2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP
Mini is a company that should be taken seriously when it sets about building a performance car. That’s why we stood up and listened when, late last year, we heard that the Mini Cooper JCW GP was coming back in 2020 after what will be a seven-year hiatus. Now, we’re seeing the first spy shots and, as you’d expect, it’s the Cooper JCW dialed up to 11 with some cues ported straight from the devilishly cool 2017 Cooper Works GP Concept. We want it now, together with its +300 horsepower!
Traditionally, the GP version of the Cooper Works is the ultimate performance model. In the past, John Cooper Works, which is long for JCW, built two GP models based on the previous two generations of the Mini. Of the last GP, which bowed out in 2014, only 2,000 examples exist, and just 500 were sold in the U.S., so expect the new model to also be a rare bird. Talking about birds, the GP will once again mark the swansong of the third-generation Mini Hatch with a new one coming soon.
Update 04/08/2019: We’ve managed to catch the 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP doing some last minute spring testing prior to its debut. Check out our latest spy shots and what we know in the spy shots section below.
2016 Mini John Cooper Works Challenge
The third-generation Mini Cooper was launched in late 2013 with a redesigned exterior, revised interior, and new four- and three-cylinder engines. Significantly larger than its predecessor, the new Mini arrived with improved roominess and practicality, enhanced fuel economy, and more options than ever before. Much like the second-generation model, the three-door hatchback was followed by a two-door convertible, the Clubman wagon, Countryman crossover, and the Paceman coupe. For the first time, the hatchback was also offered in a five-door configuration. The three-door Hatch, Convertible, Countryman, and Paceman models also received a performance-oriented John Cooper Works version.
Come 2016 and Mini is enhancing the Cooper lineup with a limited-edition model based on the John Cooper Works hatchback model. Dubbed JCW Challenge, it is described as a "genuinely credible trackday machine" and comes with quite an interesting development story. According to Mini, it was designed by a small group of employees that "had a dream to create a Mini to excel on a racing circuit, while maintaining perfectly usable manners on the public road."
The idea was reportedly developed outside the daily work schedule, before being extensively tested on a range of race tracks throughout the United Kingdom. The hatch received a handful of unique features inside and out and will make its public debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23. Let’s have a closer look at the brand’s new track-oriented model below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Challenge.
2016 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works by B&B Automobiltechnik
The Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is the range-topping version of Mini’s iconic Cooper line. It boasts 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, all coming out of its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For a hatchback, those numbers are impressive, but not so much when you’re talking to an aftermarket tuner. Manhart Racing thought so and it went about and gave the Cooper JCW a 300-horsepower upgrade. Now, it’s B&B Automobiltechnick’s turn, and just like Manhart, the German tuner has an upgrade that takes the Cooper JCW’s output in the neighborhood of 300 ponies.
Of course, B&B’s tuning program doesn’t stop there. The tuner is actually offering a three-stage engine kit that adds different amounts of ponies on the four-cylinder. It also a platter of chassis and suspension upgrades, all included to provide the Cooper JCW with improved grip and handling, not to mention the benefit of enhancing the performance hatchback’s sporty looks.
It may not have any exterior and interior modifications like what Manhart Racing is offering, but for what prospective buyers are getting, B&B’s program for the Cooper JCW is kind of kit that every type of owner of the hatchback can enjoy, all at affordable prices to boot.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
Mini Plans All-Electric Vehicle And Mazda MX-5 Competitor
Mini is an interesting low-volume brand and every model pretty much looks the same. In all honesty, you can’t mistake any of them for anything but a Mini. In the past few years or so, Mini has released a few different concepts that may lead to the brand changing for the better. Remember the 2011 Mini Rocketman Concept and the 2012 Mini Rocketman Olympic Concept? Or how about the 2014 Mini Superleggera concept? Well, those concepts might make it into production after all.
According to Autocar, Mini product chief Ralph Mahler has said the brand was looking at whether a small car like the Rocketman could be worth producing, and that that brand had “nothing against” making a smaller model like it in the future. In case you don’t know, the Rocketman is essentially a miniature Mini Cooper that measured just under 10.5 feet in length. Here’s the kicker, though: the Rocketman could go into production as an all-electric vehicle. Wait, what?
Mahler said, “The Rocketman is inspiring us as of today, especially as an EV in the future. It was something that was ahead of its time but is still inspiring. With a smaller car, it’s a bigger challenge. With Rocketman, and talking EV in the future, as the EV engine gets more portable, it’s give and take.” If this does end up playing out, Mini would probably tap into BMW’s i brand for the technology to make it happen.
What’s more, is that the brand is also being “inspired” by the 2014 Mini Superleggera. It’s not exactly likely at this point, but the brand has gotten overall positive feedback from the concept. If the Superleggera did go into production, it would compete against the likes of the Mazda MX-5, but Mahler has admitted that the “roadster segment is small, and demand is going down.” That said, it is inspiring the brand, and it is a possibility, but the brand hasn’t made any decisions about putting the concept into production as of yet.
Continue reading for the full story.
The 2015 Detroit Auto Show brought a meaner and quicker Mini JCW hardtop to the market. Equipped with larger air inlets, a new front grille, a new diffuser, and more importantly, a new four-banger, this latest Mini to sport a John Cooper Works badge is also the most powerful Mini to come from the BMW-owned company. Naturally, the new setup will spread to other Mini models sooner than later, and the Brits will no longer sell JCW-badged coupes or roadsters, they just launched a convertible version of the familiar two-door.
The drop-top arrives just in time for the 2016 model year with the same specs and features as the Hardtop, but with the infinite headroom of a cabriolet. It’s more powerful and significantly quicker than its predecessor, and benefits from more options that ever before — feats that make it the fanciest and most potent vehicle in its class.
"The new Convertible has all of the legendary driving performance you expect in a Mini yet with interior materials and finishes which set a new benchmark for the segment," said Patrick McKenna, head of product planning. "Now with the addition of the John Cooper Works variant we have once again set the bar high for the rest of the premium convertible market by offering a high performance open-top driving experience."
The new JCW Convertible goes on sale in April 2016.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Convertible.
Even as Mini cleans house in an attempt to consolidate its product offerings, it looks like the 2014 Mini Superleggera roadster concept that was revealed last year in Italy made enough of a splash to justify the creation of a production version. The new model will reportedly see a launch in 2019 and will be a direct competitor with the venerable Mazda MX-5.
Mini’s boss, Peter Schwarzenbauer, recently told the U.K. publication Autocar that interest in the concept was so high, the idea of making a production version quickly accumulated widespread popularity throughout the company. Schwarzenbauer added that the new roadster was still “economically challenging” and that it was not 100 percent confirmed, but a lot of folks were pushing for its creation, including himself. “I think it would be extremely good for the brand,” he said.
The new car will be part of a future lineup of five individual Minis as a separate derivative of the Cabriolet model.
The new roadster would reportedly be built on the BMW-derived short-wheelbase UKL platform, which is also seen underpinning the current Mini hatchback. The platform would work particularly well for a car like the Supperleggera given its high rigidity and low weight.
Rather than being a replacement for the older, recently axed 2014 Mini Roadster, the new Superleggera will be much more focused, with Schwarzenbauer calling it a “serious sports car.”
Continue reading for the full story.
When Mini introduced the new John Cooper Works Hardtop model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show we had no idea the BMW-owned brand was also working on a convertible model. That became apparent about a month later when a camouflaged Mini Convertible wearing a front bumper identical to the JCW Hardtop was spotted by our trusty paparazzi. And while Mini still hasn’t confirmed there’s a JCW drop-top underway, a second test car sporting the aggressive fascia we’ve seen on the hatchback back in January hit the streets for more real-world action. This time around, the prototype is painted red and, more importantly, most of the camouflage is gone.
With no black-and-yellow tape covering the front bumper, I’m now 100-percent positive this is indeed the soft-top version of the nippy JCW Hardtop. Yes, there are important details missing, such as the racing stripes on the engine hood, the JCW badge on the grille and the unique, two-tone wheels, but these features will likely appear as the vehicle moves closer to production.
As a brief reminder, all these JCW-specific goodies will come alongside a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 228 turbocharged horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 20-horse and 29-pound-feet increase over the previous model, making the new JCW the most powerful production Mini ever, as of 2015. Expect those numbers to translate into six-second 0-to-60 sprints and top speeds in excess of 150 mph.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini JCW Convertible.
John Cooper’s cooperation with Mini began back in the days when the British automaker produced the original Mark I car. Developed as an homologation car for rally racing, the original Cooper and Cooper S models were built until 1967. The modern-day John Cooper Works was founded in 2000 by Michael Cooper, son of John Cooper. The first Mini JCW was released in 2008. The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW and is the in-house tuning arm for all Mini vehicles, much like the M division is to Bimmer. Seven years since the inception of the first modern-day Mini JCW, John Cooper Works has released a brand-new iteration of the beefed-up hatch.
Based on the recently redesigned Cooper Hardtop, the new JCW is the most powerful Mini ever developed as of 2015 with 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. The 2015 John Cooper Works Mini is set to bow at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show and go on sale in the United States a few months after its debut.
Updated 1/12/2015: Mini has officially revealed the Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Not that we didn’t already know nearly everything about it already. The only new information available is its starting price of $30,600 plus $850 delivery fee, its release date of spring 2015, and that Mini will be running the Cooper Hardtop JCW in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2015.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini John Cooper Works.
In general I like the cars that Mini makes, but I despise the iterative nature of its designs and its constant collection of “different” models and trim levels. Taking one basic car and turning it into one-hundred and eleventy different models is silly and annoying. That said, Mini’s latest concept creation, the Superleggera Vision Concept, is every bit as interesting as it is stunning to look at. It feels like the first true new Mini design since the brand returned in 2003. With a collection of retro cues and futuristic design touches, the car is a truly inspirational design.
I am not the only person who feels that this should be the new future direction of Mini design, and now rumor has it that Mini could actually build it.
The story comes from Automotive News, which cites information provided by Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer at the car’s unveiling. Schwarzenbauer said the car was created to see how well the Mini fans would respond to something that looked like a radical departure from the brand’s traditional design. His words were, “It has received overwhelming appreciation.” He also said he could see a production version of this roadster if the BMW board approves the project.
Here is to hoping.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Superleggera Vision Concept.
Previewed by a concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the next-generation Mini John Cooper Works has been spotted testing Northern Europe since February. More recently, though, the Brits have moved their trials at the Nurburgring track, the perfect environment for a beefed-up hatchback.
Although the spy shots we’ve just received from our paparazzi show a vehicle that has lost most of its camouflage, we’re actually looking at a mule that wears a Cooper S body with a John Cooper Works front bumper attached to it. Still wearing the yellow wrap, the bumper has a more aggressive design and it appears to be identical to the one seen on the concept car.
The lighter, 18-inch aluminum wheels also carry a new design, but the upcoming hot hatch will receive more distinct features, such as a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, roof spoiler and side skirts. These features are likely to find their way on the prototype as development continues this summer.
Motivation will be provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s expected to crank 231 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That’s 13 ponies more than the outgoing model and just enough for the vehicle to reach 60 mph from a standing start in less than six seconds.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini John Cooper Works.
In the latest episode of Drive, Matt Farah took the 2014 Mini Cooper Works GP to the Silver State Classic — an open road challenge in the Nevada desert — to see just how good the GP really is.
According to Matt, he was excited about the idea, but in the end the experiment didn’t go too well, because the organizers wanted them to go relatively slowly, and when driving a Mini GP, the only thing you can do is go fast as hell. So, check out the video to see what happened in the end and how fast the GP really is.
As a reminder, the GP is powered by a modified 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 218 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 191 pound-feet of torque from just 1,750 rpm. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 150 mph.
Mini previewed the Coupe and Roadster models in 2009 when the concept versions were unveiled and launched the production version in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Despite Mini’s huge expectations, the two models turned out to be simple failures and reports now point toward the company planning to replace them.
According to Mini sources, via Motoring, Mini will replace the two models with a new sports car built on Mini’s new front-drive architecture. According to the report, the new sports car won’t share any body panels with the rest of the Mini lineup, with the only remaining Mini design elements being the round headlights.
Mini will offer the new sports car in both coupe and convertible variants with coming in three trim levels: base, S and JCW. Under the hood, we will see a 1.5-liter turbocharged, three-cylinder engine for the base model and a turbo-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for the S and JCW versions.
Expect the new Mini sports car to arrive in late 2015 or early in 2016.
Click past the jump to read more about Mini Coupe and Roadster.