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Recently at the 2012 LA Auto Show, MINI showcased its new Paceman model, which it has now announced will get a hot John Cooper Works variant. Wit the official world premiere set for the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, pictures and info on the British brand’s newest model have been released.
It says a lot about the creations that come from MINI, when the British automaker presents their “Cowley Caravan and Swindon Roof Top Tent” and we’re not sure if it’s an elaborate April Fools Joke or if it’s serious, as it was released on April 1st.
Essentially camping accessories for your MINI model, the Cowley Caravan can be color-coordinated to your vehicle and provides a getaway for two people. It comes with a twin-burner gas stove, a water tank, a refrigerator, stereo system, and TV/DVD player, with all of it powered by a solar panel that charges the onboard battery for the 230-volt power connector.
The Swindon tent on the other hand, is a collapsible box that fits on top of your MINI, MINI Clubman, or MINI Countryman. Once the box is open, there’s enough room for two people (barely) and according to MINI “the roof-top tent works a treat, whether the location for your beauty sleep is the English shires or the foothills of Kilimanjaro.” Descriptions like that make us really think this is a nicely done April Fools joke.
If indeed it’s all a joke, it’s a very nicely executed one. MINI went through a lot of work to make these concepts real and to shoot it all in a studio with color-matching models? Who knows, maybe they’re onto something!
GALLERY: MINI Cowley Caravan and Swindon Roof Top Tent
Back in 2006, MINI released a special edition Cooper John Cooper Works GP model. Limited to just 2,000 vehicles, the JCW GP Cooper S blended the best out of the John Cooper Works catalog with some GP-specific parts.
Dr. Kay Segler was the head of the MINI brand back when the JCW GP first came out in 2006, and now that he’s back as the head of the brand, it’s no surprise that the successor to the JCW GP will be coming by the end of this year. It’s now believed that the GP2 will be based on the R56 chassis (not the new MINI Coupe) and will feature unique parts inside and out.
One can expect a race-inspired rear diffuser and spoiler, 18-inch wheels, and a unique JCW body kit. And no limited edition MINI would be complete without a modified powerplant. We should be seeing at least 220-hp from the JCW GP2 with fine-tuned suspension to back it all up on the track.
Unfortunately the specs behind the new GP model are still being held in secret, as is the price. But chances are the new price tag won’t exactly resemble the $31,150 price that the original GP bore six years ago – it’ll be higher.
The 2006 MINI Cooper S JCW GP had a 1.6L supercharged, SOHC four-cylinder engine with 215-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It hit 60-mph in 5.9 seconds and only 415 of them made it to America.
GALLERY: 2006 MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP
[Source: Motoring File]
MINI has been experiencing tremendous success in America and it appears that the cute British brand has no plans to slow down. There are now reports that MINI is strongly considering bringing its diesel powerplants to the U.S. and could be turning John Cooper Works into a sub-brand tuning division, similar to BMW‘s M models.
MINI global brand manager Kay Segler recently told Car and Driver that they’re listening to America’s demand for MINI diesel models and that they are “looking into this not for the short term, but for the medium term.” Which basically means America could be seeing a diesel MINI in the next few years, possibly when the third generation model arrives.
In the same interview, Segler also spoke on how he would like John Cooper Works (JCW) to become for MINI what the M brand has become for BMW. That could lead to interesting models from JCW, which would include more potent powerplants and we never complain about more performance.
The major downside of the interview? Selger confirmed that AWD still isn’t on the radar for MINIs (Countryman aside), stating that it’s currently too expensive to implement without a large sales volume increase. Either way, we’re just glad that MINI isn’t sitting around enjoying their American success but rather looking for ways to build on it.
[Source: Car & Driver]
MINI wanted to celebrate its return to the world of rallying with the MINI WRC Team in the FIA World Rally Championship by offering a new accessories package for Cooper S and SD Countryman owners. The MINI John Cooper Works Championship tuning package pays homage to MINI’s new rally star and gives owners a nice rally theme to their vehicles.
Features of the accessory package includes checkered-flag stripes and the number 37 on the side of the car, paying homage to Dani Sordo who currently drives in the WRC. In addition, side scuttles in a special package design are included alongside additional fog lights. To round it all off, a John Cooper Works aerodynamic package is included color-matched to the vehicle.
Available as an option are a set of double-spoke R129 wheels in matte black. The package is now available at MINI dealerships, but no pricing was announced with the press release.
Looking expectantly similar to the hardtop hatch, the Coupe is distinguished by its trademark roof, which is style to look like a backwards ball cap. It also gains an active rear spoiler that deploys at speeds above 50 mph. Plus, JCW models gain an aggressive aero kit. Oddly, despite its name, the Coupe still opens in the back like a hatch.
With dimensions essentially the same as the hard top, the Coupe also shares its powertrains with a Cooper Coupe using the a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making 121-hp and delivering a 8.3 second 0-60 mph time. The Cooper S Coupe gets a turbocharged 1.6 to deliver 181-hp with a 6.6 second 0-60 time. Topping out the range is the 208-hp JCW model, with a 6.1 second 0-60 time, making it the fastest production MINI ever.
Look for the MINI Coupe to get its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with our first drive shortly after.
GALLERY: MINI Coupe
MINI has been know to have fun with their commercials and they definitely pulled it off with their newest ad. In this latest commercial entitled “Another Day. Another Adventure” the coupe tours around through Iceland, Rio De Janiero and Hong Kong in less than a week.
The cars goes through a series of parades, parties and adventures, picking up different passengers along the way. The slogan in the video is; “no matter where you are, no matter where you are going, adventure will find you”. It’s a fun, happy commercial and the coupe looks great from every angle.
Three different trims will be offered with the Coupe including the standard Cooper, Cooper S and the high performance John Cooper works model. The base model will start at $22,000 and have a 121-hp engine. The S model will start at $25,300 and gets a turbocharged 181-hp engine. The steroid infused JCW model will start at $31,900 and produce 208-hp, also through a turbocharged engine.
Check out the commercial after the jump!
Gallery: MINI Coupe
So if you already thought the Coupe was mostly similar to the hard-top hatchback model, you now have another reason, with the base price just $900 more than the traditional MINI.
The mid-level S model starts at $25,300 and gets a turbocharger delivering 181-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque with a special overboost function producing 192 lb-ft of torque.
The high-performance John Cooper Works Coupe starts at $31,900 and gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 208-hp and 192 lb-ft of torque with overboost allowing 207 lb-ft. This Coupe is capable of a 0-60 time in 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph. This makes the JCW Coupe, the ”fastest-accelerating Mini ever (with) the highest top speed,” the company says.
GALLERY: 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
As part of MINI‘s 2011 Cooper lineup and debuts at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, an announcement has been made that a John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will be available for the MINI Cooper S, MINI Cooper S Clubman and MINI Cooper S Convertible. The tuning kit will raise horsepower to 200-hp and torque to 186 ft-lbs, with an overboost function that increases torque even more to 199 ft-lbs.
The John Cooper Works factory tuning kit includes an optimized engine management (reprogrammed ECU) and a new air filter system. Both these simple modifications are the reasons for the horsepower upgrade. The tuning kit boosts 0-62 mph acceleration to 6.8 seconds while raising top speed to 145-mph.
In addition, enthusiasts will also be able to purchase a new muffler with stainless steel exhaust tips, and 18-inch Cross Spoke Red Stripe wheels.
No pricing for the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit or other accessories has been announced yet.
GALLERY: 2011 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works Tuning Kit
With a huge gulf existing between the road-going version of the MINI Countryman and the WRC-ready version, a halo version that could bridge the gap between urban crossover and full-blown race car could be an asset for MINI, and help them leverage some of the image boost that their rally program will provide, especially in parts of the world where WRC is a popular motorsport.
At this point, the idea of a hardcore Countryman is just a rumor, but the it’s not hard to imagine a pumped up Countryman, perhaps with some tweaks courtesy of a JCW upgrade package, more macho bodywork and big wheels. So far, a concept is supposedly planned for.
Despite previous rumors to the contrary, MINI will be offering the John Cooper Works kit for the 2011 MINI Cooper S. Initial fears that the JCW kit would be killed off for being too close in power to the factory John Cooper Works car seem to be unfounded, as the kit retains the same power upgrades as the previous iterations.
A Cooper S equipped with the package will make 195 horsepower, an increase of 6 horses, while torque is up between 184 and 200 lb-ft, thanks an an overboost feature available at certain rpms. The kit consists of an ECU upgrade, air filter and performance exhaust system.
For months we’ve heard rumors of a new MINI model that will slot in underneath the Cooper in the British automakers lineup, but that doesn’t mean the newest and miniest MINI will put fuel economy ahead of fun. Inside sources are reporting that this new city car will get a high-powered John Cooper Works (JCW) edition.
At roughly 10 feet long the new MINI (Minor?) will compete with vehicles like the Smart fortwo and upcoming Toyota/Scion iQ. Powering the car will be a turbocharged 3-cylinder (likely a 1.5-liter), which is part of a new range of 3-cylinder engines BMW is producing to deliver both fuel economy and power. These engines are also expected to power the next-generation of Cooper models and in 1.5-liter turbo form should produce around 150-hp.
Along with a naturally low curb weight, this new model will get typical JCW upgrades like a stiffer and lower suspension, unique wheels and aerodynamics.
A concept version of the new smaller MINI could be unveiled as early as the Geneva Auto Show in March.
We absolutely love the MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) edition (reviewed here and here) and for 2011 it’s going to get more hard-core. According to the MINI experts at MotoringFile and thanks to some new spy photos from LeftLaneNews we have better insight to what the mid-cycle updates will include.
For starters, the JCW will stand out from the Cooper S a bit more thanks to a new aero kit that will be standard in all markets. This kit will also get an aggressive race-style rear diffuser, similar to the one on the JCW Challenge edition cars (see above). As for under the hood, the new JCW engine will get BMW’s Valvetronic technology that should deliver at least 215-hp and improve fuel economy as well. Inside a redesign will include a new center stack with a new hard drive Navigation system and MINI Connect.
As for the Copper and Cooper S, in North America the 2011 models will get updates already in place in Europe.
The 2011 JCW model is expected to debut at the Paris Auto Show this Fall.
Last year MINI unveiled a very special and very cool John Cooper Works Championship 50 Special Edition model in the U.K. to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday. And now according to the folks at MotoringFile, the JCW WC50 will also be offered in the U.S. – but it doesn’t come cheap.
Originally MINI had no plans to bring the car stateside, with just 250 units being offered in the U.K. – but now an additional 50 models will be offered in the U.S.
In true British fashion the sporty “little” car will get a deep green paint job and white stripes. MINI calls the green “Connaught Green” and the white is “Pepper White,” – which is used not only for the stripes but also for the roof. Inside the car gets black leather and red detailing, while under the hood, there’s the impressive JCW 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 208-hp.
So what will this collectors item hot hatch run you? Well, at $40,300, it’s more than $10,000 on top of a standard JCW model, making it the most expensive MINI ever.
GALLERY: MINI JCW WC50
See after the jump for a full list of the JCW WC50 Special Edition specs:
A high-performance version of the MINI Countryman crossover is “definitely under consideration” says MINI U.K.’s general manager Jochen Goller. Only recently did MINI officially confirm the Countryman model which is expected to make its word debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Currently the MINI Cooper S Countryman boasts the highest output with 184-hp. That would all change if a John Cooper Works model joined the lineup, putting out closer to 210-hp.
According to Goller, MINI is content (for now) to stick with six models, a number it will reach by the end of 2010 when the Coupe and Roadster models also join the lineup. And with no plans to introduce even more models, its likely MINI will follow its pattern of building sub-models, like the JCW lineup.
MINI hopes the Countryman will help keep customers who need and want something larger and a JCW model would help those who need larger, but also want a sporty vehicle. In reference to the Countryman, Goller commented that, “JCW has been a big success and we’ll look at doing it again here.”
MINI’s upcoming Countryman crossover just can’t catch a break. The launch of the vehicle has been delayed several times (the most recent being a push-back from the Frankfurt to Geneva auto shows), and now reports suggest the crossover might not debut in the U.S. until early 2011.
The well-connected folks at MotoringFile are reporting that while the vehicle is essentially completed, the folks at MINI (and its parent company, BMW) are skittish about launching the new vehicle in a less than favorable economic climate. While things do appear to be improving, the automaker is still contemplating a delay in the Countryman’s launch.
The report isn’t all bad news, however, as there’s some new info about the car. It will be available as both a four-seater and as a five-seater with the choice of either a 1.6-liter gasoline engine or a 2.0-liter diesel BMW engine. On top of this, there’s the exciting news that the John Cooper Works department will release two JCW models: the first being a standard JCW-type car, while the second will feature AWD, more power and a lighter curb weight.
Again, MINI doing a crossover seems like a bad idea, but we’re sure if anyone can make the dull utility segment fun, it’s MINI. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too much longer to find out.