When the Mini John Cooper Works concept debuted at the 2014 Detroit auto show, it had all the looks of a fiesty next-gen JCW. Now we’re hearing reports that, as expected, the 2015 MINI Cooper JCW will use a tuned-up, 231 hp version of the 2.0-liter turbo powerplant in the Cooper S.
Autocar reports that the MINI Cooper JCW hatchback and new four-door will premiere together at the 2015 Detroit auto show, a year after the JCW concept splashed on the scene. It will be the most powerful Mini Cooper hatchback to date, following the limited-run 2013 Mini JCW GP, which weaseled 211 hp from its 1.6-liter turbo-four.
While the last Mini Cooper JCW was a handful already thanks to its 1.6-liter 208-hp engine (215 in the Countryman and Paceman JCW) and super-stiff suspension, 231 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the 2015 Mini Cooper JCW should be hell in a hatchback. The wrung-out 2.0-liter turbo makes 189 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque in standard form in the 2014 MINI Cooper S, already enough to shove it to 60 mph in a claimed 6.4 seconds.
The new JCW will further widen the power gap between itself and the Cooper S — while the old Cooper S had 181 hp compared to the old JCW’s 208 (a difference of 27 hp) the new Mini John Cooper Works will have 42 more hp than the 2014 Mini Cooper S. As before, expect both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions to be available.
As we noted earlier when we spied the 2015 Mini Cooper JCW hatchback out testing, the new 231-hp 2.0-liter turbo is also used in the BMW 225i Active Tourer. The two models both ride on BMW’s UKL front-wheel-drive platform.
Although we liked the 2014 Mini Cooper S, we found it a little less zippy and urgent than previous iterations of the go-fast hatchback. Hopefully the 2015 Mini Cooper JCW has more of the wild and whimsical character we love in a souped-up Mini.