Aug 18th, 2014
The next generation Clubman and Countryman are due in 2015 and 2017 respectively, will represent major milestones for the brand. Designed to right the wrongs of previous larger MINIs, they will address concerns ranging from design to performance. Unlike the previous versions of these cars, MINI won’t be tackling these problems alone.
The genius of BMW shared UKL platform and engine strategy is becoming more evident as the months pass since the introduction of the F56. The first wave of component sharing spans everything imaginable:
- The UKL chassis itself – a stronger and lighter chassis than what preceded it in the R56 (which itself was a modified version of the R50)
- Advanced electronics – this has allowed the F56 to leap-frog the competition with advanced options and the industry’s best infotainment system
- Powertrain – at launch this means a range of highly efficient 3 and 4 cylinder engines that are meant to help mini better compete with rivals. However it’s what happens after launch that is particularly interesting.
All good you say but why is MINI only getting 189hp out of a 2.0 four cylinder? The interesting thing about BMW is that they are an organization that obsessively looks at the full picture. Every metric matters – sometimes to the detriment of power figures (look at the new M4 vs it’s competition). However they also design and engineer for the future..
Based on sources, here’s what we know. MINI is planning several new versions of the B48 2 liter found in the current Cooper S.
In late 2014 BMW will release a 231 hp version destined for a number of products including the 2015 MINI JCW – this engine is known internally as the B48A20O0. Expect the JCW F56 to arrive to showrooms sometime in the spring of 2015.
Enter the High Output Version of the B48
Beyond the B48A20O0, we believe BMW and MINI are working on a much higher performance variant of the B48 with a target output as high as 300 hp. The engine is rumored to be destined for use in the BMW high spec versions of the X1, X2 and future FWD versions of the 1 and 2 series hitting dealers later this decade.
MINI also has plans for this engine In it’s larger all wheel drive UKL based vehicles – the next generation F54 Clubman and the F60 Countryman. We believe that this engine will form a the basis of a high output all-wheel drive JCW variant of both cars released as early as 2017.
While nothing has been confirmed at this time, this approach would make a lot of sense from a product and marketing perspective. MINIs are increasingly cross shopped with larger more expensive alternatives on one end. On the other are an increasingly impressive list of rivals with products designed to encroach on MINIs market.
If we see such a high performance MINI how will it be marketed? There’s no question in our mind that this would be a JCW product through and through. Having different power plants to solve for difference JCW cars makes sense when you look at how BMW M approaches it’s models. But then of course that begs the question, why not throw the high output 2.0L in the smallest car you have – the F56 hatch? We expect BMW and MINI won’t want to put that much power through the front wheels only and they’ve already commented to us several times that the F56 will not be available in AWD. Yet it remains an attractive idea. Even if the engine is detuned a bit it could make for one hell of a JCW model. Perhaps a GP? Keep in mind we’ve heard no rumblings of that happening but as always, watch this space.
Dec 30th, 2013
There is little question the original JCW GP is a special car — an incredibly special car. It was thrown together at break-neck speed with off-the-shelf parts and yet it’s one of the most satisfying cars I’ve ever driven at any price. Sure, MINI had some trouble selling all of them at the time, as they have with the GP2, but since then it’s become a classic with ever-slowing depreciation. That original MINI JCW GP will surely be a classic.
In contrast, the new GP is a much more serious car. Road testing and development took place primarily at the Nurburgring, led primarily by a MINI race car driver. Instead of a few months, the second generation JCW GP was two years in the making. In those two years, MINI JCW fitted an entirely new, bespoke suspension. MINI spec’d unique tires and a specially-matched six-pot braking system that was designed to stop cars almost 1,000 lbs heavier. The result was nothing short of phenomenal. Whether on the track or on the road, the 2013 JCW GP is astonishing in its ability to change direction, stop, and go. Yet it’s not just the quickness of the new GP that exhilarates. It’s the car’s feedback at every touch-point.
Dec 26th, 2013
Drive TV – a Youtube favorite of ours features a handful or different shows that explore every corner of the automotive world. One of our favorites, Tuned with Matt Farah recently took a JCW GP to the Silver State Classic. An open road challenge in the Nevada Dessert, it’s a timed event that involved speed, endurance and math. And on a long holiday weekend it’s also a perfect thing to sit back and enjoy. continued →
Nov 8th, 2013
The MINI JCW GP is a car that we here at MotoringFile hold in rather high esteem. While certainly not for everyone, it’s a package deal of everything the second generation MINI has to offer in terms of a pure driving experience and special JCW touches. It’s a car MINI created not to make money on (because like the 2006 GP, MINI likely lost money on this model), but out of sheer brand enthusiasm.
We’ve reviewed it on the track and on the road and fell in love with it both times.
Turns out we’re not the only ones who feel that way. EVO has included the second generation MINI JCW GP in its list of final contenders for EVO Car of the Year. continued →
Oct 10th, 2013
Despite being on the market for awhile, MINI looks at its current range of JCW accessories as just coming into their own. As cars get older owners typically start to think about modifications and MINI wants to remind us all what they have on offer. Thus we now have these videos detailing a few key products and accessories.
All eight videos after the break. continued →
Jun 26th, 2013
The following is the story of one man (Karl Muller) and his obsession (we’d call it healthy) in transforming his 2009 factory JCW MINI into a JCW GP. A few months back Karl started to pepper our inbox with questions about the GP. It quickly became clear that Karl was on a mission and had both an attention to detail and persistence to actually pull off what seemed impossible – re-create the GP from a stock 2009 JCW. We’ll let him tell the rest.
I didn’t intend to take this so far. What started out as a quest to simply acquire the new GP rear diffuser morphed into a GP parts obsession culminating in my 2009 factory JCW now sporting the rear diffuser, underbody panels, GP coil over suspension, the GP rear spoiler, and the GP aerodynamic splash guard. continued →
May 14th, 2013
Australian motoring site and friends of MotoringFile, Ausmotive.com, are reporting this morning that MOTOR Magazine has named the second generation JCW GP as the latest winner of their “Bang for your bucks” award. One judge called the GP the “best MINI I’ve ever driven, especially on a track.” We couldn’t agree more.
Head over to Ausmotive.com for their full take and some down under GP photos. You can also catch the full MINI Australia press release after the jump.