May 18th, 2012
The 2013 JCWs have been announced with the new valvtronic engine. Surprisingly, outside of the Countryman, the JCW range will not have higher output. The HP figure will remain at 211 hp (208 for the US) for the R5X range of JCW cars. Furthermore we’ve heard rumors from well placed sources that the US spec JCW Countryman may also end up with 208 hp rather than the higher 218hp figure seen in Europe. The upside is that the 2013 JCW will be the most efficient JCW ever and on par with the substantially less powerful Cooper S thanks to technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration.
Also new for 2013 is the option of the six speed Aisin automatic across the entire JCW range.
Official Release: In keeping with the times, MINI will inject the ultra-sporty performance characteristics of its John Cooper Works models with even greater efficiency from July 2012 with the introduction of a new-generation engine and other far-reaching powertrain innovations. Fresh from an intensive course of further development, the twin-scroll turbo engine develops the same levels of output and torque as its predecessor, but will make drivers’ hearts beat faster with its even quicker responses and stoke their admiration with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. A much broader spread of MINIMALISM technology helps to enhance the efficiency of the John Cooper Works models, and all members of the sub-brand’s line-up can now be fitted as an option with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Added to which, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman comes with the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system as standard. continued →
Feb 14th, 2012
As is customary, MINI will be rolling out a handful of key changes for production starting this March. As is typical they call into three categories: color and trim, new and/or updated options and restrictions. Let’s take a look at all of them after the break. continued →
Jan 15th, 2012
(Updated with detailed information) In perhaps the largest recall ever announced, MINI USA is recalling every Cooper S and JCW model sold from 2007 to 2011. The recall effects almost all 2007 – 2011 R55, R56, R57 and R60 models with the turbocharged Cooper S engine. For a full list of the cars affected and the specifics behind the problem, read on… continued →
Nov 21st, 2011
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Last week Todd and I sat down virtually with Vinnie Kung, MINI USA Product Manager on the occasion of the LA Autoshow. As usual when we sit down with Vinnie, we talked about everything MINI. From the new Roadster to the B Spec race car to clutch feel in the Countryman. And even why some Americans want MINI’s largest vehicle even bigger. As usual Vinnie was candid and eager to answer almost everything we threw at him. You can see a quick list of what we discussed after the break. continued →
Nov 14th, 2011
With MINI adding the Recaro seating option along with the Roadster to the production line at Oxford, we’ll be seeing availability of some options ending with March production. Specifically Laguna Green (just introduced in September) and Laser Blue will be ending production. In addition Hot Chocolate will become unavailable on the convertible. But colors are just the start. continued →
Nov 9th, 2011
With the release of the Coupe and the introduction of the Roadster, it’s a great time to step back and look at the MINI family. And with that, we can’t help but wonder which we’d have if given the chance. While we love the Countryman All4 in our driveway, a Coupe or even a roadster would look great in the MF garage. Then there’s the incredible utility of the Clubman or even the classic hatch. But enough about what we think. What’s your favorite MINI of the moment?
Gallery after the break. continued →
Nov 5th, 2011
When MINI released the R56 JCW we all groaned at the lack of visual differentiation. And while MINI has eventually fixed that issue with the 2012 models, there are still three years of JCW out there that, for all intents and purposes, don’t look any different than a Cooper S. This is particularly an issue when trying to find one used. I recently had a senior editor of a very large automotive website ask me for help in the JCW quest and I was blown away at how hard the process had become. I told him not to give up because the JCW was definitely the one you’ll want. But it takes patience and just the right amount of arcane MINI knowledge to find a real JCW.
As enthusiasts know, it’s not always easy to look for used cars on the web due to misleading descriptions. Often I leave it up to the photos to tell me the real story about the car. When it comes to the JCW, even that can be tricky. So what’s the secret? continued →