Geneva '08 Preview: JCW MINI Cooper S speeds into focus

Following the relaunch of John Cooper Works as MINI's in-house performance division, the little carmaker that could is preparing to unveil the new JCW MINI Cooper S at Geneva auto show, which is now approaching as rapidly as the hot hatch itself. Meanwhile details are emerging over what the first factory JCW will include, and it looks good.

In brief, JCW has reworked, upgraded and optimized the turbocharger, the pistons, the air intake, the transmission, the clutch, the brakes, the wheels, the exhaust and the ECU. The crew at MotoringFile, those intrepid gurus of everything MINI, says that while the bigger turbo, upgraded induction, cat-back exhaust and electronics do their part, the pistons are where it's at, revving higher and smoother than those in the conventional Cooper S. Output is expected to be around 210-220 hp (versus the stock 172 hp), with torque skipping up to 206 lb-ft. To handle the extra juice, MINI fits a heftier six-speed with a chunkier clutch, putting the power down with lightweight rims and keeping it in check with JCW logo-shaped calipers, which will join an array of the new-look emblems placed around the car. We don't yet know what the extra spec will amount to in discrenable performance numbers, but MINI has reportedly upped the top notch on the speedometer to 260 km/h (~160mph) instead of the 240km/h (~150mph) on the stock Cooper S.

All in all, the JCW Cooper S promises to amount to more than the sum of its parts, offering a complete factory performance vehicle. When the car launches next month, MINI is expected to highlight the close relation between the new JCW MINI, which will eventually be available in hatchback, Clubman and convertible forms, to the Challenge racer it prepared for the track.

Thanks for the tip, Gabe!

[Source: MotoringFile]

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