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First look: New Mini gets the Works

Racey: Bodykit includes carbon-fibre trim panels for the bonnet scoop and wing mirrors.

JCW kit boosts Mini Cooper S power, handling and looks

14 Mar 2007

GO-FASTER versions of the new R56 Mini were inevitable, but came along perhaps a bit earlier than expected when the official factory tuning kit for the Cooper S was launched at the Geneva motor show last week.

Providing a power boost of 10 per cent, the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit pushes the standard 1.6-litre turbo engine from 128kW to 141 kW while torque rises from 240Nm to 250Nm.

An overboost function that is part of the standard car’s specification – which is based on the “pass button” function seen in IndyCar or A1 Grand Prix cars and which provides an extra 20Nm of torque for brief periods in the Cooper S – remains with the John Cooper Works kit.

This means that bursts of up to 270Nm of torque are available between 1750rpm and 4500rpm (compared with 1700-5000rpm when not using the overboost).

The engine kit consists of a sports exhaust system, a sports air filter and optimisation of the electronic engine management system for performance.

Beyond the engine tweaking, available John Cooper Works Tuning equipment extends to sports suspension tuning (lowering the car by 10mm), front perforated brake disc rotors and 18-inch “double spoke design” light alloy wheels.

39 center imageA colour-coded aerodynamic body kit comprises front and rear apron and side sills – as well as a selection of double spoke 18-inch light alloy wheels. The largest wheel authorised for the new MINI, the 7J x 18 alloys run 205/40/18 low-profile, run-flat safety tyres. As with the regular Cooper S, no spare is provided.

John Cooper gear also includes carbon-fibre on the exterior, extending to trim panels for the bonnet scoop, mirrors and tailgate handle – a John Cooper Works roof spoiler in carbon fibre is also available.

Inside equipment includes sports seats, a John Cooper Works sports steering wheel trimmed in either leather or alcantara, plus carbon fibre fittings.

Options from the John Cooper Works accessory range include body-coloured aerodynamics packages, John Cooper Works sports seats, John Cooper Works sports steering wheel and selected carbon-fibre interior fittings.

While the current model kit adds between $8000 and $10,000 to the standard car, pricing and release date for the new kit in Australia has not yet been announced.

Apart from the John Cooper Works options, Mini buyers can now choose from an expanded range of custom features that now include Union Jack or chequered flag designs on the backs of the rear view or door mirrors.

And, if the 1960s-style Union Jack roof design is not your thing, now you can get a helicopter landing pad motif applied to the roof.

Now owned by the BMW group, the John Cooper Works operation is intended to be developed along the lines of the M division that adds extra performance and visual spice to the BMW range.

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