MINI JCW to out muscle Audi S1

words - Feann Torr
MINI's response to Audi's 170kW compact quattro hero will be an even more powerful Cooper

BMW's premium small car brand, MINI, is still fine-tuning its all-new Cooper JCW hot hatch but powertrain engineers have revealed it will slam down 180kW -- 10kW more than the just released Audi S1.

Expected to make its debut at the 2014 Paris motor show in October, the new MINI Cooper JCW's engine performance will trump the Audi S1 quattro. It still remains to be seen, however, whether the go-fast MINI will be capable of matching the all-paw Audi in the all-important 0-100km/h race.

Arriving in Australia in the third quarter of 2014, the Audi S1 fires from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds. Although the new MINI Cooper JCW's 2.0-litre turbo will be more powerful, it's likely it will remain front-wheel drive, which could mean real-world bragging rights may be out of reach.

MINI Australia says we can expect the Cooper JCW in 2015.

The current generation R56 MINI Cooper JCW ($50,400) is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine but like the just-launched Cooper S the new JCW it will get a beefier 2.0-litre turbo.

Engine output is currently rated at 155kW/260Nm. Torque figures for the new car are tipped to exceed 330Nm with the potential for a 20Nm boost at full noise in the new JCW (John Cooper Works) car.

The exterior of the 2014 MINI JCW was previewed at January's Detroit motor show, but when asked MINI's product manager, Roderik von Ostrowski, if more details will be forthcoming at the Gevena motor show in March, he said it was unlikely.

"We will see... I think at least towards the end of the year we will be able to present some more JCW details," said the MINI product boss.

"We had a JCW concept in Detroit, which we gave a good outlook to see how the new JCW would look on the hatch. It had a really positive response, it has good styling and it looks promising," he added.

"It's really a true performance car. We have the possibility to create a unique car with style and performance engineering."

Even if the new MINI Cooper JCW doesn't wipe the smile from the Audi S1 quattro's angular face in terms of raw acceleration, there's a good chance the third-generation MINI GP.

Sitting above the JCW, the GP has been confirmed to make a return a few years hence.

Likely to be limited to just 2000 units globally as per the previous two MINI GP two-seater performance hatchbacks, MINI's media relations boss, Andreas Lampka, said the lighter, even faster, track-ready model always shows up later in the MINI's life-cycle.

"There's exactly one point in time when it shows up. Always the last year [over model life]. It always comes at the end, to give to our fans. Don’t expect to see it tomorrow -- afew years from now and you'll see it," said Lampka.

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Published : Thursday, 13 February 2014
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