As we reported back in early April, MINI will begin to offer a few select John Cooper Works accessories straight from the factory for the 2006 model year. We’re happy to report that this has now been officially confirmed and the option will be made available for 10/05 production. Additionally we can also confirm the full JCW factory offerings will be made available to the US market.
But the really good news is that this is not just a few accessories that will be available from the Oxford Plant, but the full JCW Engine Kit. The factory JCW Engine upgrade will be available for both the Cooper S hardtop and the Cooper S convertible (with manual transmission only). In addition to the engine upgrade, MINI will include the JCW Sport Brake kit and the Limited Slip Differential in the package as well. It would seem that BMW/MINI engineers weren’t keen on adding all that power from the factory without giving the car some stronger stopping power and didn’t feel it was appropriate for 210 bhp to go through the front wheels without LSD. Because of larger brakes however, MINIs with the factory JCW package bound for the US will have to be equipped with either the (US Spec) Sport Package or the Checkmate Package. This apparently is due to the brake kit needing 17″ wheels to clear the calipers, a feature both of these packages offer.
Costs for the kit haven’t been announced but we should have more 2006 model year details coming in the days and weeks ahead…
Update: The European version of the kit will come standard with the new 16″ Bridge Spoke wheels instead of requiring 17″ wheels. The Bridge Spokes (unlike other OEM 16″ wheels) are designed to clear the JCW Sport Brake calipers. You can download the entire German price sheet for the 2006 MINI (including info on the JCW factory option) here.
Update 2: Now for the news many of you have really been waiting for, factory JCW Package pricing for the US. As we mentioned previously this package (code 3AL) will come with limited slip differential ($500), JCW Brake kit ($1056) and of course the JCW Engine Kit ($4775). Now add up those three and you get a surprisingly close idea of what the option costs. The factory JCW kit (including both options just mentioned) will retail for $6300.