Reminder – The 2015 JCW Will Have 230 hp & will be Revealed in Detroit

The internet is an interesting place when it comes to news and information. What’s new to some sites isn’t actually new in the grand scheme of things. For example, I saw a post on Facebook a couple days ago sharing how the next generation of the MINI JCW Hardtop Hatch would have 230 hp. Obviously that’s pretty exciting news for JCW fans who were looking for bigger power numbers. Only trouble is, this is actually old news. Following that link led to another link, which led to another, and where did the trail end? It ended at our exclusive back in February.

So to celebrate the other outlets from catching up, we’re re-running our story from seven months ago in case a few of you missed it.

(Originally published February 15th 2014) For the past few years we’ve been told by insiders that the next generation JCW power plant would be shared with a BMW. First we thought that might be the i8 with it’s 225 hp three cylinder. Then we were tipped off it would instead be based on a 2.0L four cylinder making more power than today’s car. Finally a few months ago we got a code-name for the new engine: B48B20O0. And after some digging we discovered it matched a code-name used for the (at the time) soon to be released BMW 225i Active Tourer – also based on the MINI platform of course. Finally with the release of the new BMW 225i we finally saw a power figure for the B48B20O0.

That figure is 170 kW/231 hp. As luck would have it, that number matches what our sources have been telling us in terms of output, giving us confidence that the 2015 JCW will have approximately 230 hp. But this number also makes sense if we just do the math. Historically JCW power plants have had around 20% more power than the Cooper S equivalent at the time.


Naturally MINI and even JCW has never been about power and the rest of the car and as expected the 2015 JCW will come with updated four piston front brakes (it retains the standard items in the rear) and a revised suspension. But with plenty of high performance $30K cars on the market, MINI had to up the HP game considerably to remain relevant in that market. Going from 208 (US spec) to around 230 hp will go a long way in doing that. Furthermore this power figure represents an almost 20% power increase over the new F56 Cooper S. A car that I (and other reviewers) can attest to as having R56 JCW levels of on-road performance.

Performance figures should be impressive of not at the level of all-wheel-drive rivals. Expect 0-60 times below six seconds and a top speed likely around 150 mph. More importantly it should be a little monster on the track and between the cones.


The Look

What you see above in the JCW concept is what you’ll get. Minus the stickers and the extra coat of paint on the wheels. Look for 17″ wheels standard with 18s optional from the factory. The areo-kit will be a tweaked version of the JCW aero-kit due on the JCW Exterior Pack option expected late this summer – also seen above. Changed will include an additional lip spoiler (on the wing itself) and subtle fender flares that cover the JCW’s wider track.

Speaking of that wider track we expect the JCW to come with a more aggressive sport suspension lowering the car further than the Cooper S.

Finally expect a GP-esque diffuser standard.

The Timeline

MINI is planning to debut the 2015 JCW on the internet in December of 2014. This means we should see a production debut at the 2015 Detroit Autoshow in early January of 2015. Production should start in March of 2015 with the first cars hitting dealers in April throughout Europe and May in the US.

We’ll have much more on the 2015 JCW in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime expect plenty of cold-weather testing photos of the new car to crop-up. However don’t be fooled by the lack of the final body-kit. The current mules being tested make due with just the front of the new JCW (minus the MCS grille) and are using standard Cooper S pieces elsewhere.

  • Nick Dawson

    On the subject of future MINI engine options, word has it that a more powerful version of the 1.5 L triple is being developed, to bridge the gap between the 134 BHP Cooper and the 189 BHP Cooper S.

    • Little known fact that we’ve reported previously. MINI had created a Cooper S spec 3 cylinder with around 190 hp but went with the four instead due to customer feedback. Apparently people paying extra for the MCS wanted a four rather than a three.

      • JCF1971

        I would rather them have used the 1.5T for the JCW, S, and Base. It sounds much better, and I can imagine it would help make the car lighter. On too of that it’s more fuel efficient. I’m not impressed with the B48 S spec.

        • I hear you. I think this may eventually happen as BMW feels more confident that the normal buying public will accept 3 cylinders are performance cars.

  • Kevin

    Any idea when JCW accessories will be launching such as a new shift knob (hate the f56 current knob)

  • Eddie Cosme

    Is it me or does the front overhang seem smaller on the JCW in the pictures than it does on the F56 Cooper/S.

  • sugurunishioka

    Looking at the close-up of the front, it seems the lower area that sticks out is actually a separate piece from the rest? If that’s the case, there may be a 3rd party option to virtually eliminate that sticking out ducts. Just a slight hope for pre-LCI facelift. Just maybe…


    Will other F series beyond the F56, such as the F55 4 door hatch due out this fall, also have their own JCW versions? If so, would a F55 JCW be on the market about the same time as as F56 JCW next spring or would there be somewhat of a lag since the F55 release is about 6 months after the F56 release?

  • R56Superior

    The F56 does NOT have JCW levels of performance. It doesn’t even put out any more HP at the wheels. It’s been proven to actually be slower. Burger Tuning did a comparo dyno. MT, C&D, Automobile, and Consumer Reports even said it felt slower and not as peppy.

  • R56Superior

    All wheel drive rivals? Seriously? The Golf R runs 4.9 seconds 0-60. The base GTI can do 5.8sec. I guarantee this will be around 6.0sec flat. No LSD really will hurt this car, and the fact that it will weigh more than the previous JCW in the US.

  • lawrothegreat

    The stock F56S can’t directly be compared to an R56 JCW because a maximum output of 192hp developed from 4700rpm (F56S) will feel very different to 208hp from 6000rpm. However it has greater levels of torque in the low to mid ranges and for anything bar redlining will feel comparable to an R56 JCW. The F56 JCW will therefore feel even quicker. I haven’t seen power/torque curves for the 230hp tune, but I hope that the additional performance is focussed at the top end. As it is a stock F56S with DSC disabled (no DTC, but with the electronic diff) will spin the front wheels in the dry in first and second in a straight line.

  • Confused

    Did anyone else get the email today about the “new original”? The email I got says 45MPG. I am sure that’s an error, as the 1.5T gets 42mpg max.

    • WeHo4Me

      I saw that too. I can’t believe they didn’t catch that error before sending it out to the masses. On another note, I don’t really care about the F56’s fuel efficiency. It’s performance in a MotorTrend comparison test put it in last place… behind even the Civic Si, which has been heralded as the worst generation of the Si thus far. The old MCS never came in last place in any comparison I saw. It usually placed in either 1st or 2nd, behind only such vehicles as the VW GTI. I am really losing faith in the brand. I know it’s been tuned for a more broad audience that doesn’t care as much about performance, but it is still a MINI. There is no excuse for creating a car that is as unfocused as the F56. Even with summer performance rubber, it only pulled a .86g. I saw somewhere on here about a different test, but I can’t remember what magazine it was, and on all-season’s, it pulled an even lower .84g. I know that skidpad grip may not be important to a lot of you, but to the few holdout’s hoping for a fantastic car like myself, it is very disappointing. I read where they called it not as fun as the last generation, and it didn’t like to rotate as much, or feel as confident. On top of that, it was way behind the VW GTI and Subie in speed. Not sure what all that is about, but hey, I’ll give it to BMW… they have gone from making precision instruments that were too sharp for some, to making comfortable touring cars. Maybe that is what direction they are heading, but I really hope that the LCI, or even next-generation of the hatch, goes back to it’s performance roots.

      • Ah Motor Trend. I wouldn’t hold MT up as a bastion of automotive authority by any means.

        I’ve sat at many a table talking cars with a number of those guys. Motor Trend isn’t known for their rock solid foresight or opinions. In the automotive world they’re more known for the embarrassment known as their “car of the year award” (which the PT Cruiser won over the MINI years back) and running and re-running similar if not the same comparisons with different results month after month.

        Even Randy Probst they’re resident race car driver dissecting cars like a surgeon that renders the results meaningless for anyone who isn’t racing them at 10/10ths. Great but not relatable.

        • WeHo4Me

          what about Car and Driver, Automobile, or even InsideLine/Edmunds, and Consumer Reports? They have all said the same thing that MT said, some more than others. Consumer Report’s guy named Ryan I believe, said that the new MCS felt slower, less nimble, and not nearly as fun as the previous TWO MINI’s. Car and Driver said on the GTI review that the new MCS was basically pointless with such a fantastic car as the GTI, and Automobile said it felt less focused as the previous two cars as well. From personal experience with the F56, I found it to be less fun, felt slower, and didn’t even feel like it came from the same lineage of fantastic FWD’ers as the R53/56. According to Terry @ Burger Motorsports, the F56 also ran slower trap speeds, and I saw somewhere on here again, where someone had posted a link to the Dyno sheet. It did in fact have lower horsepower and torque over a wide range of revs than the N18. Why is that fact ignored? I can’t find that link on here, but I know I saw it. Maybe some searching on Google will yield that link.

        • And anyone could go into each of those articles and quote positive comments as well.

          Journalists who don’t own a MINI bemoan  the loss of “visceral” qualities because it was the only car left with them. Yet the general enthusiast owner seems to love the changes that make the car more responsive, lighter (in most markets) and much much easier to live with. So the journalists who got to drive the MINI once a year wondered where the unruly but characterful bulldog went and why there’s a new bulldog that is generally all-around nicer and easier to live with. The problem is that that’s what most of us want when we’re investing in a fun daily driver.

          It reminds me of the Porsche 991 vs the 997 with one exception… The F56 actually has more feeling in-hand than the rather dull R56.

        • R56Superior

          I don’t think it’s the general owner that is loving these changes.

        • R56Superior

          So the fact that every magazine has said it lacks the feel, power, stability, and fun of that “dull” F56 is actually saying it’s more fun? Doesn’t really make sense.

        • R56Superior

          The “dull” R56.

        • r.burns

          I confirm, the R56 is raher dull compared to R53 and F56

        • WeHo4Me

          What are your qualifications? How is the R56 any more dull than the F56, which has a much softer suspension, less power/liter, a much peakier powerband, and very light steering? The R56 was not as razor sharp as the R53, but it was very very close. The R56 retained the firm suspension, weighted steering, and further enhanced the performance with an engine that put out very high power/L and torque. I am a firm believer that the general automotive press wouldn’t have placed the F56 behind all of its rivals (except the 500 Abarth, but that’s based on a much much older car), if it was truly so fantastic. You can argue that it’s better than the R56, but you cannot argue that it is a better performer than it’s American, German, and Japanese rivals.

        • I’ve reviewed probably 20+ variants of the R5x since 2007 and have been a staunch supporter of it in the face of angry R53 fanboys for many years. But it was easy because the R56 was logically a better car in every way sans a couple visceral qualities.

          Fast forward… I’ve found the F56 to be a revelation in most ways (as others have who know the two cars – ie the British press). Like the R56 to the R53, the F56 is a logically better at in every way over the R56. Especially in fluidity of handling and overall steering feel. The suspension is stiffer (yes the sport suspension is now on par with the JCW suspension based on the actual technical figures) and the structure itself is stiffer. This along with the improved steering has created a product that is both more comfortable and more visceral than the R56 in regards to handling.

          The engine is another matter due to the Cooper and Cooper S offering such a different approach vs the R56. I can see why some might prefer the Prince – an engine btw that I have tirelessly defended for eight years every time the R53 zealots attacked it. That said I like the direction MINI has gone as I think there’s an interesting upside to both engines in how they can be tuned for MPG and HP so easily.

        • WeHo4Me

          Suspension is stiffer? What? The base and S suspensions have so much more roll than the old base and S suspensions. The Sport suspension may be 30% stiffer than the regular S suspension, but it is still not close to the old Sport Suspension in stiffness. The adaptable dampers don’t really even change the feel of the car. I drove one just on Monday that had the adaptable dampers, and couldn’t tell any difference between the modes at all. The car’s biggest issue was the engine, and sound. I hated the weird nasally sound the new engine had. Like others have said, it felt less potent, less visceral as you say, and in general like a step down in power. It was very similar to the new Civic Si versus the old Civic Si’s. The car may have higher numbers, and be touted as the best version yet, but it pales in comparison to it’s older siblings. I didn’t find the interior to be of any particular quality, especially after just spending significant time in a VW GTI. While the MINI may be the least comfortable of all the hot hatches we have here in the US, at least on SoCal roads, it doesn’t have the raw data to support what you say about it’s enhanced prowess on the road or track. Whereas the Ford Focus ST was heralded for it’s point and shoot nature, the MINI felt like you really have to work it hard to get any sense of movement or speed. The muffled exhaust most certainly helps reinforcing that feeling, as does the ultra-light steering. While you say it has more feel, I would be really pressed to notice any feel at all. My other main concern with this car is it’s appearance. While the R53 and R56 both retained the classic MINI proportions, and styling, this newest car looks like a cross between the R5x’s and a Lexus. It has hideous angles, large air inlets that protrude like pimples, and the grille, where do I begin? I most certainly wouldn’t call what MINI did to this car an improvement. It’s gotten to a point where it no longer feels like a MINI. I’m sure if you asked Autocar, AutoExpress, or CAR which vehicle they would take between the VW GTI, Focus ST, Fiesta ST, or even the Peugeot 208GTI, the MINI would either be the last or second to last pick. Yes, it has gotten more comfortable and cozy, but it is no longer the MINI that I fell in love with 12 years ago.

        • I’m talking about the actually specifications on the non adaptive sport suspension. Sorry to be the bearer of had news but it’s technically as stiff as the previous (optional) Sport Suspesnion found on R56 JCWs which was stiffer than the optional Sport suspension found on the R56 Cooper S.

        • Andrew Vella

          I do not understand why everybody thinks this vehicle is terrible… I own a R53 and a R50 and i will order the F56. I sell MINI’s and everybody has nothing but solid things to say about the product. It is far superior to the R56 in every way except for the front end of the S. With that being said, I see them every day so I have grown accustom to it.

        • WTF?

          So, if that’s true, why does the car have so much more roll, and post skidpad results from every magazine that is much lower than the R56? I’m talking about on summer tires too. Also, if it is stiffer than the R56, how does everyone that reviews that car note how much softer both cars ride than their former versions?

        • WTF?

          “Even on 17-inch wheels with run-flat tires, there’s a softness and slowness to the Mini’s chassis and steering that remind us of the latest BMWs.” -Car & Driver

          So, I know you say it feels more planted, and stiffer, but how can so many independent tests come up with results that point to a car that is softer, less focused, and in-general not as fun?

        • Because it’s quicker and has more feel. Because they’re wrong. Because they Car and Driver. Because most of the people employeed at the US auto rags couldn’t drive a car out if a car wash.

        • For example, at MINI press events nowadays, most of the cars are autos because at event after event the journalists have wrecked the clutches in the manual transmission cars. They’ll sometimes even wreck the press cars.

        • lawrothegreat

          Either you didn’t drive very far, or the adaptive suspension wasn’t fitted or it was broken. Sport mode significantly stiffens the car over green/mid modes – you won’t notice much difference on a good quality road in a straight line but if you chuck the car into a bend there’s a big difference. In green/mid modes the car will noticeably roll, in sport mode it won’t. I also refer you to Autocar dated 26/03/14 where they placed an F56S in 1st place, a Fiesta ST in 2nd, an A1 TFSi S-line in third and a Citroën DS3 THP DSport in fourth.

        • WTF?

          I hate to break it to you, but the differences between the modes is only 10%. Even MotoringFile said they couldn’t really feel a difference, and if anyone would say they felt something, it would be these guys. I remember your posts from a forum, and nowhere did you mention your car having the adaptable dampers. What you just wrote sounds like you copied and pasted directly from MINI’s website… maybe you wrote it?

        • FYI I’m referring to the non-adapative suspension. Non-adapative that I referenced above and in the REVIEW I WROTE FOR THIS SITE.

        • lawrothegreat

          £200/$300 for a remap that can take an F56S up to ~245hp is very appealing….

        • lawrothegreat

          Which just isn’t true. I don’t know which country you’re posting from so perhaps there are big variations across the Globe. I’m in the UK where we have access to every hot hatch going – Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Renault Clio 200, 500 Abarth, Peugeot 208 GTi, VW Polo GTi, Golf GTi, Vauxhall (GM) Corsa VXR, Citroën DS3, Audi S1, Honda Civic Type R, Seat Leon Cupra etc. Here the Fiesta ST is considered king in terms of visceral feel and fun in the supermini segment, and the F56S came very close to knocking it off top spot, in fact in one edition of Autocar it did. And the Fiesta ST was considered better than the R56 JCW in one test I read last year.

        • lawrothegreat

          It is funny. I’m 5,500 miles into my ownership with an F56S, and whilst it’s unfair to compare it to my ’07 R56S because that had standard suspension without an LSD, mechanical or electronic, my F56 actually feels more immediate, more edgy, with more front end grip, less torque steer, it rolls less and actually even in green mode I think it rides slightly firmer. On top of that I’ve got better fuel consumption, LED headlights which are the best I’ve ever witnessed, a fantastic heads up display and a great media XL set up. The F56 isn’t perfect but no car is, including the Golf GTi as VW need to keep room for improvement for the next version.

        • WTF?

          You just said on a post two up that it rolls considerably in any mode but sport. Look at the videos and pictures from the press releases. You can see the roll. If it was such a drastic improvement, everyone reviewing the car in the US would say how much better it handles and how much more grip it allows. They don’t. It pulls less g’s on the skidpad, posts slower times on a figure eight, and in most tests, is actually slower to 60 and quarter mile. Even Terry from Burger Motorsports said that the 1/4 mile times are slower for the F56 S. You own the car, so i get you will defend it to death – you paid a lot for it I am sure – but data from multiple tests doesn’t lie.

        • lawrothegreat

          I’d be gutted if I didn’t think the F56 wasn’t an improvement over the R56 so thankfully for me I think that it is. In my view it’s slightly quicker, first in feel (punchier around 2000 to 3000rpm) and second in figures, both what’s advertised and from the figures I’ve seen, mostly from one source, Autocar, but this represents the most comprehensive in gear testing I’ve seen. One of the great things about the F56 though is the whole package – technology, comfort, economy, quality (it’s literally on a different planet), as well as performance. In addition my language above isn’t contradictory about roll but descriptions will always be subjective. The one drawback about the F56 is price, options are expensive, but that has always been the case since 2001.

  • Disappointed

    And the F56 shows it’s terrible combination of no pizazz, fun, or quality. It’s really unfortunate that this is what we MINI faithful are stuck with, unless we jump ship to another brand… Which is what I and many will be doing.

  • anonymous

    That’s awesome! I just wish it wasn’t so ugly! I’m a big new MINI fan, but even with great mileage and interior options, I can’t drive a car that’s unforgivably unattractive. I wish I could, I really do, but there’s no getting past that lower bumper. Will hold my GP2 till its death unless the GP3 goes in a completely different direction. I don’t want a copy/paste ///M lower bumper super glued to a MINI and called good. I can deal with mundane interior switches and a honda civic center column with random storage slots around a big or tiny screen, but I really shouldn’t have to explain how bad the front and rear of my car looks. /Rant

  • b-
  • Spa2k

    Reminder – I’m still yawning, MINI. If it’s going to draw any interest in the marketplace, the F56 JCW needs 250 horsepower, a mechanical limited slip, a better shifter and a nose job.

  • LSDmuyImportante

    It needs an LSD before they do anything.