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Mini to Reveal New John Cooper Works Concept in Detroit

“Technology lifted straight from the race track.”

by on Dec.17, 2013

Mini apparently has some big plans for the next-gen John Cooper Works hatchback.

Mini’s newest hot hatch will be putting in its debut appearance at the Detroit Auto Show next month – or at least a “concept” version of the next-generation John Cooper Works model based on the British marque’s all-new platform.

Sadly, Mini is holding back on much of what we’d most like to know about the new model.  Beyond reference to its “go-kart feeling,” and “technology lifted straight from the race track,” the BMW subsidiary’s press release holds back powertrain details.

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What we do learn – backed up by these images – is that the Mini JCW Concept adopts a Bright Highways Grey exterior accented with bright Chili Red details that include racing stripes and a contrasting red and white roof.  There are 18-inch alloy wheels, large air intakes replacing the standard hatchback’s fog lamps and LED headlamps.

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Ford Adding OverBoost to New Focus ST

A 15-second shot of adrenaline.

by on Jun.11, 2012

The new Focus ST will get a 15-second shot ofOverBoost adrenaline.

Ford plans to amp up the performance of its compact Focus with the upcoming launch of the Focus ST, the sporty model making a solid 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.

But when you need a little bit of extra power – whether off the line when the light changes or merging onto a freeway – the ST’s turbocharger packs a little surprise.  Put the pedal to the metal and you’ll get a 15-second shot of adrenaline as the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine goes into OverBoost mode.

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Just like those videogames that let you punch the turbo-boost button, the inline-four engine pumps out 7.4% more torque right where you need it, between 3,000 and 4,500 RPMs.

A turbocharger harnesses a car’s exhaust gases to spin a fan that, in turn, pumps more fresh air into the engine.  Most turbochargers add anywhere from 5 pounds up to a maximum twice atmospheric pressure (which is about 14 psi at sea level).  But in OverBoost mode, that goes substantially higher.

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Mini Unveils “Fastest” Model Ever

New GP takes John Cooper Works to new level

by on May.14, 2012

Is this the fastest Mini ever?

Several thousand folks who turned out for the Mini United Festival in Le Castellet, France over the weekend got a pleasant surprise: the first look at what the British maker is billing as “the fastest Mini ever.”

Dubbed the Mini John Cooper Works GP, it offers some extensive upgrades to the already impressive Mini JCW and data from testing on the legendary German Nurburgring suggest it will deliver some blazingly fast performance.

While Mini is yet withholding some specific data, a report out of Britain hints the John Cooper Works GP will make 214 horses compared to the current JCW’s 208.    That apparently brings the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine to a specific output, in European terms, of 100 kW per liter pretty darned close to the vaunted likes of Nissan’s GT-R.

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What we do know for sure is that the concept revealed at the Mini United Festival features a front fascia designed to suck in substantially more air, with some nice new aero-enhancing details, such as side skirts and a rear diffuser, along with a carbon-fiber wing mounted above the backlight.  There are distinctive new wheels and aggressive red accents around the front air scoops, as well as new, lipstick-red sideview mirrors.

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First Drive: 2013 Mini Countryman Cooper S John Cooper Works

Mini to turn JCW into new performance sub-brand.

by on Dec.27, 2011

Faster than a speeding skier...the new 2013 Mini Countryman S John Cooper Works.

You’re likely to be halfway down the slopes by the time you can pronounce the full name of Mini’s newest – and fastest – crossover model, the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works.  Take our word for it, as we had our first chance to check out the Countryman JCW during a snow-covered preview in the Tyrolean Alps.

One of the semi-finalists for North American Truck of the Year, the Mini Countryman has generated more than its share of controversy since its 2010 debut.  No surprise: it’s not only the biggest offering ever from Mini and the first to fall into that gray space between car and truck, but it also was the first to offer all-wheel-drive – and four doors.

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But buyers seem to be dismissing the debate and focusing on the Countryman’s blend of functionality and fun-to-drive dynamics– making it the brand’s new best-seller.  So, we wondered as we packed up our ski gear, what would happen when you pack in some more punch?

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First Look: Mini Coupe

Maker officially adds 2-seater to growing line-up.

by on Sep.14, 2011

Mini adds a new Coupe to its growing line-up, the John Cooper Works shown here.

It may build some of the smallest cars on the market but Mini is one very fast-growing brand, the British maker bringing to the Frankfurt Motor Show its new 2-seat Mini Coupe.

The 2-seat fastback is promised to be the sportiest model to bear the Mini badge, officials said during a Frankfurt preview.  Four different variants will be offered, including the basic Mini Cooper, the Cooper S, a diesel-powered Cooper SD and the top-performing John Cooper Works.

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The JCW Coupe will come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine capable of making 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque in overboost, enough to launch it from 0 to 60 in just 6.3 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph.

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Sneak Peek: 2010 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible

More power, more fun, more from Geneva.

by on Mar.02, 2009

Mini John Cooper Works Convertible.

Mini John Cooper Works Convertible.

The BMW Group has won over a legion of fans with the Mini brand. The Mini Challenge racing series is a growing success and with the John Cooper Works models, Mini addicts are discovering cars that deliver near track levels of performance.

So, it’s fitting that following up on the launch of the Mini Convertible, which we drove just last month, Mini brings to the 2009 Geneva Motor Show a topless version of the John Cooper Works, the fast-growing brand’s third sporty model, after the original JCW and the Mini JCW Clubman.

The numbers are impressive, though we expect to see some JCW buyers trying to prove the factory conservative in its published 0 to 60 times of 6.7 seconds. The big speedo in the center of the dash is certainly going to encourage experimentation, with its 146 mph top speed. (more…)