MF Exclusive: Early Look at the F56 JCW Engine Kit & Exhaust (w/Video)

The JCW Engine Tuning Kit and Exhaust are here and it’s a serious piece of kit. MINIs JCW Arm has clearly gotten serious with its approach for the F56 Cooper S. The new kit is designed more holistically than before and is comprised of a full ECU remap, stainless steel exhaust and some surprised.

Read on for the full details and video of the kit in action.

  • A stainless steel cat-back system – cannot be sold without the engine kit
  • Optional Carbon Fiber and Stainless tips with JCW logos
  • 15hp Power increase due to ECU remapping and increase flow
  • A remote that allows the driver to open and close the electronic baffle inside the exhaust allowing for a more aggressive note when appropriate
  • Track mode – opens the exhaust baffle increasing exhaust noise via a button on the remote – not approved for the street
  • Estimated pricing: coming soon
  • Estimated availability: fall 2014
  • Available only on the Cooper S as a dealer accessory

How does it sound? We managed some seat time in the car today and came away impressed. Where the standard MCS exhaust feels quiet and refined, the JCW version is throaty and deep. In short it’s exactly how you’d want the car to sound. Best of all, JCW has given the driver control over the noise level with the remote. It allows a driver to go into quiet mode on longer drives while having an aggressive note in other situations.

In some ways the new JCW engine kit is the first fruit of BMW’s engine sharing problem. With MINI and BMW sharing engines and development, it has allowed JCW to put extra time and energy into developing accessories like the new exhaust.

One has to wonder what else it will allow JCW to do.

We’ve heard that the JCW exhaust is currently only available for the Cooper S however other models (ie the JCW) may come later. That would mean that the full-on JCW MINI will not have this exhaust standard but instead will likely have one slightly less aggressive.

  • tim H

    Is that a US price? What’s the labour likely to be on installing that do you think? What will the remote be / located?

  • tim H

    Just watched the video. Weird little remote. Lol.

  • bubbleboy76

    Sweet. Will it be a factory option, or only dealer install? Only Ecu for the engine, no airfilter etc?

  • lambdacalc

    The key question for me is: Will those of us who hold out for the full-on JCW Mini be able to add this as an option (whether factory installed or dealer installed) or do we have to get a Cooper S to be able to enjoy this exhaust?

    • Hemisedan

      I would assume that this exhaust is the same as the full on JCW, maybe without the handhold. Also, why would someone want to define a factory JCW for this add on? HP on this is suppose to be in the 204+ category. Last I heard the factory power rating was/is to be 230 or so. But in saying all that, this will be a nice boost for the S version.

      • This JCW engine kit is available on the Cooper S as of this fall. The exhaust may be available on the JCW at some point but it’s a rumor at this point.

        The JCW will have a different less complex exhaust as standard.

        • Hemisedan

          Thanks Gabe. I can’t believe that the handheld device would come with the JCW as an exhaust regulator. Just leave the thing on aggressive. That’s my opinion. It can’t be that loud, can it? Any more info on the factory JCW, like if they will do some little modifications jot that front end.

        • Iain Brown

          I theorize that the remote will be fixed inside the JCW from the start. Therefore, if you choose the bigger, badder exhaust you’ll just click a button inside the car. Like the new F-type.

  • VanMINI

    “when appropriate”… WHEN WOULD BURBLE NOT BE??

    • It’s not a burble but more volume.

      • VanMINI

        Same question! When would it not be? ( hospital zones excluded of course )


    I expect many out there who already have an F56 S, one on order, or even plan to get one will be very interested in this kit. But the big question is can it be ordered as an option when ordered the car? Factory installed or dealer installed? What about labor costs on top of the $1600?

    Also, since the F55 4 door will be identical to the F56 with regard to running gear, etc. I would assume it will also be a candidate for this kit. That would be my interest since I’m waiting on the F55S as my next MINI.

  • lavardera

    Will they have time to develop a JCW Cooper with the 3cyl horsepower bumped to 185 or so…?

    • r.burns

      No interest, it would cost more than a Cooper S

      • lavardera

        Yes, it would cost more than a Cooper S, less than JCW CooperS, similar HP to Cooper S but with more aggressive tune, better exhaust, better suspension, lighter, and faster than stock CooperS. This is the 3cyl JCW Cooper.

        (Actually, it’s the CooperS I wanted and Mini did not have the balls to build, because 3. This is their second chance)

        • r.burns

          The 207hp Cooper S (JCW tuning kit) might be the Cooper S you would want 😉

        • lavardera

          It might, but 190 on the 3cyl in a lighter package with better dynamics is much more interesting to me than the moderately tuned 4.

        • B38please

          I second that. The 3-Cyl has such potential. The B48 not so much. It doesn’t feel very strong in real world testing, and according to every car magazine, it’s slower than even the pre-LCI R56 S. I just wish the MCS was a direct GTI rival instead of the JCW being more on terms of power, torque, and hopefully suspension tuning. A 190hp 1.5T would get my vote any day.

        • F56 not

          I don’t want any F56 unless they redesign it, give us back the suspension tuning and steering from before.

    • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

      That would be a cool kit. I have a 2006 Cooper with the JCW sound kit and it’s the most fun to drive car I’ve ever owned. It sounds great too! (It replaced a R53) More power doesn’t always mean more fun.

      • Agree, Mark. Just enough is more. I’ve got a 2006 MC RMG/PS, Panther Lounge, and the JCW Soundkit. Love it.

        The Soundkit’s an upgrade that, for the life of me, I don’t understand why MINI didn’t offer on the R56. Quite simply, it transforms the Cooper into something very, very special. Offering it again on the F56 would make it a much more attractive car, IMHO.

  • John McLauchlan

    The car shown also has a coilover suspension kit. Representatives who were with the test car confirmed that these are all planned to be dealer or port installed accessories.

    • r.burns

      Yes Lowering 30 millimeters / 1.18 inches

  • Not impressed

    Why not include an actual switch in the car? That handheld thing is so stupid looking. First, where are you supposed to keep it without it rattling? Secondly, what happens when you lose it? $500 charge for a replacement remote? It should be tied into the actuation of drive modes. Or, even better, just have it open all the time. The weight of adjustable baffles, the actuator, and electronics associated with the receiver just complicate this too much. I don’t get why again the JCW kit only gives such a small increase in power. They should offer a better car to start with and build an actual JCW kit that is worth it’s price

  • Kev

    Could this be made by Remus by any chance? Looks awfully similar!

    • RKCA1

      Nice! Good find!

    • ChiliPowder

      That sounds like crap with the baffle closed. It should always be partially open to at least not sound like a Saturn Ion.

      • r.burns

        As always, JCW sound is way better !

    • Hemisedan

      Sounds pretty good, but didn’t hear any burble. I stand by my first opinion, why does it need the hand held unit. Like someone said, what happens when you loose it, like I probably would. Knowing me, I’d probably have it on quiet. The loudest setting, at least to me, doesn’t sound all that loud. And, unless someone has done something to a Saturn, well this does not sound like a stock Saturn. Even so, so what, that Saturn motor was not all that bad for its time.