forums. (Either way, pop me a mail at angelos.a@mac.com if you don’t mind.) Thanks man!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=588611030 Jonathan Ikemura

    @Haemish Edgerton if it is the same amount of money I would rather get an adjustable coilover. The JCW only gives a drop of 10mm (less than half an inch) and is tailored to suite the 18″ rim. also I’d rather get an adjustable sway bar too.

  • nickminir56

    Just add the factory JCW suspension + sticky tire + rear seat delete in the factory option list.

    Sorry cf panels will happen – it doesn’t make sense on a Mini + this is not a 60K car.

  • Huckleberry

    I swore not to read posts anymore and I should have stuck to it. I’ve never seen such a bunch of Negative Nancy’s before. I thought how could anyone be upset about them making improvements to the JCW? Wrong! Mini is making improvements to the JCW, you should be happy. This is a step in the right direction. You don’t even know all of the details yet you still complain. Just because you think you’re a die hard Mini Enthusiast, and you have a certain view as to what Mini should be doesn’t mean you’re right. Maybe if you don’t like what Mini is doing it means you’re not an enthusiast and instead you’re clinging on to something else and should just let Mini go and move on.

  • that.guy
    Maybe if you don’t like what Mini is doing it means you’re not an enthusiast and instead you’re clinging on to something else and should just let Mini go and move on.

    I’m definitely not a Mini enthuiast. I am a driving enthusiast.

  • goat

    @ that.guy, +1.

    @ Huckleberry, I don’t think people are intending to be overly negative. The big pic is as stated by most here – the R56 JCW changes announced are welcome. However, a key improvement – suspension upgrade to JCW level – is conspicuous by its absence.

    It does seem the hardest-core model is being reserved for the R56 Coupe, so that model may stoke the greatest enthusiasm.

  • Ken Lucas

    I like having a unique body kit look for the JCW! Glad they are also addressing the horsepower rating on the JCW. Would like to see photos of the revised interior.

  • Don Hopings

    To me, one of the attractions of the current JCW is that it does sort of blend in. There’s nothing external that shouts Boy Racer. There’s nothing wrong with a degree of visual exclusivity, but it shouldn’t draw undue attention. That’s what options and aftermarket parts are for if you want to go that route.

  • http://www.AUSmotive.com Liam

    Sounds interesting, thanks for the update.

  • Pingback: AUSmotive.com » MINI plans updates for JCW

  • zm

    i may have fallen behind on my MINI news–will there be an all new JCW for 2012 to go with the next gen?

  • http://www.facebook.com/andymadrid Andrew Madrid

    Please don’t turn the JCW into a battlestar gallactica mobile. Keep it simple and fast and nimble. Dont’ pimp it out. I like the stealth elements of my car. I hate drawing attention to myself but I love driving fast and getting good gas mileage. Also, can you just tell us what is coming in ’12 when the new platform arrives!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529305914 Haemish Edgerton
    Maybe if you don’t like what Mini is doing it means you’re not an enthusiast and instead you’re clinging on to something else and should just let Mini go and move on.

    @Huckleberry – BS.

    I’m sorry, you’re entirely missing what has me and so many others up in arms.

    The MINI has always been marketed and sold as a go-kart, handling machine. That’s is its claim to fame and what it is known best for. Not 0-60 times, but HANDLING.

    The JCW model is supposed to be the HIGH PERFORMANCE model. That’s what you’re paying for and that’s what you’re supposed to get.

    So I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that the high performance model comes with the high performance suspension as standard.

    Heck, they don’t even offer the factory JCW in an automatic… because hello – they are targeting the driving enthusiast.

    To sell the JCW model with the base suspension does a disservice to the car and to the brand itself. There have even been reviews of the factory JCW against its competitors, and guess what – the JCW didn’t do so well, most especially since it didn’t have the same level of handling performance that would be expected for, again, the high end model.

    Don’t try to tell me I’m not an enthusiast, because quote honestly you have nothing to stand on to make that judgement call. I love sports cars, and I especially love MINI… and I want MINI to succeed. It just stuns me when terrible decisions like this (base suspension in JCW model) are made.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529305914 Haemish Edgerton

    quote -> quite in the last paragraph. Damn typo.

  • Huckleberry

    @Haemish I wasn’t even singeling you out, or even paying you much attention. But I still managed to get your panties in a bunch? Although I agree, it would be nice to have the JCW suspension as standard, I just wasn’t upset about it. I was more annoyed at some of the people that give their default negative response because they are “old school die hard mini enthusiast” so their opinion is the only one that counts. They haven’t been happy since the R56 came out, probably has nothing to do with the R56 but due to the fact that they are just unhappy people and are coming to terms with getting old. I myself am glad that at least they are starting to address some concerns, and have taken a step in the right direction. Also a little annoyed at the ignorance of people with the rear diffuser. Most race cars have them because they serve a purpose not because it looks good. But hey lets complain about it. eh whatever feel free to write whatever as I won’t be coming back to read it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529305914 Haemish Edgerton

    @Huckleberry – it didn’t matter that you weren’t singling me out, it was the way you wrote it… proven by your decision to oh, so wittingly use the “panties in a bunch” line. Yes, it’s disappointing that people didn’t understand the R56 underbody panels and how they would tie into the rear diffuser, and I also concur that it’s a same some people are still “R56 haters” instead of living and let live.

    Me – yes, I’m a diehard R53 fan and strongly prefer how it drives over the R56… but I still respect the R56 for what it is, and the strengths it has. Just like the “classic” Mini fans never fully accepted the existence of MINI, so too are a number of 1st Gen fans intolerant and unaccepting of 2nd Gen. That is a shame and only divides the community.

    More to the the point though, on this topic, is that even though it’s “nice” for the JCWs to get more power and new styling, it’s a huge slap to the forehead that MINI chose to focus on those areas while completely ignoring the glaringly obvious omission of fixing the suspension option given to the car.

    From my perspectives, they’re adding some “nice to haves” and leaving out the “must have”. THAT is worthy of criticism, since it is so short-sighted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529305914 Haemish Edgerton

    same -> shame in first paragraph. Ugh – how I wish we could edit our comments here!

  • Ian F

    Leaving the JCW suspension as an option is fine, but make it a factory option… for those who dream of dueling with RX8′s and 370Z’s in C-Stock. <:-p

  • goat

    “They haven’t been happy since the R56 came out, probably has nothing to do with the R56 but due to the fact that they are just unhappy people and are coming to terms with getting old.”

    Can you kindly let us off your psychoanalyst couch now Dr. Strangelove? Because I am pretty sure: (i) you can’t legitimately group everyone who has ever expressed a negative opinion of the R56 let alone dismiss them summarily; and, (ii) your comment is preposterously off the mark, but redeemed by being so funny. ;)

    As I have said many times, I would have much less reservation about lauding the R56 and even recommending it to my friends looking for a scrappy euro hatch (putting styling aside entirely and letting them judge that for themselves) if MINI didn’t take half-steps towards handling performance and driving feel. More power is not the answer… the JCW and even stock S has PLENTY of power and more power only exaggerates their softness and FWD-itis (something years ago you would say about a VW GTI, but definitely not about the MINI)… but as Haemish writes above, the factory cars no longer stand out as class-leading fantastic real-world point-to-point speed, steering wheel feel, FWD-that-doesn’t-feel-like-FWD (most of the time), etc. This is not because people have “moved on”… it is because MINI has “moved away” from some core driving dynamics that in the gen1 car they deservedly won accolades for and gained a new generation of fans – many who have stayed with the brand and are buying the gen2 family of cars, for that matter.

    The suspension parts have been developed, and MINI should be less shy about speccing them as standard, especially on Factory JCW cars. Especially since it is the halo car, it does the entire range a disservice to ship Factory JCW’s with base suspension.

    I want MINI product planners finalizing spec on the upcoming “twins” to take note and release at least a top-end model that makes no apologies about its handling, driving feel, and engine/exhaust sounds. I personally really do believe they’ll nail the Coupe…

  • Zero

    I somewhat agree with Huckleberry. I feel people have taken a good thing and turned it into a chance to complain about the suspension. Don’t get me wrong I would like to have the JCW suspension. But given the choice I would rather have a unique body style to the JCW as factory installed standard, then have the suspension as standard. The top end car should look different then any car below it, it should stand apart. If you want the suspension then you can get the suspension. Some people may not want a harsher more aggressive suspension. Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t it way cheaper to option the suspension then to option the body kit? Maybe I’m just a little vain as I appreciate aesthetics equally to the feel of the car. Either way Mini will have people upset as you can’t please everyone. Maybe they will add the suspension as standard? We’ll see how this effects pricing as well.

    I’m happy with this news though as at least it’s a step in the right direction. Also Goat I’m with you on the Coupe

  • cct1

    I just reread this, and I’m scratching my head…

    For those who want to leave the look of the JCW the way it is, read the first line of the article. JCW sales have been disappointing–keeping it as is isn’t an option. If you want engine performance similar to the JCW, buy an S, and get it tuned by RMW or Mynes. If it’s just the JCW badges you’re after, by a few on ebay, tack them on your car, and problem solved. I won’t tell anybody. I promise.

    Now, for those calling the add ons “boy racer” parts, get over it. These are parts directly off the Challenge cars, they are FUNCTIONAL. The under body panels started with the GP, are standard on the R56, and a rear diffuser will only make things better. I’ll bet those complaining about the rear diffuser never take your car to the track–if you did, you’d see this as a godsend, not an anomaly. The MINI feels like it’s ready to take off at high speed–the front end lifts noticeably, the steering gets light. Anything that helps with downforce–front splitter, rear diffuser, is a GOOD thing. The same people that are complaining about the diffuser are probably the same ones who are in love with the faux hood scoop on the R56…

    But it doesn’t make sense to go through the motions of improving aerodynamics and leaving the suspension alone. At the very least, add the JCW suspension–factory installed, the cost difference is negligible, or better yet, adjustable coilovers. That’s probably a reach though.

    Brakes are good. Maybe stainless steel lines, otherwise they’re spot on.

    The JCW should be about performance primarily, luxury secondarily. That’s the JCW heritage, and BMW goofed on the first R56 JCW. Make the JCW like a BMW “M”–that’s what the JCW badge deserves, and that’s more along the lines of it’s heritage. It looks like BMW is making amends for it this time around.

    And maybe they could make an “AMG” version to satisfy the other crowd: throw in a boatload of power, minimal other improvements, and a bunch of luxury equipment for a fast (in a straight line) but heavier than hell MINI….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499630442 Don Hopings

    “The JCW should be about performance primarily, luxury secondarily. That’s the JCW heritage, and BMW goofed on the first R56 JCW. Make the JCW like a BMW “M”–that’s what the JCW badge deserves, and that’s more along the lines of it’s heritage. It looks like BMW is making amends for it this time around.”

    I agree abd BMW would NEVER put a tacked on looking spoiler on an M car. That thing is NOT integrated with the design at all. It looks more like it came from JC Whitney. The Aero parts look integrated. The diffuser looks integrated. The GP spoiler/wing does not.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    I agree abd BMW would NEVER put a tacked on looking spoiler on an M car. That thing is NOT integrated with the design at all. It looks more like it came from JC Whitney. The Aero parts look integrated. The diffuser looks integrated. The GP spoiler/wing does not.

    As stated in the article above – JCW will be adding the defuser. There are no plans to add the spoiler. We would show you the images that we linked to but we’ve been asked to take any visual reference to them down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499630442 Don Hopings

    Yes. However, my comments had more to do with what could and should be on the car as opposed to what is going to happen in the short term. And I’m sorry, but that spoiler is pure JC Whitney…


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