2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop debuts at Detroit auto show
Long-awaited performance hatch offers 39 percent more horsepower than the S model
January 12, 2015
Mini introduced the new 2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop at the Detroit Auto Show today, nearly 12 months after the debut of the standard version of the redesigned hatch. The latest generation of the performance model makes use of the "TwinPower Turbo Technology" four-cylinder engine, and like previous versions of the John Cooper Works Minis it will offer a sports exhaust, a reworked suspension, and exterior design features to set it apart from the standard Hardtop model.
Mini has also released pricing information for the new JCW Hardtop, with the new performance hatch starting at $32,300.
"This is undoubtedly an exciting time at MINI as we relaunch the John Cooper Works sub-brand as a true model in itself and with the most powerful engine we’ve ever had in a production model MINI,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will be an important part of our business moving forward, offering customers a premium high performance vehicle in a small package."
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Mini says that acceleration performance in the new JCW allows for sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds when coupled with a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Photo by Autoweek
The latest version of the Mini JCW produces 228 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, with that power going to the front wheels. Mini says that acceleration performance in the new JCW allows for sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds when coupled with a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, with the trip to 60 mph taking 6.1 seconds when coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. The four-cylinder features a turbocharger that is integrated into the cast steel exhaust manifold, and also features variable valve timing and variable camshaft control, both aimed at improving engine reliability and engine performance. The turbocharger for the JCW model is made of temperature-resilient material, and creates increased charge-air pressure for smooth and even power delivery across a range of speeds.
According to the automaker, maximum torque is available at just 1,250 rpm, with peak power arriving at 5,200 rpm. And in comparison to the S model of the hardtop the JCW offers 39 percent more horsepower. The new Mini JCW will also offer rev-matching software to allow for smoother downshifts. The automaker has also made a few tuning tweaks to the engine, improving "elasticity" in the 50-75 mph acceleration range.
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In the suspension department, the new Mini JCW will feature struts in front and a multilink suspension in the back. Photo by Autoweek
In the suspension department, the new Mini JCW will feature struts in front and a multilink suspension in the back. The automaker has used high strength steel to reduce weight in the suspension components, using two equal-length driveshafts to help reduce torque steer, while aluminum swivel bearings and axle supports and wishbones up front work to increase componet rigidity. A Brembo fixed caliper braking system has been developed specifically for the new John Cooper Works Hardtop. The new performance version of the hatchback will offer a variety of the 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels. All of these engineering tweaks are designed to give the JCW Mini added agility, as well as a high degree of steering precision that the company likens to the feel of driving a go-kart.
Mini introduced the latest generation of 2 Door Hardtops in March of 2014, and the 4 Door Hardtops in the fall of last year, the latter arriving in dealerships this month. The non-JCW Hardtops are available with a choice of two powerplants: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine that features turbocharging and direct injection, good for 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
The North American International Auto Show, known to most as the Detroit auto show, continues to serve as a barometer for the entire industry. Among the debuts this year will be the new Toyota Tacoma and a refreshed Chevrolet Volt. The 2015 event is held at Cobo Hall in Detroit and is open to the public from Jan.17-25. Check out our complete Detroit auto show coverage here.
Jay Ramey — Jay Ramey is an Associate Editor with Autoweek, and has been with the magazine since 2013. Jay also likes to kayak and bike.
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