Rumor: 300 HP JCW to Be Automatic Only

The highly anticipated 300 hp JCW, MINI’s most powerful vehicle ever, might be automatic only. This news comes from a single but well trusted source familiar with MINI’s future product plans – so file this under rumor for now. Why automatic only and when will it hit dealer lots? Read on.

In 2014 we reported on MINI’s plans for a 300 hp JCW Clubman. It looks like that plan is about to be realized.

We’ve been reporting (for almost for years) about MINI (and BMW) working on a B48 four cylinder with a dramatic power increase. 300 hp is the output we expect to see from the BMW X1 35i and the X2 35i in late 2018. Based on sources we expect that engine to be offered in either a JCW Clubman and/or Countryman sometime during 2019.

While parts sharing with BMW has allowed MINI to offering higher quality components it also can restrict what’s on the table for MINI to offer. In this case it would seem that BMW cannot make the case for a manual in their own cars and MINI’s proposed manual take-rate wouldn’t overcome that.

Our sources told us three years ago this engine was coming and MINI would see a version of it. Now we’re hearing that the track testing program has begun and we’ll be seeing much more of this hot Clubman at the Ring all next year. The end result will be an engine capable of WELL OVER 300 hp but likely pegged to that figure. Sources tell us that the plan launch this new engine in conjunction with a higher performance JCW line offered in both Clubman and Countryman models. With power and torque dramatically increased, the aim is for these to be the first MINIs to hit 60 mph in under 5 second.

This coupled with rumored 248 hp versions of the F56 JCW Hatch will further enhance the sub brands performance credibility.

We likely won’t see this hot version of the Clubman and Countryman (or revised JCW hatch) for another 12 to 18 months based on what we know. This should coincide with the LCI for both models which means 2018 to early 2019.