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.
Aug 13th, 2014
During #mtts2014, we were able to speak with Chris Potgieter, MINIUSA Product Manager about questions that were submitted to Motoringfile as well as a few we had. As always, Chris was very forthcoming with details that he knew about and could speak about.
- Details on the forthcoming JCW exterior package (and the return of Chili Red)
- Other JCW accessories and even info on the new tuning kit
- A mention of touch-screens in future MINIs? It’s in there – not sure what it really means
- Hints at forthcoming CarPlay integration
- Update on new options available for 2015
- Diesel updates
- Timing on the F55 four door in the US
It’s worth listening to the entire thing after the break. continued →
Aug 8th, 2014
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. continued →
Jul 10th, 2014
The 2016 JCW was recently spotted by a reader undergoing hot weather testing in the US. Through his time hands-on with the car we were able to gather a few new details on the car. The test mule (which you’ll surely see photos of around the web soon) is almost identical to the NAIAS concept car we saw this past January. However there are a few key differences and interesting additions worth pointing out. continued →
Jul 7th, 2014
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. continued →
Jul 1st, 2014
Effectively replacing the Clubman in size and position in the line-up, the F55 five door will hit UK and European showrooms around August with US deliveries starting later this year. We have high expectations for the new five door. Combining the agility and improved feedback and feel of the F56 (as compared with the previous generation), the F55 will add a healthy dose of practicality to the range as well. But how does it look with the new JCW aerokit? This is our first chance to find out. continued →
May 27th, 2014
This just in from MINI USA. We’ve got news that the JCW Exterior Package will be delayed. Originally scheduled to be part of the various production changes scheduled for July 2014, the exterior package is set to include wheels, badging and most importantly the JCW aero-kit.