The first assessment of the John Cooper Works tuning package is in, and the verdict is a qualified "Buy." According to the JCW site, the kit has an air filter ,a remapped ECU, and a central twin exhaust. The test car was kitted out with a host of other JCW fittings, including an aero kit, 18" wheels, and lowered suspension. The now-turbocharged (instead of supercharged, as on the first-gen MINI) S gets 17 more horsepower at 6,000 rpm, but the effect is more massage than it is a Frankenstein job. The traction is great, the exhaust sounds the same from inside but blurbles nicely outside (there are a couple of videos on which to feast), and the car is certainly fast. While he's sure it will beat any R53, it didn't give him the kick in the pants that the old supercharged engine did. In the end, his advice is to buy -- unless you want to wait for the Stage II kit....

[Source: MotoringFile]