Is The Future of JCW Spelled “N20”?

The BMW N20 is the company’s latest 2.0L four cylinder engine and is destined for everything from the 1 to the 5 Series. And (based on well placed sources) it won’t stop there. We believe BMW will ultimately build a version for the front wheel drive UKL architecture and future MINIs.

But what would MINI used it for? We believe the Cooper S will stay with the current four cylinder ‘Prince’ power-plant and be revised with more power for the introduction of the third generation MINI. However at likely close to 190 hp, the 1.6L JCW engine starts to look a little less robust. Enter the N20.

BMW’s 2.0L engine produces up to 240hp in it’s normal guise. Could it be tweaked for front wheel drive duty and still be affordable within MINI’s economics? If so we’d imagine the engine being tuned to around 230 hp with loads of torque and a raucous JCW attitude similar to the current engine. This could give the powerplant more than enough to motivate the forthcoming JCW Countryman and enough to push the standard JCW hatch well into the five second range 0-60.

So what are the odds of all this happening? We’d give it better than 50/50. With front wheel drive BMW’s likely sharing the basic components of the FWD version of the N20, the economics likely make sense. The key will be how to tune it and that power figured they ultimately end up with.

You can read more about the N20 over at our sister site BimmerFile (our take and BMW’s own take).