MINI is now officially telling us that the JCW Engine Kit will not be coming to the R60 Countryman. The reason? Proposed sales aren’t high enough to justify the cost of engineering two different kits – one for the standard Cooper S and one for the All4 version. Also missing from any future R60 order sheets will be the JCW Suspension. Again MINI doesn’t believe sales will be enough to justify the cost of creating so many different versions (two for FWD and ALL4 and then at least three iterations each depending on the weight of various options).
We can understand the lack of a JCW suspension option as most Countryman owners would likely not appreciate a stiff and uncomfortable ride. Furthermore, this is actually old news. We reported back in December that the MINI chassis team felt like the Sport Suspension was more than enough for the R60’s most aggressive form: the Countryman JCW. A thicker rear sway bar and slightly wider rear track were more than enough suspension refinement for the prototype we drove in Austria.
Back to the engine kit, though. Not bringing the JCW Engine Kit to market makes very little sense to us. If there’s anything the Countryman could use, it’s more power and torque. Like the current kit, we’d love to see that available on the R60, with a factory warranty. That extra punch for less than $2,000 seems like an attractive option to us. Is there really that much more to it over the kit in the standard hardtop? With the kit installed, it could make the R60 like a Cooper S+. It’s not the full JCW engine, but it’s a nice bump in performance that’s a bit more accessible.