2015 MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) debuts ahead of Detroit Auto Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on December 11, 2014

After yesterday’s leaked photos, the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) became official today and promises to combine the authentic race feeling with the premium characteristics and extended product substance of the latest MINI Generation. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 231 hp (170 kW) and 320 Nm of torque, this is the most powerful serial production model of the British company now owned by the BMW Group.

The engine is able to push the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.3 seconds when using a six-speed manual gearbox and in 6.1 seconds when equipped with an automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is 6.7 liters/100 km for the model using the manual transmission and 5.7 l/100 km when using the 6-Speed Steptronic automatic transmission.

When it comes to design, the vehicle look just like the concept version unveiled earlier this year at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and features a model-specific front apron with large air intakes, distinctive side sills and rear apron design, as well as the John Cooper Works rear roof spoiler.

The LED headlamps with wide direction indicators also improve the looks, while the radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate feature the John Cooper Works badge. Meanwhile, the sports exhaust system with special tailpipes ensures a proper sound of the engine.

Exclusive for the new MINI John Cooper Works is the Rebel Green body paint finish. Same sporty theme is continued at the interior where the vehicle gets sports seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles when equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission, aluminum pedals, a stylish gear knob cockpit displays, central instrument display and a car key in model-specific design, as well as an anthracite roof liner. [source: MINI]

Press Release

The new MINI John Cooper Works

MINI has carried a passion for motor racing in its genes for 55 years and this is expressed more intensely than ever before in the extreme driving fun offered by the latest generation. The tradition-steeped premium car manufacturer now launches the current edition of the top athlete in the small car segment - the new MINI John Cooper Works. The exceptional standing of the new MINI John Cooper Works is due to the most powerful engine ever installed in one of the brand's serial production models, suspension technology refined with racing expertise and model-specific design features which not only optimise the car's aerodynamic features but also underscore its exclusive charisma. With its irresistible temperament and enthralling performance figures, it outperforms the sportiest variants of the new MINI just as strikingly as it does the predecessor model with the John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille.

The power required for this new top-level driving fun is delivered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that was developed based on the latest generation of power units with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. It generates a maximum output of 170 kW/231 hp and a maximum torque of 320 Newton metres, accelerating the new MINI John Cooper Works from standing to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. This is an increase in sprint capability of 0.2 seconds or 3 per cent as compared to the predecessor model. Elasticity has even been improved by 10 per cent. With a figure of 5.6 seconds for acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h, the new MINI John Cooper Works even leaves top-class sports cars in the shade. This optimised pulling power is combined with exemplary efficiency. The figures for average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the EU test cycle are 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres and 155 grams per kilometre. In conjunction with the optional 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission, the figures are 5.7 litres and 133 g/km - almost 20 per cent lower than the predecessor model.

Technology for the engine, suspension, body and interior derived directly from motor racing defines the exclusive, performance-oriented character of the new MINI John Cooper Works. Combined with the further refined product substance of the new MINI, a top athlete has been created for fans who appreciate authentic race feeling, premium quality and a high level of everyday practicality. The extremely powerful engine, the sports exhaust system, the sports suspension with exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels and a sports brake system developed in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Brembo, the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit including a model-specific rear spoiler and the distinctive cockpit design complete with newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats comprising integrated headrest all go together to create a precisely harmonised overall package.

This gives the new MINI John Cooper Works fascinating performance qualities including not just high-speed acceleration capacity but also exceptional agility, a high degree of steering precision and precisely controllable handling in very sporty situations on the road as well as excellent deceleration figures. This set of unmistakable characteristics reflects longstanding experience in motor racing and bears witness to the tradition-steeped link between MINI and John Cooper Works. Ever since legendary designer John Cooper discovered the sporting talent of the classic Mini presented in 1959, his name has stood for maximum driving fun and spectacular success on the race track with the small British car.

The engine: state-of-the-art basis optimised with racing expertise for top performance

Under the bonnet of the new MINI John Cooper Works is by far the sportiest version of the latest MINI engine generation. The top athlete's 4-cylinder spark ignition engine traditionally mounted transversely at the front benefits from current advancements in the areas of power delivery, running smoothness and efficiency derived from MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, combining these with performance characteristics which are unmistakably geared towards motor racing. It draws its power from a capacity of 2.0 litres - an increase of 25 per cent over the engine in the predecessor model. The increase in output amounts to 10 per cent, while the maximum torque is 23 per cent higher than before.

The new engine was created on the basis of the 4-cylinder that was completely newly developed for the latest generation of the MINI Cooper S. It has turbocharging integrated in the exhaust manifold, direct injection with injectors arranged centrally between the valves, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). This technology package is combined with precisely selected modifications. As a result, the engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works guarantees efficient and reliable driving fun in day-to-day use as well as sporty power delivery for inspirational performance on the race track.

The turbocharging system integrated in the cast steel manifold makes for short ducting of the exhaust gas flow, thereby enabling an early and powerful response. What is more, the turbocharger developed specially for the new MINI John Cooper Works is made of particularly temperature-resilient material. It generates increased charge-air pressure for even, sporty power delivery across a wide engine speed range. The specific pistons are precisely harmonised with this, enabling compression reduction that is adapted to the high level of charge-air pressure. This design produces performance characteristics typical of a sports car: power delivery which sets in early on and is maintained continuously right through to a high load range. The engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works responds spontaneously to the smallest movements of the accelerator pedal. It develops its maximum torque of 320 Newton metres at just 1 250 rpm and puts this on stream over a range going up to 4 800 rpm. At 5 200 rpm the engine supplies its peak output of 170 kW/231 hp which is then maintained at a constant level up to 6 000 rpm.

The output bonus as compared to the MINI Cooper S is now higher than before at 30 kW, and the engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works is also exceptional in terms of its pulling power. Its thrust not only enables extremely spirited acceleration from standing but also highly dynamic interim sprints. The new MINI John Cooper Works completes the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (automatic: 6.1 seconds), it takes just 5.6 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h and its maximum speed is 246 km/h.

Geared towards top performance in every way, the engine technology in the new MINI John Cooper Works is rounded off with a specific sports exhaust system. With its low level of exhaust back pressure it promotes spontaneous power delivery in the engine as well as generating the sound typical of the John Cooper Works models that underscores the engine's performance character with a highly emotional acoustic pattern across all load ranges.

Top performance delivered in dynamic style: 6-speed manual transmission with engine speed adaptation, 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission with shift paddles at the steering wheel

Power transmission to the front wheels is effected as standard via a 6-speed manual transmission which has been adapted in detail to the engine's performance characteristics. The transmission itself, likewise entirely newly developed for the latest model generation, is characterised by low weight, short shift travel and optimised acoustic and vibrational characteristics, as well as providing an innovation which comes into play particularly impressively when the new MINI John Cooper Works is driven in sporty style. A gear sensor allows active engine speed adaptation. When changing gear, the engine speed can be automatically adapted to the rotational speed of the input shaft for the gear selected. This ensures jerk-free clutch engagement, thereby enhancing comfort when shifting down a gear.

A 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission is optionally available for the MINI John Cooper Works. This automatic transmission combines high efficiency and a high level of shift comfort with increased shift dynamics and extremely fast gear shifts. In manual mode, it is possible to change gear using shift paddles at the steering wheel. In combination with the automatic transmission, the new MINI John Cooper Works also features the automatic engine start/stop function, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption caused by idling at junctions or in congested traffic.

In conjunction with the MINI navigation system, the 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission is also able to take account of the route profile in controlling gear shifts. Based on navigation data, the appropriate drive position is selected to match the imminent situation on the road ahead, e.g. directly prior to junctions or on corners. This obviates the need for upshifts between two bends in quick succession, for example.

Fewer fuelling stops thanks to MINIMALISM technology

The MINIMALISM technology also extensively applied in the new MINI John Cooper Works comprises not just efficiency-optimised drive systems and the automatic engine start/stop function but also shift point display, brake energy regeneration, needs-based control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units, electromechanical power steering and a map-controlled oil pump.

In addition, intelligent lightweight construction and optimised aerodynamic properties help ensure that the significantly increased driving fun is interrupted even more seldom by fuelling stops. The weight of the new MINI John Cooper Works when adjusted for fittings is the same as that of the predecessor model, while its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions at 155 grams per kilometre. In conjunction with the optional 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission, the figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are lower still at 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres and 133 grams per kilometre.

For precisely controllable go-kart feeling: high-end suspension technology, Brembo brake system, exclusive light alloy wheels

Together with the hallmark brand concept comprising front-wheel drive, a low centre of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and rigid body structure, the suspension technology has undergone extensive further development for the latest generation of the MINI so as to provide the perfect basis for thrilling race feeling. The new MINI John Cooper Works is fitted as standard with a sports suspension and benefits from the well-established design principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at front and a multilink rear axle which is unique within the competitive environment, as well as optimised details geared towards particularly high engine and driving performance figures.

In order to reduce weight and increase component rigidity, the front axle is fitted with aluminium swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The model-specific axle kinematics supports an agile turn-in response as well as a precise steering sensation largely free of drive torque. At the rear axle, too, a larger proportion of highly rigid steel types ensures increased stiffness combined with reduced weight. Tube-shaped stabilisers at the front and rear axle, an innovative axle bearing including a hydraulically damped engine mount and triple-path support bearings to decouple the dampers from the body additionally contribute to the fact that the new MINI John Cooper Works retains precisely controllable handling as well as optimised ride comfort even in highly sporty situations.

Another standard feature of the new MINI John Cooper Works is the particularly high-performance sports brake system developed exclusively for this model. Designed in collaboration with the specialised manufacturer Brembo and precisely harmonised with the properties of the MINI John Cooper Works, the fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee a consistently high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the manufacturer's logo. The standard 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in forging technology were also created exclusively for the new top athlete in Race Spoke Design. Options include John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Cup Spoke Design and an 18-inch size.

The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also comprises the functions Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) - which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential - and Performance Control, which supports agile turning when taking bends at speed. Self-steering tendencies that can be caused by differing torque levels on the drive wheels are also prevented by means of the so-called Torque Steer Compensation function provided by the electromechanical power steering. Standard features also include the speed-related steering assistance system Servotronic. Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI John Cooper Works. It allows selection of two set-ups for either particularly sporty or more comfort-oriented driving situations.

The passive safety of the new MINI John Cooper Works is also enhanced by the extremely rigid passenger cell, highly resilient bracket structures and deformation zones in optimum design. These form part of the integrated MINI safety concept, as do the standard equipment items of six airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats and ISOFIX children's seat attachments at the rear. A partially active bonnet is one of the features which contributes to optimised pedestrian protection.

Exterior design: precise cooling air and wind ducting

The body design of the new MINI John Cooper Works underscores the performance-oriented yet exclusive character of the top athlete in the small car segment. The front section has strikingly large air inlets which indicate the high cooling requirements of the engine, its ancillary units and the brakes and thereby instantly revealing the car's outstanding performance qualities. The model-specific cooling concept of the new MINI John Cooper Works also comprises additional air inlets in the outer areas of the front apron so as to ensure the ideal operating temperature is maintained even in race track conditions. These take up the space provided in the new MINI for fog lamps and guarantee an air supply to additional external cooling units that regulate the temperature level of the ancillary units and brakes.

The hexagonal radiator grille at the centre of the front section has a characteristic honeycomb pattern and a cross member at the bottom edge finished in red. The John Cooper Works logo also appears here, as well as on the luggage compartment lid at the rear of the car. The likewise standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring also in LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the direction indicator.

Precisely shaped air ducting elements in the lower section of the front apron help optimise the car's aerodynamic properties as do the side sills in model-specific design. All the other body elements relevant to airflow were subjected to intense testing in race track conditions in order to precisely harmonise them with the driving dynamics potential of the MINI John Cooper Works and thereby ensure precise and safe handling at all times. This explains the distinctive shape of the rear spoiler fitted on the new MINI John Cooper Works, applied to generate downthrust at high speeds. The rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element in the lower area likewise helps optimise aerodynamic balance.

Other exclusive features of the exterior include the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, which bear a red accentuation line and a John Cooper Works logo applied to a black background, and also the tailpipes of the sports exhaust system integrated centrally in the rear apron and identifiable by their particularly large cross-section. The black wheel arch surrounds also exhibit model-specific contours. Eleven paint finishes are available to choose from for the body. The range also includes the MINI Yours paint finish Lapisluxury Blue metallic and the new variant Rebel Green metallic - the latter being available exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works. As an option at no extra cost, the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in white, black or - also exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works - Chili Red. The John Cooper Works bonnet stripes are likewise an option that is reserved solely for the new top athlete.

Interior: sports car cockpit with new John Cooper Works sports seats for authentic race feeling

Due to the increased dimensions as compared to the predecessor model, the new MINI John Cooper Works offers tangibly optimised space on the four seats. The luggage compartment now has a capacity of 211 litres. The additional functions and the new display and operating concept are combined with specific design features in the style of John Cooper Works, thereby enhancing the intense performance experience this car offers.

Optimum lateral hold in highly dynamic driving situations is ensured by the newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests and model-specific upholstery in Dinamica/fabric and the colour Carbon Black. The new seats are also optionally available in a Dinamica/Carbon Black leather version. The exclusive standard fittings likewise include the newly designed John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the John Cooper Works entry sills, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and anthracite roof liner.

Interior trim in Piano Black and red design accentuations not just on the seat surfaces but also on the steering wheel rim, the gear or selector lever, the central instrument surround and the car key all contribute to underscoring the car's exclusive charisma. What is more, the new MINI John Cooper Works has model-specific cockpit displays in a style that is presented here for the first time. A dark dial for the speedometer and a white scale for the engine speed display optimise readability of the instruments arranged above the steering wheel.

The standard fittings of the new MINI John Cooper Works also include the MINI Driving Modes, which allow configuration of an individual set-up. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever, the driver can select not just the standard setting MID Mode but also the SPORT Mode and the GREEN Mode so as to activate a set-up that emphasises sporty driving, a balanced, comfortable style or increased efficiency. The MINI Driving Modes are used to influence the characteristic curves of the accelerator, steering and engine acoustics. Where the car is fitted with the relevant equipment features, the selected set-up also affects the shifting characteristics of the automatic transmission, the Dynamic Damper Control program map, the ambient lighting and the displays in the central instrument.

Innovative driver assistance systems: MINI Head-Up Display with model-specific display content

The racing feel in the cockpit of the MINI John Cooper Works can be further enhanced with optional sports instruments. The three displays designed in classic circular form provide information that is especially relevant when an ambitiously sporty style of driving is adopted. The sports instruments consist of displays for the oil and charge-air pressure as well as a chronometer with stopwatch function.

What is more, the full extended range of driver assistance systems is also available for the new MINI John Cooper Works. This comprises the System Driving Assistant including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, Park Distance Control, parking assistant and rear view camera. Meanwhile the likewise optional MINI Head-Up Display which extends above the steering column offers an augmented range of functions specific to this model. In addition to information on road speed, speed limits and overtaking bans detected, current navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems and lists of telephone contacts and entertainment programs, it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multi-coloured engine speed scale which is supplemented with a shift point signal depending on the driving mode selected, so as to enable for particularly dynamic acceleration manoeuvres.

High-end special equipment features for greater driving fun, comfort, premium flair and individual style

Due to its model-specific design and fittings, the new MINI John Cooper Works already comes off the production line as a perfectly harmonised package offering extreme driving fun in the premium small car segment. With the characteristic MINI diversity in terms of the range of special equipment features and accessories, the top athlete additionally offers extensive options for customisation geared precisely towards the driver's own personal style. A 2-zone automatic air conditioning is available as an alternative to the standard system. Other available options include seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, ambient lighting with continuously variable colouring, a visibility package including windscreen heater, rain sensor and automatic light control, electrically heatable and folding exterior mirrors and interior and exterior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle function. For customisation of the exterior and interior, options also include various graphics for the roof and exterior mirrors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Colour Lines.

The Radio MINI Boost including AUX-IN socket and USB interface are likewise standard features of the new MINI John Cooper Works. These can be supplemented with such items as the optional Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system. The option MINI Connected or MINI Connected XL is also available in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. MINI Connected XL also comprises the Journey Mate function including innovative functions for trip preparation and support as well as Real Time Traffic Radar with highly precise and up-to-date traffic information.

Numerous functions which can be integrated in the vehicle via apps in the areas of social media and infotainment are available for both the Apple iPhone and for smartphones using the Android operating system. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style in using the MINI Controller in the centre console and a colour display in the central instrument. The features of the MINI navigation system Professional include an 8.8-inch version of the on-board computer and the MINI Touch Controller with touch-sensitive surface. And for the first time, the new MINI John Cooper Works can be equipped with a SIM card which is permanently fitted in the car. This means that Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity is available, as well as MINI TeleServices.

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