Our spy photographers have caught our best look yet at the last ever petrol powered MINI Cooper JCW as it wraps up development in Munich. Spotted near BMW’s engineering facilities, the new MINI Cooper JCW is a big departure from the F56 JCW it replaces and ushers in enormously improved technology along with complete design changes inside and out.

Refreshed and Redesigned Inside and Out

Despite MINI’s talk of going electric, there will be one more new generation of MINI Coopers. Well not quite all new. Based on the F56, the 2024 (2025 in the US) F66 will be heavily redesigned and will take on the same styling cues as the new electric J01 MINI Cooper. That’s not so easy given that the J01 electric MINI Cooper is on an entirely new platform while the F66 will still technically be based on BMW’s FAAR platform. The result will be a car that has many elements of the F56 but massaged to look like the J01. That means the new F66 will have the F56’s clamshell bonnet and the plastic wheel arches that have become iconic.

These new photos show the F66 without the heavy camouflage we’ve seen on its front and year lights. For the first time this allows us to see some of the final details of the design including the controversial rear taillights.

MINI’s goal will be to make the ICE (internal combustion engine) F66 Cooper and electric J01 Cooper to look identical to the casual observer. That would mean a potential buyer would be choosing ICE versus EV without styling differences to muddy the waters. This will extend to almost every aspect of the cars. That means we’ll see (almost) identical wheels, mirrors and of course lighting. However these are substantially different cars underneath and that means we’d expect most if not all of these parts will not be interchangeable.

Why is MINI refreshing the F56 rather than replacing it with an all new model? it comes down to cost. Creating a new car from scratch can easily go into the billions. Given that MINI is aggressively moving to an all electric brand by 2030, they’ve decided to invest in the new J01 Cooper (and derivative J05 Aceman) and spend considerably less on heavily refreshing the F56 vs replacing it. That means we’ll see two next generation MINI Coopers (hatches); 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 F67 MINI Convertible like the F66 will bring the radical interior of the J01 to the ICE MINI range.

The radical changes will extend inside where the F66 (including the F65 five door and F67 convertible) will apply minimal interior we’ve seen in the J01 MINI Cooper EV. That means we’ll see the same leather free, completely redesigned seats that we’ve already seen in the J01 MINI Cooper EV and U25 MINI Countryman.

We’ll also see MINI’s new circular display, textile dash, new door design and completely rethought center console as well.

A Few Surprising Changes in Size

While the F66 JCW is based on the F56 JCW, the dimensions aren’t identical likely due to styling and even a few engineering changes. For instance the F56 JCW has a length of 3863mm vs 3876mm for the new F66 JCW. Why the change? It’s still unclear but we’d assume the new front or rear bumper design (driven by either aero of new safety standards) might be the culprit.

The height change is also interesting. The F56 Cooper JCW is 1414mm vs the F66 Cooper JCW which is higher at 1432mm. This might have something to do with a larger standard tire with an increase circumference but we have no validation on that yet.

It’s the width that is the most interesting to us. The F56 Cooper has a width of 1727 mm vs the F66 which is wider at 1744mm (both without mirrors). That 17mm difference may not sound like much but BMW and MINI don’t typically increase the width of a car solely because of aesthetics. It’s very likely the result of some engineering changes that might include things like a revised suspension. But if you look at the photos above, we think this might have to do with MINI altering the geometry of the wheels. Which leads us to….

JCW Wheels That Finally Look Normal

The F56 JCW is a great car with an engineering decision that has created an awkward styling issue. The because of the size of the front brakes and the wheel offset, all JCW wheels bow outward creating an unusual convex shape that looks very different than typical concave performance wheels. As you can see in these photos as MINI has clearly changed the geometry of the wheels which seems to have eliminated that issue entirely. MINI will offer the 17” JCW Sprint Spoke as standard (which we see above) and the 18” John Cooper Works Lap Spoke 2-tone as an option (seen on the F67 convertible below).

The new F66 MINI Cooper JCW is a mix of the new and familiar

2025 MINI Cooper JCW – Power and Performance

The headline is that the 2025 MINI Cooper JCW will not see an increase in horsepower. Unlike the Cooper or the Cooper S, MINI is holding the line on power output and instead bringing some upgrades elsewhere.

ModelF56 CooperF56 Cooper SF56 CooperJCWF66 Cooper CF66 Cooper SF66 Cooper JCW
Power134 hp189 hp231 hp155 hp 201 hp231 hp
Torque162 lb-ft/1480 rpm206 lb-ft/1350 rpm 235 lb-ft/1450 rpm170 lb-ft/1,480 rpm221 lb-ft/1,250 rpm258 lb-ft/1,250 rpm
TransmissionManual/DCTManual/DCTManual/Auto7 speed DCT7 speed DCT7 speed DCT
Length (mm/in)3863mm/152.1 in3863mm/152.1 in3863mm/152.1 in3876mm/152.60 in3876mm/152.6 inTBA
Height (mm/in)1414mm/55.66 in1414mm/55.66 in1414mm/55.66 in1432mm/56.38 in1432mm / 56.38 inTBA
Wheelbase (mm/in)2495mm/98.23 in2495mm/98.23 in2495mm/98.23 in2495mm/98.23 in2495mm/98.23 in2495mm/98.23
Curb weight (kg/lbs)1256kg/2,769 lbs1289kg/2,841 lbs1289kg/2,841 lbs1260kg/2,778 lbs1285kg/2,832 lbsTBA
Shortly after the F66 will be the F67 JCW Convertible

Despite this the F66 will have a slightly revised B48 engine under the hood – more specifically the B48A20O2. So what is this revision actually getting would be owners? Torque which 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.

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? 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.

The current F56 Cooper S Exhaust design shows that the “dual exhaust” is nothing more than two small pipes from a single exhaust.

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.

mini Cooper jcw
In this exclusive zoomed in photo you can see a central exhaust and single pipe that looks to be in nearly final production form.

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.

The F67 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible with the 18” John Cooper Works Lap Spoke wheels

The Cooper JCW – Once Again Available in Two Flavors

As before MINI will be offering the JCW model in the iconic three door F66 hatch and the F67 convertible. Once again MINI will not be offering its highest performance model in the five door configuration. Why? Product planners apparently made that call many years ago in the F56 generation and due to tight development budgets due to having to offer both electric and ICE models, they’re sticking to it.

mini Cooper jCW
The F66 gear selector moves from the console to the dash in the form of a discrete toggle switch.

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 early this year, 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. 

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.

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.

mini Cooper jcw
The 2025 F66 MINI Cooper JCW testing with full camouflage at the Nurburgring

In its place will be a revised 7 speed dual clutch (DCT) with slightly more aggressive 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.

The J01 JCW trim. While not a fully JCW production, it gives us a clue as to how the J01 and F66 JCW model will look.

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 FamilyDrivetrainStart of ProductionEnd of Production
F66 MINI Cooper155 HP (Petrol)03/202412/31/30
F66 MINI Cooper S200 HP (Petrol)03/202412/31/30
F66 MINI Cooper JCW231 HP (Petrol)07/202412/31/30
F65 MINI Cooper 5 Door155 HP (Petrol)07/202412/31/30
F65 MINI Cooper S 5 Door200 HP (Petrol)07/202412/31/30
F67 MINI Cooper Convertible155 HP (Petrol)11/202412/31/30
F67 MINI Cooper S Convertible200 HP (Petrol)11/2024 12/31/30
F67 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible231 HP (Petrol)11/202412/31/30