Even though Mini has issued teasers for the new batch of John Cooper Works models for months, we’ve been disinclined to take the bait. It’s not that there’s something wrong with JCW cars; there just wasn’t a lot information to be gleaned from those announcements.
We were waiting for the company to confirm the rumor that the 2020 model year would see an upgraded powerplant to serve as a bit of a game changer for the brand — which is exactly what Mini did this week.
All JCW models will now receive BMW’s new and improved 2.0-liter “TwinPower Turbo,” resulting in an impressive 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The cars will also get a new eight-speed Steptronic transmission, a mechanical differential on the front axle, all-wheel drive, a JCW-engineered chassis, new brakes, and “additional reinforcement modifications for the body structure, engine connection and chassis fastenings” as standard equipment.
That makes for a rather impressive leap forward in performance vs their predecessors. The new JCW Clubman can reportedly hit 62 mph in 4.9 seconds, while the chubbier Countryman takes 5.1 seconds. That’s about a full second faster than the previous model year and roughly as fast as a Honda Civic Type R. Meanwhile, the top speed has been electronically limited to 155 mph — adhering to present-day German tradition.
The only obvious downside is the loss of a manual option. However, the significant upgrade in power should help mitigate any transmission-related depression. Mini claims the new John Cooper Works models are the real deal — the result of relentless racetrack testing. In fact, all that time spent going around in circles helped convince the brand to upgrade the JCW cars’ cooling systems, incorporate roof spoilers, and gently tweak the camber on the front wheels.
As far as the visuals go, all John Cooper Works models receive red accents, Union Jack-themed tail lamps, and loads of trim-specific badging — which Mini extended all the way to the front calipers for 2020. But customers do get a choice in how big they want the wheels that house them to be. The standard units are 18-inch rounds, though Mini will let let you take them up to 19 inches for a little extra cash.
Speaking of which, you should be able to configure these things to a ludicrous degree, just like any other Mini. Some of the designs are exclusive to JCW models, including the two-tone paint scheme (pictured) and “aerodynamic” mirror caps.
Exclusive standard equipment for both of vehicles include fore and aft LED lamps, sport seats, sport steering wheel, a JCW-exclusive gear selector, anthracite headliner, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with an updated display, and perpetual internet connectivity. You can, of course, upgrade to an 8.8-inch central display if you’d like improved navigation features and a bigger screen.
Pricing, availability, and additional details for the new 2020 John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman will be revealed at a later date.
[Images: BMW Group]