MF Exclusive Yesterday we introduced the idea that MINI could releasing two JCW vehicles rather than the one we had expected to see late this year or early next. We now have some limited details on the first product, a “Stage One” type of kit similar to the JCW Sound Kit originally released for the R50. Only this time with a real power increase.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, first let’s recap the various rumors we’ve heard about this car over the past year.

In mid-2006 we heard from several people that the power figures that BMW were shoot for were around 210 – 220bhp. This would make the JCW MINI the fastest production MINI ever and go a long way in developing the JCW brand as the ultimate MINI performance marque – aftermarket or otherwise.

We last heard about the 2008 JCW MINI in late 2006. At that time, rumors suggested that BMW was having a harder-than-expected time in getting the necessary power out of the new 1.6L Turbo. One potential solution under discussion was the boring out of the 1.6L to create a 1.8L Turbo easily capable of the proposed power. We’ve now confirmed that – at least initially – MINI won’t be going with a larger engine for any JCW products.

Now that it’s 2007 we’ve heard yet another rumor from some of the same sources.

First off current prototypes of the 2008 JCW seem to sit lower and have revised (i.e. more aggressive) suspension as compared to the R56 MCS as we reported. It also (according to our source) “look the business” as we all had hoped.

But here’s the kicker. In it’s current prototype guise, MINI is only getting around 200bhp out of the car. Surely MINI wouldn’t release the one and only JCW MINI with less power than before? Well they might if there’s more than one JCW MINI. Several sources have independantly mentioned that MINI will have “several” JCW products available over the next couple of years.

We believe the first product will be a “stage 1” type of vehicle near the old 200bhp figure of the first R53/R52 JCW MINI with the other JCW offering having around to 210-220bhp. That stage 1 product would be closer to the spirit of the original JCW MCS with no suspension work and little visual difference from the stock MCS. Based on our sources, we believe the “Stage 2” (or whatever it’s eventually named) will much more thorough engine revisions as well as a host of other improvements.

Update: We will have an update on the JCW Stage 1 upgrade very shortly.