MotoringFile reader Robert K. writes:

>Test drove a R56 Auto with the JCW tuning kit. The car is the Sales Managers demo & I was quite impressed. This is the third Auto they have installed the kit on with no issues at all. The Service Manager says that Mini Canada does not specify the JCW kit is for manuals only. Your thoughts?

It is our understanding that the air intake and the exhaust from the dealer installed JCW (manual) kit can bolt right up to an Auto MCS. However it’s also our understanding that the ECU tuning currently available for the manual (according to the folks at MINI we’ve spoken with about this) does not work on the automatic Cooper S. Therefore the majority of power gains that the car gets is not available to those who have installed the manual kit on an auto MCS. So the short answer is, make sure you’re getting the MINI approved auto kit (which will be released soon) when ordering the JCW upgrade for your automatic Cooper S

Why is it important? When ordering a JCW kit, MINI releases the components and the ECU tuning CD-Rom together and the dealer is charged as the kit leaves the warehouse. So you’re paying for that CD with the manual ECU tuning on it which you cannot use if you have an auto. And then worse, you won’t (technically at least) be able to get the associated ECU update without buying the entire JCW Auto kit if you want the correct software for your car.

All that said, this is will be a moot when the JCW Auto kit is officially released in early 2008.