The History of the Modern JCW Tuning Kit

Later this week JCW will release it’s latest product – the GP2. It’ll be the fastest MINI to date with more power and engineering hours behind it than any product from the brand ever. But where did the modern JCW come from? We wanted to look back at the brand and the kits (dealer or factory) that have been released since 2001.

The Cooper name originates from John Cooper, an engineering legend linked to the golden age of British motor racing throughout the 1960’s. With the introduction of new MINI in 2001, the Cooper name was reborn under the guidance of John’s son Mike, who began developing aftermarket tuning kits for the new MINI at the original John Cooper premises in East Preston, West Sussex.

In December 2006 BMW Group acquired the rights from Mike to the John Cooper Works Brand. Early in 2007, this transaction became effective and gave BMW Group the opportunity to develop this sub-brand and strengthen the MINI brand and product range.

The deal was agreed with the then owners of the John Cooper Works brand and in 2008, Mike Cooper remains as a consultant on the BMW Group’s John Cooper Works brand strategy. Mike’s first project was the after sales R5X Cooper S tuning kit released in 2007.

Although no longer producing their own tuning kits or accessories under the name John Cooper Works, Mike Cooper’s Cooper Car Company develops and supplies car accessories for various other corporate clients. The Cooper Car Company supplies BMW AG with hardware components for the current MINI Hatch aftersales tuning kit as well as sports air filters and sports exhausts for the BMW 3 Series. These parts bear the name John Cooper Works or BMW Performance respectively.

No formal cooperation agreement exists between the Cooper Car Company and BMW AG but given the successful relationship forged between both parties, it is planned and desired that the Cooper Car Company will be a partner of BMW AG for many years to come.

John Cooper Works tuning and MINI since 2003

The John Cooper Works tuning brand is an on-going story. Prior to the most recent line of Oxford-built MINI John Cooper Works and MINI CHALLENGE cars in 2008, a line of aftermarket tuning kits and factory-built models plot the history of John Cooper Works back to 2003. Here’s the full run-down:

2001-04 John Cooper Works 126 hp Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper

UK sales: unknown

Technical Specification

  • Flowed and ported cylinder head
  • Upgraded Air filter
  • Cover injection tube
  • Uprated exhaust (from the catalytic converter back)
  • remapped ECU
  • Decorative emblems

Performance data

  • 126 bhp (94 kW) at 5750 rpm.
  • Peak torque is 114 ft.lbs. at 4750 rpm

2003-04 John Cooper Works 200 hp Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper S

UK sales: 1197

Technical Specification

  • Modified cylinder head including valve drive and gaskets
  • Sport rear silencer in stainless steel
  • Modified supercharger
  • High power spark plugs
  • Modified engine control unit
  • John Cooper Works badges
  • Engine cover finished in silver, including a John Cooper Works emblem
  • John Cooper Works certificate of authenticity

Performance data

  • 200 hp
  • 245 Nm peak torque at 4,500 rpm
  • 143 mph top speed
  • 0-62 mph in 6.6 seconds

2004-06 John Cooper Works 210 hp After-sales & Factory Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper S

UK sales: 1209

Technical Specification

As 2003-04 John Cooper Works 200hp Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper S, but with: * JCW upgrade kit to increase power output, consisting of a complete JCW air filter system, injection nozzles with increased throughput and modified engine control unit

Technical Specification

  • Modified cylinder head including valve drive and gaskets
  • Sport rear silencer in stainless steel
  • Modified supercharger
  • High power spark plugs
  • JCW Air intake system (with opening flap)
  • Upgraded injection nozzles
  • Modified engine control unit
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Larger brake calipers, rotors and pads in the front and upgraded pads in the rear
  • John Cooper Works badges
  • Engine cover finished in silver, including a John Cooper Works emblem
  • John Cooper Works certificate of authenticity

Performance data

  • 210 hp
  • 245 Nm peak torque at 4,500 rpm
  • 143 mph top speed
  • 0-62 mph in 6.6 seconds

2005-06 Sound Kit for MINI Cooper (Performance equal to standard MINI Cooper)

UK sales: 525

Technical Specification

  • Air filter system
  • Stainless steel sports exhaust
  • Modified engine control unit
  • Engine cover finished in silver with John Cooper Works emblem
  • John Cooper Works badges
  • John Cooper Works certificate of authenticity

2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit

UK sales: 454 (Limited production of 2,000 models for worldwide sale)

Technical Specification

  • Limited Slip Differential
  • ASC+T
  • EBD
  • DSC as a no-cost option
  • Rear seat bench removed to accommodate a polished reinforcement tube connecting the spring strut domes on the rear axle
  • John Cooper Works disc brakes (same as on the factory JCW kit)
  • Thunder Blue/Pure Silver paintwork with red caps on the exterior mirrors
  • Adapted air filter
  • Modified outlet ducts
  • Modified injection nozzles and spark plugs
  • Sports exhaust system with chrome finish tailpipes
  • Modified engine control unit
  • 18 inch light alloy wheels with low profile tyres
  • John Cooper Works GP Aerodynamic Kit
  • Recaro leather seats in Panther Black
  • Bose audio system with CD player
  • John Cooper Works GP badges

Performance data

  • 1.6 litre supercharged engine
  • 218hp
  • 250 Nm peak torque at 4,600 rpm
  • 149 mph top speed
  • 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds

2007-2011 John Cooper Works Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper S

Technical Specification

  • Sports exhaust with chrome finish tailpipes
  • Adapted air filter
  • Modified engine control unit
  • John Cooper Works badges

Performance data

  • 192 hp
  • 250 Nm peak torque between 1,500 and 5,000 rpm. With Overboost deployed, peak torque is increased to 270 Nm between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm.
  • 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds

2009+ factory John Cooper Works

Technical Specification

  • 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
  • New speedometer to allow for higher maximum speed (148 mph)

P90072213

2011+ John Cooper Works Tuning Kit for MINI Cooper S

Technical Specification

  • Sports exhaust with chrome finish tailpipes
  • Adapted air filter
  • Modified engine control unit
  • John Cooper Works badges Performance data
  • 200 hp at 5,700 rpm
  • 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) between 1,250 and 5,000 rpm
  • 270 Nm (199 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm with Overboost function
  • 0-62 mph in 6.6 seconds
  • Top speed 145 mph

Note: all acceleration times are official and known to be conservative.