As we exclusively reported last year, MINI will be releasing not one but two separate JCW kits for the R56 MCS during it’s model cycle. The “Stage I” went on sale last month at MINI dealers around the world. With a power output of 192bhp and (here’s the kicker) as much as 199 lb-ft on tap, it’s turned out to be one of the fastest MINI ever – some would say almost the equal to the JCW GP due to all that torque. However there’s little denying that one of those numbers is noticeably down from the previous dealer/factory installed kit. And MINI being MINI, you knew that had to be eventually rectified.
And that brings us to the factory JCW or the “Stage II” as we dubbed it last year. The “Stage II” will not only match the power output of the previous R53 JCW car but will surely be quicker (due to the increased torque) than even the JCW GP.
Let’s start with engine output. Our information on power output hasn’t changed since our first article about this car from last February. That means we can expect power anywhere form 210 to 220 bhp. To help deal with this power DSC and LSD will come standard. And yes, that last acronym means no automatic option.
The new found power comes from several components. Key to this will be a larger and fully optimized turbocharger (as previously reported on MF). Elsewhere the car will receive the intake kit known from the first kit, an entirely new JCW exhaust and a reprogrammed ECU. To top it all off the car will be equipped with 260 km/h speedometer limit (as opposed to the normal speedometer on the Cooper S with a limit of 240 km/h).
The Stage II will also get the soon to be released 4 piston brake that we reported on last week. The brakes are rumored to be available as a dealer accessory as well. Let that sink in for a moment. Previous MINI brakes (even the JCW/R56 MCS brakes) had to make due with one piston. This new kit will have four of them.
Wrapped around these brakes will be unique JCW 18″ wheels that will be the only major visual reminder that you’re driving a factory JCW car.
While it’s safe to assume the price will be in the same range as the previous factory JCW kit, we don’t have any concrete information on final figures at this time.
One thing the factory JCW kit won’t get will be the excellent JCW Sport Suspension. We’re guessing cost was a factor but it also may have something to do with wanting to make sure the factory JCW car suited all tastes. As amazing as the JCW Suspension is, it does return the ride to near R53 levels.
As we’ve previously reported, expect the new JCW kit to debut sometime in the second half of 2008.
Be sure check back in the coming weeks and months for more details on this car and interesting news about the entire JCW range of products