MF Poll: Does the JCW GP Have Enough Power?

At 211hp, the JCW GP isn’t setting any records for output from a 1.6L turbocharged four cylinder engine. Not that it’s pitiful, but many of you obviously expected the “ultimate MINI” to achieve greater power figures. How many of you feel that way? Let MINI hear your voice.

Does the JCW GP Have Adequate Power Output at 211 hp (218 EU)?

  • Yes. MINI & JCW should be about handling and not high power outputs (30%, 186 Votes)
  • No. JCW is being left behind by rivals that cost less, perform similarly and produce substantially more power (70%, 441 Votes)

Total Voters: 627

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(Poll expires 11:59 Monday October 1st)

JCW GP Final Specifications (PDF)

  • Surely everyone’s just gonna say “needs more” 😉

  • Binge Bammer

    i’m currently switching from mini to nissan due to this exakt reason. when i bought my mini i considered the r53 gp but it didnt have enough oomph for the kind of car it was. the new gp is nothing you cant make yourself in your garage with some aftermarket parts. imo, im sure others will feel different 🙂

    • The GP is more than just bolt on bits. Its an example of engineering expertise. It a marvel if you really look deep down into the ingredients. The people buying this know what it is and will appreciate what it is capable of doing. The MINI has never been about horsepower. How much can you do without sacrificing driveability in a Front Wheel Drive Car? Also if you buy one and want more power you can absolutely have it.

      • Binge Bammer

        To hit 250+ hp in a gp mini you would probably need some serious work done to it. And the second you start to mess with that wouldnt you lose most of that engineering expertise? when you slap in a bigger turbo and remap it to run on testosterone 🙂

        Man i’m usually on the mini side of debates like this 😀 i just wanted more… i love the mini brand but i guess when I tried other mid/high-range cars it just wont cut it anymore. The other kids get 300hp to play with why cant we?!

  • More Power

    Yes and No. I think everyone wants the most bang for their buck. If the GP were to be less expensive to own then what it appears it will cost (just under 40K) then the power output would be acceptable. However, at an elevated price point, then more power is needed.

    • Hoq1

      I feel the same here…. its value/price will be derived more from its rarity than actual performance in my opinion. I bet if you slap those same tires on the “standard” JCW, it will perform pretty damn close… hell, if you throw in the optional JCW suspension, it’ll probably be the same…

      • r.burns

        certainly not ; the JCW suspension is so rustic compared to the GP suspension

  • CV

    Slow MINI news day, apparently! 😀

  • p912guy

    I am becoming very interested in they new Golf VII GTI due in 2014 for this very reason. Looks like VW has really moved the ball forward with regard to the “hot hatch”. When I purchased in 2011, I compared MCS to GTI and needless to say I chose the MCS and I love my car. That said, the reports about the new GTI have me very interested and if they come out with a new R, I’d be even more interested. I think MINI is trying to do too much with all the new models and variations rather than developing their “bread n butter”. BMW also seems to be less about performance and setting the standard than about expanding their customer base by making their cars appeal to a broader market segment that cares more about prestige than performance.

    • Jim Carman

      I went from a MkV GTI to an R55 S, then to an R55 JCW, and now I’m back into a MkVI Golf R. While I really enjoyed my MINIs, I couldn’t pass up the power, drivetrain, and creature comforts offered in the Golf R, for less than what my JCW cost me.

      I’m sure I’ll own another MINI (I’m looking at you, Paceman JCW) but for now, the Golf R checks all the boxes for me.

  • that.guy

    Given that (a) it is driven by the front wheels and (b) does not have a limited slip differential (?!?)… Absolutely.

    • kellyp

      Yes an almost $40K front drive sports car should have a limited slip differential.

      • that.guy

        To be fair, a $40k sports car should not be front wheel drive… if this car retained the rear seat it might have a raison d’être, but without that it is unclear who would go for this over a MUCH less expensive BRZ/FRS.

        Unless, of course, you place a very high value on cheesy stickers.

  • asfd

    No The GTI is now the better buy and this is coming from an R53 owner with 100k mi

    • I agree with you, and I’m in the same situation. I drive an R53 with about 97k miles, but I may be looking to the GTI or Golf R when I replace it (which may not be for another year or two). I’m the biggest BMW/MINI fan on the planet, but while the MINI has barely had any power gains in the last 10 years, VW has consistently stepped it up with each new generation of Golf/GTI. I’ve always been extremely impressed with the handling and “ultimate driving” goodness that BMW/MINI have to offer, but I think VW knows what they’re doing… On a semi-related note, my sister drives a 2012 Audi TT, and it’s got power for days, albeit the steering (and lack of a third pedal) leave something lacking for me…maybe I will stick with MINI…only time will tell.

      • asfd

        Exact same boat buddy. I had so much enthusiasm for the brand/car but one too many little headaches turn into one big headache owning one of these things; i love the car to death and even after it’s gone i’ll miss the way it drives but it’s like owning a boat it’s just a money pit. and i feel like i got swindled.

  • Chulle

    All of the great “drivers” cars have the right balance of power, handling and braking … it’s easy really.

  • akng

    Wait a second, I thought EU has 218hp according to the pdf, and with the US having 211hp, that’s a good 7hp drop instead, isn’t it?

    • Lemelou

      I believe that’s the Countryman JCW engine you’re talking about.

  • Past Mini owner

    Mini, please I’m trying real hard to come back to your brand, I loved my 07 JCW, but for this price range, and being the top “limited edition” dog, it really just doesn’t have the power that your competition has. I know, I know, all other cars in it’s price range handle so poorly. 🙂 $35-$40k = 260hp to 420hp, why would the top Mini only have 211hp 🙁 This is what a standard JCW should have, not a GP. If you are going to keep it FWD, put another diff in it and give it at least 250hp. Then it would be almost as much as a Focus ST. Ultimate MIni should really have the AWD system and be 265hp to 300hp. Wake up Mini, go cart handling is great, but I DAILY drive my cars, 90% of my commute on the street is going straight. Straight line performance IS IMPORTANT. It’s time you guys catch up. There are a lot of new cars coming out in 2015, New WRX, New Focus RS, New IRS Ecoboost Mustang, New Turbo BRZ/FRS, and many more. All will be 300+hp and all will be $28K – $35K price range.

    Once again, loved my Mini, loved the community, very fun car, but once a got a taste of some real power, STI, 370z, GT500, it’s really hard to step backwards.

  • Mills

    Peugeot, who share that 1.6L Prince engine with BMW, have it cranked up to 260hp on their new RCZ-R coupe. So the potential is there, why BMW is being so conservative I don’t know, One thing is clear, VW is kicking their ass now, and show no signs of letting up. The new GTI has 217 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, and has a factory option for 227hp, while being bigger than the Countryman, but only 200lbs heavier than an R56 Cooper S. This GP seems to be a bit of a dud. If they are going to charge that much, they need to offer up more power. Maybe BMW should call up the guys from Peugeot, and have them tune the JCW engines.

    • r.burns

      You don’t seem to understand that the Mini is a small car whereas the RCZ is quite a big and heavy car(Audi TTS has 272hp)

  • les

    Everyone said that the 1M was under powered and couldn’t rely on handling dynamics alone. What does BMW know?

  • JonPD

    Pretty predictable results for the poll, while in the US the current config is a little underwhelming I am not sure why anyone in Europe would pursue one. To see how laughable the state is still for jcw just look what a real performance brand looks like.

  • andy

    An increase in power would have to be mated with all wheel drive in my opinion and better aero dynamics. There is a lot of front end lift going on with the car at higher speeds and torque steer can be an issue. I sold my 09 JCW after two years because I felt I could do better for the money..

  • The watering down of the MINI brand is what keeps me from owning another one. There are cheaper and better alternatives out there that don’t require so many visits to the shop. Stop watering down the brand with so many varients and improve reliability so you can at least compete with the top 5 companies when it comes to making reliable vehicles and then maybe, you can have my money again.