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Mini details cheaper JCW

Hard Works: Mini's three-door John Cooper Works hatch will sprint into Australian showrooms in August.

JCW marks a new focus for Mini as it drops two models and shares tech with BMW


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10 Mar 2015

MINI'S has confirmed that its high-performance John Cooper Works hatch will return to the three-door range in August, with pricing that undercuts the model it replaces.

The top-shelf John Cooper Works variant is priced from $47,400, plus on-road costs, for the manual and $49,950 with the six-speed Steptronic automatic.

This represents a saving of $3000 when compared with the old manual version and a $10,450 premium over the spicy Mini Cooper S hatch.

The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine pumps out 170kW/320Nm, which respectively represents a 10 per cent and 23 per cent boost over the predecessor that produced 155kW/280Nm.

Developed on the sister Mini Cooper S engine, the JCW mill’s upgrades include exhaust manifold integrated turbo-charging, direct injection, fully variable valve control and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust sides.

The automatic is faster to 100km/h by 0.2 seconds, taking 6.1 seconds for the dash, and the self-shifter also claims the best fuel economy, down 20 per cent on the previous model to now average 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

The manual claims 6.7L/100km, which is an improvement over the 7.0L/100km/h from the previous version's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera, parking sensors, satellite navigation, a head-up display, LED headlights and John Cooper Works sports seats.

The 2015 JCW’s high performance engine is offset by a new Brembo braking system and suspension design incorporating Dynamic Damper Control.

The Dynamic Damper Control suspension has an electronically-controlled Sports setting and allows the driver to dial up desired driving characteristics.

A permanent Sports Suspension setting is also available, providing harder springs and stiffer gas shock absorbers.

BMW Group Australia general manager corporate communications Lenore Fletcher said the JCW was expected to help Mini make substantial sales gains in 2015.

“Sales were held back in 2014 because we couldn’t get sufficient supply,” she said.

“But that has been rectified. We expect to have good supply of the five-door Mini and the JCW this year.” Only the hatch version of the JCW has been announced. The previous JCW name was attached to other models including the Paceman, Roadster, a GP edition and even the Countryman.

Ms Fletcher said there were no plans as yet to expand the JCW name on the new platform.

The introduction of the JCW model comes after Mini shelved the Roadster and Coupe models, and there is speculation that Paceman may also be deleted from the model range.

All current Minis have a service scheduling system called Condition Based Service (CBS) which identifies the condition of a vehicle based on actual use.

The information is used to determine the vehicle’s maintenance requirements, identifying that either an annual vehicle inspection or an oil service is due.

Mini servicing and maintenance costs can now be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with Mini TLC. TLC starts with a basic service program covering scheduled servicing and costing $980 for five years.

In total, Mini sold 2570 cars in 2014 for a year-on-year rise of only 1.4 per cent.

But in the two months of this year, sales are up 29.4 per cent on the same period in 2014, helped along by the inclusion of the 5-door that launched in October.

Mini has sold 413 cars this year, many, says Ms Fletcher, being deliveries from delayed orders in 2014.

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