The petrol powered MINI Cooper JCW isn’t dead yet. In fact MINI is just months away from unveiling a new ICE version of the ionic hot hatch based on a heavily revised F56 JCW. But this isn’t just a refreshed F56 JCW. While aspects of the car will be carried over, MINI will be making some big changes with the F66 2025 MINI Cooper JCW.
First it’s important to give some context. Despite MINI’s talk of going electric with the all new J01 Cooper, it’s releasing one last generation of ICE (internal combustion engine) MINI Coopers early next year. The pinnacle of this new model range will be the Cooper JCW.
Now let’s discuss that name. For years MINI has used the name Cooper as a way to denote trim levels across all of its products. Everything from the hatch (as it was called) to the Clubman and Countryman had the name Cooper in it. Starting with this new generation of products that practice is now dead. MINI is using the name Cooper as the model name only for its iconic small car. Thus the MINI Hardtop 2 door JCW (as it has been known in the US) will now be simply called the MINI Cooper JCW.
The Power Output of the 2025 MINI Cooper JCW
The 2025 MINI Cooper JCW will have a slightly revised B48 engine under the hood – more specifically the B48A20O2. We say slightly because the 2025 MINI JCW will continue to have the same 228 hp (231 bhp) output as we’ve seen since 2015. More specifically the new MINI Cooper JCW will have 228 hp @ 5000 rpm. Needless to say that number will disappoint all those that expected more for this new generation JCW. Rumors had been floated of something near 260 hp and plenty had hoped for something even bigger.
Why are we not seeing an improvement when the Cooper and Cooper S are getting modest power upgrades? Or the Countryman which gets even bigger power hikes? For one the Countryman’s B48 engines contain a mild hybrid power unit while the Cooper engines will not due to packaging restrictions. Otherwise we don’t have great answers other than this lack of a JCW upgrade leaves room for MINI to eventually tweak software and hardware for a light refresh in a few years. And we know the DCT transmission can handle more torque so there appears to be no component related reason holding MINI back.
However there is one subtle improvement. Torque will increase from 236 to 258 ft lbs giving the car a touch more grunt. And it peaks lower in the rev range as well. Previously in the F56 JCW torque maxed-out at 1,450. The B48A20O2 sees this change to 1,250 rpm meaning maximum power is even more immediate.
Finally the B48A20O2 is also a cleaner engine than its predecessor and should see a slight increase in MPG as well.
Why no power increase? Simply put MINI is spending enormous sums of money to turn its entire range into EVs. With that massive investment as backdrop, the brand has had to be smart where it reinvents vs where it evolves its products. The good news is that the F56 is a great based in which to evolve from. It’s been the most successful new MINI yet and has an excellent track record in both reliability and performance.
The JCW Manual Transmission Is Dead
For those reading MotoringFile this likely won’t be a total surprise as we’ve reported on this several times over the last 9 months. But it’s still a shocking development given the popularity of the option. In fact since we exclusively reported the news, the MINI USA manual take-rate has gone up to over 50%.
It’s devastating move for a lot of MINI’s biggest fans as it’s a huge part of the brand’s history and slots well into the MINI’s core philosophy of creating cars that are engaging the drive.
Why would MINI eliminate manuals despite the fact that the F66 is mechanically identical to the F56 and could easily carry over the current Getrag 6 speed? It’s likely about simplifying drivetrains components and cutting costs within manufacturing. And for Europe (where CO2 targets are much more stringent) the manual is slightly dirtier.
However in markets like US, where CO2 targets don’t have the same impact, why not continue to offer it? That’s likely down to the business case. Offering it one country means that the volumes go down dramatically which means MINI is spending more per unit and MINI would lose a chance to simplify the production process just has it’s about to get more complex with new models.
In its place will be a revised 7 speed dual clutch (DCT) with JCW specific software for more aggressive programing which should decrease shift times. The revised dual clutch transmission is just like the one offered in current Cooper and Cooper S models combining two partial transmissions in a single housing. The core element of the system consists of two oil-cooled wet clutches: one of these is responsible for the even transmission ratios (2, 4, 6) while the other is for the uneven ratios (1, 3, 5, 7) and reverse. During travel, one of the two clutches is open and the other is closed. They interact when the driver shifts up or down: opening one clutch activates closure of the second at the same time.
Chassis and Brake Updates
This is where the F66 MINI Cooper JCW is a straight evolution from the F56 version. This starts with the braking system which will be carried over. That means we’ll see a 4-piston fixed caliper upfront with internally ventilated, drilled brake disk up front (335x30mm). In the back (where there’s less weight to worry about) MINI will continue with a single piston floating caliper and a disk that’s 259x10mm. All four calipers will be finished in the traditional Chili Red.
The chassis and suspension will see subtle improvements with MINI further refining its adaptive suspension design. While we don’t yet have details we’re told this focuses on improving ride quality while not forgoing any performance.
2025 MINI Cooper JCW To Feature Single Pipe Exhaust
In another surprising move MINI is moving from a two pipe single exhaust to a larger single pipe exhaust. In the exclusive image below you can see a single exhaust pipe (with a stainless steel sleeve), the transversely mounted exhaust and even the aluminum shield underneath it. Look even closer and you’ll see the production version of the single LED reverse light just above the exhaust tip which (one could imagine) would look somewhat integrated with the cutout of the pipe.
Why a single exhaust pipe? Let’s start with the exhaust itself. One thing that most don’t know is that the MINI Cooper S and JCW have had a single muffler system since the R56. The fact that two outlets came out the back has primarily been for aesthetics.
In fact there have been more than a few MINI race cars over the years that have gone with the exhaust single pipe design. Why? When asked they consistently have told us it’s both more power efficient and lighter. So in other words exactly what you want in both race cars and modern performance cars.
Why wouldn’t MINI have always had a single exhaust? It comes down to marketing and the very simple concept; two exhaust pipes means more power than one in the eyes of the car buying public. In fact you’ll see this on display later this year when the quad-exhaust JCW Countryman debuts.
Corresponding with the move away from manuals is a completely new gear lever design that mirrors what we’ve seen on the electric J01 and U25 MINI Countryman. What will remain are revised paddle shifters which will be standard on all JCW models.
2025 MINI Cooper JCW Wheel Options
Similar to the F56 we’ll see several JCW option ranging from 17” to 18” wheels. However the design of those wheels will change. Tire sizes however will remain consistent with the F56.
|F66 ICE MINI Cooper||F66 ICE MINI Cooper S||F66 JCW|
|16” 4 Square Spoke||17” U-Spoke grey||17” John Cooper Works Sprint Spoke black|
|17” U-Spoke vibrant silver||17” U-Spoke vibrant silver||18” John Cooper Works Lap Spoke 2-tone|
|17” U-Spoke grey||17” Parallel Spoke 2-tone||18″ John Cooper Works Lap Spoke 2-tone w/Sport tires|
|17” Parallel Spoke 2-tone||18” Night Flash Spoke 2-tone|
|18” Slide Spoke 2-tone||18” Slide Spoke 2-tone|
Why is MINI Refreshing the F56 rather than Replacing it?
If you’ve been following MotoringFile you’ll know that MINI is splitting its core model – the Cooper – into two distinct products. That means we’ll see two next generation MINI Coopers (hatches) built on opposite ends of the planet on two different platforms; one a EV (J01) and one ICE powered (F66). This move will allow MINI to offer innovative electric offerings while still selling to the traditional ICE market for as long as possible.
The F66 will see styling changes that mirror the J01 and huge tech improvements inside the cabin. But mechanically it will be mostly the same car with just the Cooper S getting a noticeable engine upgrade (more on that soon).
For much more on styling and technology changes, read our full report on the F66.
2025 MINI Cooper JCW Launch Timing and End of Production
Produced in Oxford, the F66 will take over as the F56 ends production in February of 2024. That means we’ll see the first F66 MINI Coopers roll off the line next March as the plant begins its pivots into a new generation of MINIs. We expect the F66 MINI Cooper JCW will go into production beginning in March of 2024.
|The F66 MINI Cooper Family||Drivetrain||Start of Production||End of Production|
|F66 MINI Cooper||155 HP (Petrol)||03/2024||12/31/30|
|F66 MINI Cooper S||200 HP (Petrol)||03/2024||12/31/30|
|F66 MINI Cooper JCW||231 HP (Petrol)||03/2024*||12/31/30|
|F65 MINI Cooper 5 Door||155 HP (Petrol)||07/2024||12/31/30|
|F65 MINI Cooper S 5 Door||200 HP (Petrol)||07/2024||12/31/30|
|F67 MINI Cooper Convertible||155 HP (Petrol)||11/2024||12/31/30|
|F67 MINI Cooper S Convertible||200 HP (Petrol)||11/2024||12/31/30|
|F67 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible||231 HP (Petrol)||03/2025*||12/31/30|