MF Exclusive: JCW Kit Updated for 2011 MCS

Sometimes we’re happy to say we got it wrong. Yesterday we wrote that MINI had decided to drop the JCW engine kit for the 2011 model year because it would raise power figures too close to the 208 hp factory JCW car. Apparently between the time we had heard the info and yesterday there was a change of heart and the JCW engine kit is back. In fact it’s not only back but it’s been upgraded for the N18 engine (the code-name for the refreshed MCS powerplant). The upgrade lies solely in the engine management software and it will be paired with the same JCW components from the original version of the kit (air filter, exhaust, exhaust tips and badges).

Power will increase from 189 hp to 195 hp over last year’s kit and torque will remain unchanged at 184lb-ft between 1700-5500rpm and about 200lb-ft between1800 to 5000 rpm with overboost. In total that means you’re getting a 14 hp gain plus a serious torque boost – identical to what the kit offered previously

Here are the official MINI USA part number:

  • R55/R57 produced after 8/10: 11 12 2 208 028
  • R55 produced after 8/10: 11 12 2 209 094

Pricing and availability will be closer to launch however we expect the former to be nearly unchanged at aproximately $2,000.

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    Only 6 hp = $ 2,000? The new was correct: MINI has killed JCW Kit

  • J

    I would rather buy an Alta Intake, cat back and their new ECU tuning system for the same $ and get 240HP and 300 Ft/Lb. This kit makes me mad because of JCW owners (actual JCW cars) cars are now not as exclusive. They should not offer this kit. If you want a JCW, buy a JCW, not a kit that gives you barely anything.

  • Somewhere North

    No, it’s 14 hp for $2,000. Stock is 181 hp. Last year’s dealer-installed JCW kit gave you 189 hp, and cost the same thing.

  • cct1

    An RMW tune will accomplish more, for a fraction of the cost (although without the badges).

  • SMP

    Does the RMW tune leave the factory warranty intact?

  • iNomis

    The stock original R56 MCS torque with overboost is 192ft-lbs from 1800-4500rpm. (

    So, with these kits, you feel most if not all the difference above 4500rpm?

  • JonPD

    Not shabby at all, still I think it parks the performance way to close to make the factory car a viable option generally speaking. Even before this change personally for me I would have spent the money on the kit long before the factory car, this has only convinced me further. It should be interesting to see how this works out in the sales between now and when the jcw gets worked over in 2013.

  • MatthewW

    @BORINOT, in addition to the horsepower, the Kit also offers a more aggressive ECU programming and, I assume, more aggressive sound from the intake and exhaust. So that $2k buys a little more than just speed.

    I went with the JCW Sound Kit on my Cooper, based on Todd’s excellent review here on MF, and while there’s arguably no HP gain I love it. Worth every penny.

  • Will this or anything similar be coming to the Countryman. I really liked the sound of my -06 MCS and hope that the Countryman would sound not too sophisticated 🙂

  • Chris

    I have an ’09 factory JCW. With these recent changes I am becoming sour about MINI and what they are not doing with the factory JCW. I like having something considered unique, based upon sales I guess it is. With performance of an “S” with dealer JCW add-on rapidly approaching I’m thinking of other cars my next go around, like an Impreza WRX.

    Nothing annoys me more than someone saying well, your car’s nice but you paid more and I’ve got the same perfomance. Thanks MINI for making JCW less special.

  • jbkONE

    So a base S with JCW kit (and badges) will look identical to a base JCW factory car. 🙁 Might be time for another “Save the JCW” article so they get the hint.

    OR sell JCW to someone who will carry on the tradition.

    I’m sure it’s good news for the MINI community in general, but I think it’s too bad they’re using the same name for different products.

  • FrankB

    The writing is on the wall for the JCW…at least in its current form. If I were a betting man, I would predict the existing JCW is discontinued in lieu of an R58/R59 reincarnation running in the neighborhood of 230 to 240hp. Let’s face it, we are currently seeing ECU tuned MCS in the 220hp range, so that’s really not much of a stretch. We’ll see. I’d be happy right now if the 2011 configurator would show up.

  • Versus

    @FrankB, That power range would be nice but wouldn’t MINI be limiting itself further by only stamping JCW on the R58/R59? As it stands now I’d like the JCW package with the R56 form (more room in my mind), but I guess I could always get an S w/ the JCW kit.

  • FrankB

    @Versus, That is kind of my point. There doesn’t seem to be enough difference between an MCS with JCW kit and a factory JCW as it currently stands…perhaps not enough to justify the additional expense of producing the model. I have to believe the larger turbo on the JCW is capable of so much more. So it begs the question, what is BMW up to? Why the lag in improvement on that model? It is pure speculation on my part, but it is fun to second guess where things are going 🙂

  • Does everyone forget that people who want an Automatic Transmission only have one option. And this is it.

  • GaryD

    +++ Mark!

    For various reasons I probably wouldn’t get a manual (unless I win the lottery and can afford multiple cars at once) so I’m with you in that some options for the automatic would be nice.

  • Greg W

    As per my comments on the previous post – Why call a model Cooper and Cooper S that was inherited from a successful ex-formula 1 company and a legend in their own lifetimes to make a run-of-the-mill model and slightly more hotter version? History of Cooper Cars reads like a tragedy from BMC days when a 3 pound royalty on every car to a buy out by BMW for who knows how much has sealed the fate of JCW. I agree with previous posts above where comments about aftermarket tuners seem to do a better job of extracting the extra GG’s that owners are looking for.


    Gabe, you should highlight the changes in articles published or look like the rest we are mad. It is good that I was not alone in seeing it:,4ab91bcd&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=nPa5M6Fuia9s_nCXlp6mvw–

  • Blackballed

    Seems a better bang for the buck than a factory JCW at $6k for 208 hp. I had an ’07 with the tuning kit and liked the power bump as well as the exhaust sound. PLUS engraved pipes!

  • that.guy
    With performance of an “S” with dealer JCW add-on rapidly approaching I’m thinking of other cars my next go around, like an Impreza WRX.

    Good call. (Not on buying a 2009 JCW but on considering the WRX.) The 2011 WRX looks to be very sweet. Can’t wait to drive one when they hit showrooms this month.

  • that.guy
    Does everyone forget that people who want an Automatic Transmission only have one option.

    Only one over-priced dealer-installed option. But many reasonably-priced aftermarket options.

  • robble

    Just buy an S model and put Alta’s AccessPort tune on it.

    210+ hp, 250+ torque. Awesome performance for $800.

    Oh you want more power AND your warranty intact? Spend the extra money on a factory JCW then.

  • Mark O’Neill

    “Only one over-priced dealer-installed option. But many reasonably-priced aftermarket options.”

    How reasonably priced are the aftermarket options when you need your warranty? Just a thought.

  • Bill in Iowa

    Ok, you can get the MCS to that 210 hp, really nice, right? Ok, put that same $800. Alta ECU kit on the factory JCW and see what you get. Right, you’ll be in the 240+ range, or more.

    That $6000 I keep hearing about. That might be tru for the base, but what do you get for that extra $6000 you remind me of: How about the $2000 Brembo Brakes, put those on the MCS. Challenge Wheels, like them or not, they are a $2300 option. Looks like we already ate up over $4500+ of that $6000. I haven’t even gotten into the engine, turbo or transmission improvements, or the cosmetics for this year. Is it perfect, shucks no, but just drive the two, with an open mind too, and you’ll see what I mean. The JCW tuning package is nice, especially for those desiring the slush box, but if you want to row it yourself, then I still prefer the 2011 JCW, which I do have ordered.

  • The Henn

    Is it possible to get the upgrade for my 06′ “S” sorry it’s not totally on topic but i’d love to know. I’m in Toronto, Canada.

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  • Would like to know when the kit will be available to install .thanks