From July, factory-tuned JCW MINI Cooper S Hatch and Clubmans will go on sale in the UK, with 208bhp propelling the little hatchback from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds; or 6.8 seconds for the Clubman. The four-cylinder engines have been modified in line with the MINI CHALLENGE race car and feature a larger twin-scroll turbocharger and direct commonrail petrol injection. Meanwhile, the brakes, suspension settings and transmission have likewise been adapted from the motorsport versions, while Dynamic Traction Control will be available on a MINI for the first time.
The cars, which will be unveiled at March’s Geneva Motor Show, are powered by a modified version of the 1.6-litre engine from the standard MINI Cooper S. Changes include a larger air-intake pipe to feed the larger turbocharger, specially polished pistons and a strengthened cylinderhead and gasket. A new exhaust system is very noticeable, with large stainless steel twin tailpipes. Maximum torque on the JCW cars is 260Nm at a lowly 1850rpm, with overboost briefly increasing this to 280Nm. Combined fuel consumption, however, remains at a healthy 40.9mpg for the Hatch, and 40.4mpg for the Clubman.
Sophisticated driving stability systems have always been standard on a MINI but Dynamic Traction Control, or DTC, has now been added to the rather alarming list of acronyms (ABS, EDB, CBC, EDL and DSC. Oh, and Hill Assist). DTC allows controlled slip on the drive wheels – when, for example, the driver wants to pick up speed in a controlled manner on a slippery surface, and is happy for the front wheels to spin slightly.
The John Cooper Works suspension lowers the entire car by 10mm, while extra-large disc brakes, adorned with uprated red calipers, measure 17in at the front and 16in at the rear. Inside the car, standard equipment includes leather sports steering wheel, air-conditioning, interior trim in glossy Piano Black and an Anthracite roof lining.
OTR prices are likely to be £20,500 for the MINI John Cooper Works and £21,700 for the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter