MF Exclusive: Last week we broke the exclusive on US pricing of the new JCW Engine Kit (commonly referred to the “Stage 1” kit). The kit has a dealer list of $2100 w/a suggested 2 hours of installation time. It will be available at your local MINI dealer in late July at the earliest.

However both our sources and official MINI press releases have been mum on the kit’s availability for the automatic equipped MCS. MINI had quite a few software and emissions related issues bringing to market the JCW engine on the previous MCS automatic and fear was that the same fate would befall the R56’s kit. While the R53’s JCW kit eventually made it to market after several delays, the US version was scrapped altogether due to those emissions related problems.

However MINI is aiming to please with the new JCW Engine Kit. We now have confirmation that MINI (and MINI USA) is looking to have the kit available for automatic equipped MCS by October of this year. There’s no word on final power output (the R53 version of the JCW kit was down 9bhp from the manual version) but due to the nature of the kit we’d expect similar if not identical figures.

The JCW engine kit will cost $2100 in the US (as reported last week) with a suggested two hours of dealer labor. The kit includes a less restrictive JCW exhaust, intake and ECU software upgrade. The new components develop 192bhp and 184lbf-ft/250nm (199lbf-ft/270nm with overboost).

As with the manual version, the automatic JCW Kit will be available only as a dealer installed option. Of course we remain optimistic for something even hotter and factory based down the road.