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World Premier: The MINI John Cooper Works Concept

jcw This morning MINI took the wraps off of their latest thinly veiled, production-oriented concept. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept previews two key things. First, it gives us a look at the JCW exterior package, complete with specific aero-kit and wheels. Then second and more importantly, the concept signals MINI’s intent to bring a new level of visual differentiation to the JCW model when it goes on sale in then spring of 2015. Gone is the subtlety of previous JCWs and in its place stands a more BMW M-like approach to both the exterior and interior design. To our eyes, the combination of little touches and overtly aggressive styling does wonders for the F56 and gives the car a fantastic look. We’ll have much more soon, including hands-on time with the concept at NAIAS early next month. Until then, read on for the official MINI press release.

jcw concept

Official Release: Hallmark MINI style and technology lifted straight from the race track come together to mould the inimitable character of a John Cooper Works model, rendering the MINI sub-brand a byword for irresistible go-kart feeling and genuine everyday usability. And now a new contender for pole position has emerged to take this successful concept to the next stage and bring the promise of maximum driving fun to the small car segment. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept offers a look ahead to the next generation of the elite sports model. The study car will be presented for the first time at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2014 and flies the flag for innovative sportiness in time-honoured John Cooper Works style, with features including exclusive body paintwork in Bright Highways Grey, familiar MINI red colour accents, bespoke aerodynamic features and 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in a newly developed design.

The thrillingly sporty driving experience on board a John Cooper Works model is the result of an overall concept developed on the back of the brand’s many years of motor sport experience. The precise interplay of the ultra-high-performance powertrain and chassis technology with the car’s aerodynamically optimised exterior features ensures that the agile and surefooted handling we have come to know as the MINI go-kart feeling shines brightly in extremely sporty driving situations as well. The result is hardcore driving fun, taken into a new dimension by the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.

P90140966-highRes

Perfect basis and extensive racing expertise deliver a new dimension in extreme driving fun.

The John Cooper Works Concept is based on the latest-generation MINI. Its origins are clearly recognisable in the longer wheelbase and wider track over the outgoing model, which has a direct effect on the car’s driving characteristics. The model variants of the new MINI available from launch have already shown themselves to be more powerful, punchy and agile than their predecessors. Weight savings and improved aerodynamic properties have also contributed significantly to the new car’s driving talents – and these developments likewise have a positive influence on the MINI John Cooper Works Concept. Large air intakes – filling the space reserved for fog lights in the series-produced MINI models – and precisely formed air-channelling elements mark out the front apron of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept, which also features LED headlights and a black surround for the front grille. The model-specific John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit also comprises specially contoured side skirts and a rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element. The study car further features a roof spoiler and additional body components designed to channel air efficiently around the C-pillars for optimised aerodynamic balance at high speeds.

jcw

Exclusive body paintwork, familiar contrast colour.

The Bright Highways Grey exterior paint shade owes its expressive character to a special manufacturing process. The hand-polished surface layer is finished with a clear coat and the resulting lustrous sheen of the paintwork further accentuates the eye-catching structures of its pigment layer. Exuding purity and solidity, this paint finish is complemented by John Cooper Works hallmarks such as contrasting red for the roof, roof spoiler and exterior mirror caps. Also included are Sport Stripes – in Chili Red for the bonnet and boot lid, and in white for the roof. Additional red accents adorn the rim wells of the John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels, the callipers of the sports brakes, the side indicator surrounds and the contour lines of the front and rear apron. A red accent line also lends particular emphasis to the John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille.

A further nod to the concept car’s impressive sporting focus can be found in the centre of the rear apron. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept is fitted with a sports exhaust system including John Cooper Works silencer system, and the striking twin tailpipes with chrome finish also carry the John Cooper Works logo. With the new elite sports model destined to benefit from further development, these features suggest its enticingly sporting aura will not be restricted to visual features: an unmistakable engine soundtrack promises to share centre stage.

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Written By: Gabe

  • Chulander

    I love it. I probably would go sans sport stripes, but I love all the other red accents, especially on this color combo. Love the rear diffuser/exhaust combo as well.

    Gabe, you’d probably HAVE to get this just to not have the “S” in the front grille, huh? :)

    • SPICYJCWCOUPE

      Wonder if that S logo on the front grill could be easily removed per its attachment to the grill??

      • John

        Both the JCW and J emblems are built into the grille. The emblem itself is probably glued on but the part at which it attaches to the grille is part of it. So if you were to remove the emblem you would just have a black shape of it.

  • Kurtster

    LOVE it. Not enough to make me sell my JCW Coupe, but if this thing were 240HP and AWD I would be at my dealer tomorrow to order one. Beautiful renderings though.

  • Mitchell Flies

    The wheels are ugly . Remind me of the flower pedal wheels you see on new beetles

    • lavardera

      yeah, these are not doing it for me either.

      • ulrichd

        Thumbs down for these wheels as well. Luckily there will be different choices.

      • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

        The production version has black inserts and look much better

        • lavardera

          I wish they would go back to classics from the 60s – something closer to the real form of Mini-lites. And maybe something like was on old American muscle – 5 spoke cone shaped spokes – Cragars?

  • tobi

    :/ need to see this in real.. hard to judge from pictures

  • http://about.me/bentyyc Ben Tsui

    Going in the right direction!! Lower chin is better disguised. Wheels are obviously a GP variation, but should be “hollow”…

  • Henry Wu

    Are those carbon fiber exhaust tips?!

    • Gene Leeds

      No. They’re carbon fiber wrapped exhaust tips. They’re added weight to make it look like something really expensive, dumb, and currently impossible that saves weight. Makes sense right? :)

      • Henry Wu

        Not impossible. A highly sought after exhaust for R56 is available with Carbon Fiber tips.

        http://www.waymotorworks.com/akrapovic-evolution-exhaust-r56-r57-r58.html

        You say dumb, I say aggressive.

        • Gene Leeds

          Well you’ve got yourself a car then. If you look past the magnificence of the carbon fiber on that link you sent me you can see that the inside of the tips are metal. Therefor the carbon fiber is again, pretending to lighten the load, by adding weight. It makes absolutely no sense. I, and science, look down upon people who do this. Titanium on the other hand, now that’s a nice exhaust! My old Z06 had a full titanium exhaust. The entire system, headers back, was so light you could throw it 20 feet in the air and catch it. I believe in carbon fiber, I do. It’s just that you need to make it out of carbon fiber. Sticking carbon fiber onto an existing thing doesn’t make it lighter, it makes it heavier (and tacky). :)

        • Henry Wu

          If I wanted weight saving performance, I’d buy a Miata for a couple thousand, gut it, throw on some sticky tires and call it speed by science. If I wanted something that performs well in the street, something I can customize and represent me, I’d buy a MINI. That’s like saying, why do some of us enthusiasts plasti-dipp our chrome parts? Why do we add stripes? That’s called character and ‘youification’. Some people like it, some people don’t. Realistically, if the tips are CF wrapped, the weight is likely less than the cheeseburgers we inhale everyday. You see this as tacky, I see this as inspiration to do other things to my MINI. To each his own.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          Well said.

        • Gene Leeds

          Very good points. :)

        • Nick

          Amen brother

        • Mark Smith

          By the way Carbon Fiber doesn’t like prolonged exposure to Sunlight so these if they really existed would have to be treated like the pillars and body of the C6 Corvette ZR1.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          I don’t like prolonged exposure to sunlight either.

  • Gene Leeds

    Still need to fix the face and the rear lights. I’d even let the rear lights slide but that ugly face is a show stopper for me. The wheels are a little disappointing but easy to replace. I believe, hope, and feel it in my bones…that they will do a model refresh sooner than later to fix those front intakes on the whole line.

  • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer matthew

    The brushed metal exterior is pretty interesting. Can’t decide if that would get old quickly, or something I’d like more and more.

  • http://www.mynameisjay.com/ Jay

    Something tells me the brushed-metal will not make it to production. I think they went overboard with the decals, but with MINI’s customization options, I could work with this.

    Will it come a 5-door configuration?

  • Hoopty

    MINI must have an inferiority complex……I count 13 JCW nameplates on the exterior. Oddly there isn’t one on the rear at all…? So they will be adding one more on the rear, so the total will be 14. Lame

    Hoopty

  • JonPD

    Actually have to agree not bad looking, however they speak about some aredynamic changes, grill, exhaust system, and a spoiler. Sorry but that is a long long ways from ///M. It still feels like a fairly meager tweek of the base car. ///M generally is more than just a lite brushing of a few eye catching features of a car, its normally a change to the entire sensation behind the wheel. Nice try MINI, but falls well short of being lustworthy imo.

    • R.Burns

      Read again, they speak about powertrain and chassis too

      • JonPD

        Guess that depends on how MINI classifies “ultra-high-performance powertrain and chassis technology”. Which it not disimular language they use for the standard car. I fully expect once again a tiny boost over the outgoing models and a fraction more speed. Still pleanty weaksouce when it comes to clearly seperating itsself from the S breathern. I do keep hoping some day MINI will wake up and make a tiny terror but they will never develop a MINI that is going to challenge the performance of the cars in the BMW brand. Will be interesting to see what they produce but expect my desire for a well tuned MINI will still be unsatisfied.

  • Nick

    I love a good concept!

  • rhawth99

    The lower chin still looks like it was an after thought that was slapped on at the last minute. Was hopeful that the JCW would blend this in more. The brushed aluminium look is nice although it reminds me of a DeLoren (Back to the Future).

  • ulrichd

    I’ve asked this before but is it not possible, at least on the JCW line, to add wider fender flares? They are just plastic and it would allow for a 1/2″ or so wider wheel. This alone would set them visually apart from the lower spec cars. I am thinking along the lines of the 135 to the 1M.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      The 1M was a completely separate uni-body. That key visual difference (which of course allowed the 1M to use the M3 chassis) cost an enormous amount of money to develop and produce. For the MINI it would be much easier as you could simply add a differentiated plastic fender and (more or less) space out the wheels to match the wider track. Granted it’s never that easy but it’s certainly much more cost effective than what BMW did with the 1M

      • Kurtster

        I get what you mean. It would be fun and retro to do that. I’ve noticed some classic Minis have huge fat tires and little fender flares to accommodate them like this one: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/04/classic-mini-628.jpg

        I think something like that would be really cool option for the new JCW.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          Yup. BTW look closely. The JCW concept not only has a wider track but new plastic arches.

        • ulrichd

          Yes with dainty little lips that you can barely see. Give us wider flares.

        • R.Burns

          Big 13″ wheels on classic Minis are completely out of purpose, it makes the car so much slow et heavy to drive !

        • Kurtster

          Cool looking though. :-)

  • nervous

    Really? They couldn’t fit just one more air intake/exhaust? With one more, they may have had a record! Oh, well. At least they are rimmed in red – otherwise, the air wouldn’t know where to go.

    • Jason

      This comment is pure genius… I can’t stop LOLing at work. I love the idea of red accents, but really? Too much. Reminds me of all the horrible stripe combos you can order up on a Countryman (essentially covering your entire car in sticky plastic).

  • oldsbear

    Less is more, and more is vinyl — tasteless and graceless.

  • bk_R56

    The red roof/stripes aren’t my cup of tea. I’d want a murdered-out JCW if I ordered one. Hoping MINI will allow such a config.

    When do we get the numbers? HP? 0-60? Haldex front diff? (ala the new GTI) Adjustable suspension? Track-ready brakes?

    I also wonder what this will cost. I’m guessing $$$$. I must say I’m a fan though. Argh as much as I want to be an automotive snob (RWD only haha) I just love small, fun FWD cars.

  • jimzminimal

    OMG… still ugly…!

  • pmindemann

    No, no, no, no… do not want. This is almost literally “putting lipstick on a pig.” Could they have possibly overused the red piping any more?

  • lavardera

    I can’t say this fixes the chin from the S. It adds more vents on either side. Its a bit of a busy mess, don’t you think?

    • lavardera

      the wheel arches are interesting – same shape as the S but with an additional flare right around the rim. But so small I suspect this is not driven by a significant amount of wider rubber.

  • ulrichd

    Will you be able to order the aux. driving lights on the F56? Don’t know if they will fit above the black horizontal bar. Of course it might compete with that lower fascia treatment and be way too busy.

    I think the non-S Cooper bumper should be a no-cost option for the Cooper S.

    • b-

      But they will make money selling you a Cooper bumper. They had better have LOTS of them on hand!

  • Head Homcho

    Will it be possible to get it without red on the outside?

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Yes.

      • Head Honcho

        That is good. The red accents make it looks super cheap to me.

  • chris94602

    they’ve managed to make that front bumper even busier that it already is… LESS is MORE in this case.

  • dusty_s

    Okay, now that is much much better than that damn ugly S version. The front-end is more balanced in proportion with the rest of the front-end. Getting rid of the fog lights broadens the lower end making it more balanced. It also doesn’t look so pieced together like the S. This car photographs well. It looks sharp from all angles. I like that. Take a look at the new 2015 Ford Mustang. That looks really sharp in photos from all angles. I like what MINI did with the interior of the new car. The S Cooper is damn ugly on the front-end and back end. That lower front-end bumper is so half _ _ _ ed put together, it looks terrible. A car is an inanimated object, so in photos or in live it should look the same. Another but here is that JCW is probably gonna run close to 45K fully loaded or more is my guess. Who is gonna pay 45K for a MINI? Even 40K for a fully loaded MINI is really pushing it. If MINI would have come out with the MINI Concept Vision version, a lot of ugliness could have been avoided. I still can’t see coming back to MINI.

    • R.Burns

      See a F56 S in real life before you bury it, i have and it’s definitely a beautiful car

  • Captain

    As long as this JCW is not another MINI w/marginal improvement in power vs S and a facelift, then it may have a prayer to be considered M-like vs. another S+…

  • lambdacalc

    That paint job looks incredible, especially in the up-close shots. What is the chance that this will actually be made available in the production version? (And, if there is any chance, is it better than 50-50?)

    • Head Honcho

      What happens when someone has to have it repainted from a dent? A local shop won’t be able to recreate it and match the color.

      • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

        This is just for the concept. The production car won’t offer this finish.— Sent from Mailbox for iPad

  • lambdacalc

    Also, interesting that there is no JCW badge or designation on the back of the car. An intentional design choice or an oversight in the rendering?

  • Cincinnati

    Gabe, Gabe, Gabe. How the mighty have fallen. Typo in your first paragraph. Just sayin’……..

    ” Then second and more importantly, the concept signals MINI’s intent to bring a new level of visual differentiation to the JCW model when it goes on-sale in then spring of 2015. Gone is the subtlety of previous JCWs and in its place stands a more BMW”

  • Head Honcho

    Yes I just finished a bottle of champagne. But looking at the first picture before you come into this article. This car has zero character by the photo. It is blob of no character. But at the same time. I am really hoping that pictures do it no justice. Otherwise I will be picking up the WRX sti that is totally soulless. Please make this car kick ass because it looks like another soulless car. You know, any Toyota, Hyundai, Honda.

  • Mike

    Tacky and busy. This makes the last GP look subtle.

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      You’d almost think they were designed by the same team of people…

      • Mike

        Looks like a duct and decal double down. The new face is growing on me , but this doesn’t help. I’d like to see the same body offered without all decals and accents. It’s really hard to judge the body with all the decoration. Plain black might actually look good.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          Personally I love cars in dark silver precisely because it helps focus just on the shape, but without hiding a lot of the details like black does.

        • walk0080

          I agree. Love the eclipse gray on my JCW hatch.

          Not really liking this concept. Seems too rounded and even a little cute. Way too busy with all the stripes and red accents. Will of course wait to see one someday in person without all the add-ons and hope they boost the power a lot and add AWD (although I doubt it in either case).

        • Mike Burley

          Im with you there. Dark silver is flattering for almost any car. I just want to see a toned down version of the JCW that won’t make me look like a rich college kid.

        • R.Burns

          No, the black in bright sunlight is more more shiny, it reflects more the sun

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          So you’re saying the color (black) that absorbs the most light reflects the most sun? Color me skeptical. ;-)

        • R.Burns

          You’re right in that sense, but the difference between a cloudy weather and a shiny weather is much more remarcable with black than all greys ;) Especially when it’s clean ;)

  • alessandrop80

    Here is what I think the new Mini should look like..

    • R.Burns

      Its’s happy you’re not in charge of Mini

      • alessandrop80

        “Its’s happy you’re not in charge of Mini?” I don’t understand? Did you mean “I’m happy you are not in charge of Mini???” Or are you saying the car is happy I’m not in charge??

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          The car’s feelings are quite complex and difficult to discern at this time.

        • alessandrop80

          lol

        • R.Burns

          :lol:

  • BGP

    Looks a little too busy, don’t like the flower wheels, getting used to the looks but going to need a big bump in performance, 240+hp and amazing handling in order for me not to buy a 2015 Mustang GT. I Photoshopped something I think I could live with.

  • BGP

    I can’t seam to upload pics here, do I need to register, or is allowed as a guest?

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      Register with Disqus.

  • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

    Sometimes Disqus will hold links and uploads for moderation that have to be approved by a mod. If you create a Disqus account, this should minimize.

    • BGP

      Ok, thanks.

  • Mike Burley

    Looks good. I think it needs a little accent color.. Maybe just the mirrors.

    • BGP

      I did one with the red mirrors, but it looked too much like a GP. In person, with that paint, the red brakes and badges will probably be enough color for me. ;-)

  • Head Honcho

    That hood line really gives it the puffer fish look. I think it needs stripes to break up the shape of the hood and disguise the height of it.

  • Kev50027

    The front actually looks quite a bit better than the S, despite the red line in the grill that makes the goofy plastic bumper look even more like a tongue. The back though, that looks like a clown car that’s trying really really hard to be taken seriously. The only way to fix it is to shrink those truly massive break lights. If they fixed those, it would improve the look dramatically.


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