Could BMW Use M Engines for JCW?

Currently BMW’s M division is developing a small M car. You can read about that vehicle in detail over at BimmerFile, but in a nutshell both Audi and Mercedes will be offering small, 300+ hp sedans in high performance guise. BMW needs to not only keep up with competition, but they need to lower the barriers of the M Brand. They did that successfully with the 1M. What does this have to do with MINI? Perhaps a lot.

Whether this small, high-performance sedan will sport rear wheel drive or front wheel drive is still up in the air. The engine that will motivate this smart car, is not. BMW M is developing a 300+ hp 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder loosely based on the current N20 found in certain BMWs. Crucially, the engine will be available in both longitudinal and transverse mounting. That will make it as much at home in all wheel drive applications as rear wheel drive. Suddenly all that platform sharing between MINI and BMW gets a little more interesting doesn’t it?

One could easily imagine a lineup of monstrous, AWD-eqipped JCW Countryman, Paceman or even the F56 hardtop hatch running around with upwards of 300 hp under the hood. Sound intriguing? It’s piqued our curiosity as well. The fact that the UKL platform was designed from the beginning to accommodate all wheel drive also helps the theory that specific non-crossover MINI or JCW products could go all wheel drive.

However, just because the building blocks are in place doesn’t mean MINI will use them. The brand has shown restraint when it comes to adding technology and power to MINI JCW products. Yet we’ve heard quiet rumors and read between the lines enough over the past 18 months to know that something more powerful is coming to the brand. BMW’s small M cars may just be the path by which we get that high-horsepower MINI so many of us have been wanting.

  • let’s also remember who is back in charge at MINI, after a stint over in the M-division…

  • Jerry

    I’ve been saying that MINI needs more power in the JCW–probably from a brand-new engine to keep pace with other manufacturers and justify its high price. The current engine is getting old.

  • Jon

    Can you imagine a Countryman or Paceman with All4, and 300+ hp or more? Basically, MINI’s version of the Nissan Juke R (the one with the GT-R’s engine). This kind of ûber-crossover idea seems to be gaining momentum in the automotive world these days… It could happen.

    • Lemelou

      Hopefully without the Juke R elitism, or price tag!

  • Jac Cottrell

    please bring us an AWD Hardtop, with about 240 HP or so…. 🙂

  • Its all good and well the JCW and MINI Models getting more power

    The MINI is front wheel drive, How is that power gonna be translated on the road?

    I hope the JCW gets actual Mechanical limited diff

    • The entire idea of M engines in MINIs is likely predicated on AWD being available across the MINI lineup.

  • Dr Obnxs

    Somethings gotta give. The Ford Fiesta ST will have a 2.0 EcoBoost (Turbo, DI, VVT fourbanger) putting out about 240 HP…. While I’m all on board with the balanced approach to the MINIs, the halo MINIs are going to a lot of gun fights with only a knife….

    • Blainestang

      Fiesta ST is a 1.6L EcoBoost with 197hp. Personally, I’d rather see them but M suspension and worry about keeping it small, light, and nimble rather than just throwing horsepower at it.

  • m8o

    Whell, I didn’t buy the JCW Countryman I was hoping to buy due to its anemic power to weight ratio. So this is promising. Too bad I’ll have probably left the Mini brand by the time it comes.