Mini JCW's full potential is about to be unleashed.
If you want a high-performance Mini, the John Cooper Works range has you covered. Topping the range is the new Mini John Cooper Works GP. With a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 301 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, the JCW GP is the fastest road-going Mini ever made, capable of lapping the Nurburgring in less than eight minutes. But what does the future hold for Mini John Cooper Works?
According to Auto Express, Mini is planning to turn John Cooper Works into an electric performance sub-brand. While current John Cooper Works-branded Minis are based on existing models like the Mini Cooper and Mini Clubman, Mini could sell a new dedicated high-performance car under the new electric sub-brand, effectively becoming Mini's answer to Polestar. Currently, JCW models represents just five percent of Mini's overall sales, but these high-performance models generate much higher profits.
Seeing the brand's potential, Mini boss Bernd Korber wants to turn JCW into an electric sub-brand as part of Mini's EV expansion.
"The next phase of our portfolio is also about the next generation of John Cooper Works," Korber said. "The perception, I would say, when you look at John Cooper Works, it's not the perception of a full-blown sub-brand. People very often perceive it as our top model or performance model. What we would like to do is make John Cooper Works a real electric performance brand."
Initially, the new JCW sub-brand is expected to develop re-engineered versions of Mini's new electric lineup, including a small three-door hatch that will likely be a high-performance version of the Mini Cooper SE, which has 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque in its standard specification.
Mini's new JCW sub-brand is also expected to tinker with the company's upcoming compact electric crossover and a larger Countryman. These new JCW models aren't expected to launch until 2024 at the earliest, however.
"There will still be a market and customer demand for ICE [internal combustion engine] John Cooper Works, but ultimately the performance [brand] will be electrified, and for Mini it fits," Korber explained. However, there's also the exciting prospect of Mini JCW getting free reign to design its own bespoke high-performance halo car. "Not at this stage, but yes," Korber said when asked if this could happen.
With Volkswagen reportedly working on high-performance GTX versions of ID. models, this could be the start of an exciting new era of hardcore electric hatchbacks and crossovers.