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The JCW Engine Kit & Suspension Not Coming to the Countryman

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.

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Written By: Gabe

  • damn

    dissapointing…. 

  • Surething

    Agreed.

  • Chris Underwood

    Understanding the warranty thing is a pretty big deal, the aftermarket will almost certainly provide better options than those that MINI would have had available anyway.  Can only assume the MINI bean counters are better equipped to decide if the effort justifies the payoff.  What’s the take rate on the JCW engine kit on other Cooper S models?

  • Buzz Willison

    Are you saying that I can’t get a kit to upgrade a regular countrymen s to a JCW look alike, but I can get a new JCW countrymen with all the goodies? Just wasn’t clear what you meant by “kit” thx

  • http://about.me/bentyyc Ben Tsui

    Looks like the exhaust is available thru the aftermarket, so that really only leaves the air filter and the ECU re-flash. Would the programming be so different considering the engines are the same across the line…?

    weird

  • Guest

    A bit OT, but definitely related: Since the JCW engine kit is available for the R57S cabrio, why doesn’t MINI market a JCW suspension kit as well.  They haven’t done so because of weight issues?  How difficult could it be?  I believe the JCW shocks are the same across the board, so it’d be a matter of identifying specified-rated springs.  Maybe they feel that the even higher rate springs that would be used to counteract the additional weight of the cabrio (specifically, the rear) would be detrimental to JCW-like handling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

    To answer the question as to why the JCW Engine Kit isn’t coming to the Countryman I tried to think about what parts are involved: -Sports exhaust with chrome finish tailpipes-Adapted air filter-Modified engine control unit-John Cooper Works badges

    It seems like the badges, ECU and air filter wouldn’t be a problem but then I thought about the exhaust.  Is the exhaust for the standard R56 S hatch JCW Engine Kit exactly the same as the factory JCW exhaust?  If they were different, perhaps the cost to engineer a different exhaust is what is prohibitive for the Countryman? It may seem like a small different but I think of the R53 JCW engine kit which was initially installed by dealers and thus was a clamp on exhaust in pieces which could be easily shipped versus when they started installing (2005?) the R53 JCW Engine kit at the factory and the exhaust was one solid unit.  Although it sounds simple to cut it up, perhaps the factory JCW Countryman exhaust is a one-piece unit that could not be shipped and they have chosen not to create a clamp-on design because of cost of engineering versus the take rate?  It’s a shame in any case, as I agree with Gabe that the Countryman needs the extra power more than any other MINI.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      In reply to my own comment.  The rear section of the R56 JCW exhaust appears to be much shorter than the factory JCW R53 which should make shipping a non-issue. When comparing the R56 factory-JCW to the R56 kit-JCW exhaust the tips are different and the front silencer is also very different between the stock S (w or w/o JCW kit) and factory JCW whereas the Factory JCW has one less cat and a larger silencer compared to the S with a cat and smaller silencer.  It will be interesting to see if the Factory JCW Countryman has a different front silencer section without the secondary cat just like the factory-JCW R56 (although I would assume so).  In regards to sales numbers the Countryman outsells the coupe/roadster/convertible and is the about the same if you include the Clubman (as of April 2012) all of which offer the JCW-engine kit so it appears that MINI assumes those that buy the Countryman just simply wouldn’t buy the JCW engine kit as the numbers are there and will probably increase in the future.

  • Dr Obnxs

    This is too bad cause the Countryman is a bit too much for the current factory tunes on the 1.6 liter mill….

  • CiaoBoy

    So people can still buy the JCW Countryman from the factory, but owners of lesser Countrymans cannot upgrade their car with JCW parts to make it into a JCW Countryman?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      You are correct however you couldn’t have turned a Countryman S in a Factory JCW Countryman even if they had announced an available dealer-installable JCW Engine Kit for the Countryman.  The dealer-installable engine kit for the turbo Prince engines has always been essentially four parts: JCW sports exhaust, JCW air intake, ECU re-program and JCW badges (they make the car go faster.)  The Factory JCW Countryman has in addition to these items a larger turbo and the clutch/transmission have been modified not to mention countless other non-engine changes.  I’d suggest reading the well-timed MF article “The History of the Modern JCW Tuning Kit” to help make sense of this: http://www.motoringfile.com/2012/05/07/24014/

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

    Although this news is kinda disappointing, it sounds like it is a great opportunity to plug some of the MF/WRR sponsors!  If only one of them would start selling the Milltek Countryman S All4 cat-back or turbo-back… http://www.millteksport.com/exhaust.products.cfm?variantid=363

  • drizzy

    Ugh… the one real upgrade I want on my All4 is more power under warranty.  I hate thinking of how Veloster Turbos, WRXs and Focus STs all have more HP and cost less.  Dreaming of a WRC engine and brake kit.

  • lavardera

    The R56 engine kit in the Countryman sounds like a good idea, but no doubt there is no software to support it. It would probably work just fine, but with out the tune it would probably not work best, or even right. 

    I can hardly blame them for this, if the volume is not there.  Maybe they think they will sell more factory JCWs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Fong/100000353101204 Nathan Fong

    BOO!!!!!  And I have the ALL4, would love to see both.

  • damn

    I wanted the Countryman S ALL4 JCW  at first, but just couldn’t wait. Got myself an S ALL4 just hoping to add the JCW kit later on, getting the power equivalent to the JCW ALL4….. 

  • Onechildborn

    That is great. Thay are beating this JCW think to death!

  • 0(=^=)0 Capn

    Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is exactly what I have been advocating for years and have been waiting for! Time for a Subie. :(

    • 0=^=0 Capn

      So I guess they aren’t serious about racing. Why race and get race enthusiasts excited about a car they can’t buy?   Just like drizzy said below

      “I hate thinking of how Veloster Turbos, WRXs and Focus STs all have more HP and cost less.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btViXvIDsi0

      • Mx5_94

        You can still get it.  Just has to be from the factory.

  • m8oman

    Those of you who recall statements I made about my unhappiness regarding the performance level of the the CM JCW …. lol … +1 regarding what I said previously.  Sad, but Mini appears to be doing evertything they can to ensure any performance minded individuals -don’t- by a/their cute-ute,.

    No only is BMW/Mini happy being a -Me-Too- organization in the cute-ute category, I’ll go so far as saying  has it no interest in differentiating the CM from the rest of the pack in terms of performance …  happy to be in the middle of the pack rather than leading it.   

    They cite “no interest”.  Whell when you stack the card so deeply AGAINST performance-mindedness related to the CM .. SURE, you’re going to conclude what you just did here.  Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy!

    Someone send me an e-mail when Mini releases a GP version using the N20 engine…  Mini/BMW analysts…  you’re idiots.  Your self-imposed blinders on your analysis has caused you to FAIL.  You could have so easily supplanted Subaru and Mitsubishi had you built-up the CM with a N20 engine.  But this way, just not interested.

  • Mlavoie

    Really dissapointing, I guess i’ll have to wait till my warranty is over and play with aftermarket parts, what a shame MINI.

    This is pretty bad :(

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    Could there be another reason for the lack of investment in this kit? Could there possibly be a new engine coming in the future that would make designing, certifying and building this kit an investment that will not pay off, rather than “lack of interest’?  MINI may not have a history of changing engines completely in a life cycle but BMW sure does. 

    Just throwing that out there…. 

    • VanMINI

      Unlike.

  • plugboots

    I have been following this car and the Golf R since they were announced for the US.  AWD MT hatchbacks.  I think the Golf R is a better car now for sure.  We’re getting one Saturday.

    • Mx5_94

      You can still get a JCW Countryman.  Just has to be from the factory.

  • Griffin

    what kind of wheels are those on the Countryman?

    • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

      Optional factory 19″ wheels.


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