Latest Mini JCW to pack 170 kW punch
Mini has released official details of its range-topping Mini John Cooper Works, ahead of the car’s official unveiling at next month’s Detroit Motor Show.
The Mini Cooper JCW has always been a bit of an enthusiast’s delight because it merged the joys of a front-wheel drive car with a powerful engine that also sounded good and delivered kart-like handing, due to its small footprint. But Mini has outdone itself with this generation of JCW as the car is more powerful and lighter than ever before.
The previous Works car had a powerful 1,6-litre turbocharged petrol engine good for 155 kW and 280 Nm under the bonnet. But that reworked version of the Cooper S engine has been dropped in favour of a BMW-sourced 2,0-litre engine.
The power unit is based on the new-generation mill installed in the Cooper S, but somehow manages to produce a maximum output of 170 kW and 320 Nm of torque, which is well above the previous JCW’s muscle.
Mini has also managed to remove more than 100 kg of weight compared to the previous JCW, with the result that the new model tips the scales at 1 205 kg.
According to Mini the JCW will be able to clear a 0-100 km/h sprint in 6,3 seconds when linked to the standard six-speed manual gearbox. Fitted with the optional six-speed automatic, that time drops to 6,1 sec, thanks to shorter gear ratios.
With that level of power, one of the only cars with the potential to fight off the JCW is just-released Audi’s S1, which packs a similar punch, but linked to quattro all-wheel drive.
The JCW might not have the same fancy Haldex-supplied all-wheel drive running gear as the S1, and it doesn’t have a mechanical limited slip diff, but it is equipped with an electronic differential lock, which has been used with great success on more powerful front-wheel drive cars.
There are of course also some subtle styling changes to the JCW, including enlarged air ducts, revised LED headlights, wider sills and a rear spoiler that is more aggressive than the version fitted to the Cooper S.
Mini says the JCW will go on sale towards the middle of next year and will be priced close to the asking price of the previous JCW.