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Eric
07-23-2006, 07:53 PM
Order a BMW Mini Cooper S with "the works" and you won't get extra mayo or lettuce -- but you will get a 39 hp bump in output (from 168 to 207), better brakes and a limited slip differential. You'll also lose something you probably won't mind giving up -- a full second off the car's 0-60 time, which drops from 7.5-7.6 seconds to 6.5 seconds.

The "works" is shorthand for the performance enhancement package developed by long-time and UK-based Mini tuner/accessorizer John Cooper Works.

JCW has been hot-rodding Minis for decades -- beginning with the original Mini Cooper (hence the name) in the late 1960s and through the desperate years of the mid-1970s and '80s, when the car was on perpetual life support and almost everyone thought The End was just around the corner. JCW's crucial role in helping to maintain a dedicated following for the spunky little Mini, especially in enthusiast driver circles, led to it being invited by BMW (which by the mid-late '90s had acquired the Mini nameplate) to consult on the development of an entirely new (and entirely modern) Mini Cooper. When the production car appeared in 2001 (as an '02 model), JCW was given the green light to design and market its "works" package of drivetrain/chassis/appearance upgrades -- which became available over-the-counter as a dealer-installed/factory-backed option.

Beginning with the current model year, "the works" became a regular production option -- available on any new Mini Cooper S coupe or convertible. (Owners of older Minis can also have their cars retrofitted at any time. Warranty coverage is not affected -- even on retrofitted cars -- provided the work is done by an authorized dealer/installer.)

It's an extensive upgrade that begins with a modified cylinder head -- ported for higher airflow and redesigned to handle the higher heat/compression produced by the also-modified Eaton supercharger which stuffs air into the 1.6 liter, four-cylinder engine. The "works" blower has specially coated internal vanes and is driven by a higher-RPM pulley to produce more airflow and boost over a wider operating range than the standard supercharger used in the regular Mini Cooper S. High-capacity fuel injectors and a low-restriction air box/intake system with a specially designed valve that opens up to admit even more air at higher engine speeds feed the beast -- with the spent byproducts ushered into the world via a header-styler low-restriction stainless steel exhaust system finished with twin chrome tips. The car's ECU has also been reprogrammed to make the most of the engine modifications -- and to deliver snappier "tip in" and full-throttle response. The engine's capped off with embossed "works" aluminum trim plates -- complemented on the outside of the car with similar badging and red powder coating for the front brake calipers.

On paper, 207 hp may not seem all that impressive -- especially at a time when 250 hp family cars are common. But power only translates into performance through the crucible of the load chained to the engine. In other words, weight matters as much as output. It's why a 100-hp sport bike that weighs 400-lbs. will run circles around a 300-hp V-8 muscle car. And it's why the 207-hp, 2,300-lb. Mini Cooper runs as hard as cars with bigger engines and 50-75 or more hp under their hoods -- but more in the way of sheetmetal cellulite to lug around.

Rest assured, the Mini Cooper "works" can scoot. It's substantially quicker than the new Honda Civic Si (7.2 seconds, 0-60), will outrun a Mitsubishi Eclipse GT V-6 (6.8 seconds) and has more power, is quicker -- and gets better gas mileage -- than either the Mazda Miata or the Pontiac Solstice.

And none of those sportsters can deliver the shrike-like screech of the blower under full boost -- the ideal wake-up call for left-lane hogs and other dawdlers who clog the roads. Spool her up to around 4,500 RPM in second or third -- right on the razor's edge of the supercharged engine's powerband -- and blast forward in proper "Italian Job" style. It's easy to catch rubber on the 1-2 upshift -- and the car surges forward impressively even well into the triple digits. Top speed is supposedly 135-ish -- and with nerve and room I have no doubt it can make good on that claim.

Since this is a comprehensive performance package, the Mini Cooper "works" also receives upgraded brakes -- with larger diameter front rotors and beefed-up calipers (as well as different pads designed for improved stopping power). A limited slip differential is fitted to handle the substantial increase in engine output and the car rides on 17-inch, 5-spoke "bullet" rims shod with Dunlop run-flat high-performance tires. A tire pressure monitoring system comes standard with this deal. So does electronic stability control -- though it's easily disarmed by flipping a toggle switch, if tire-frying launches are desired.

The standard S suspension is pretty much left alone. It's already plenty tight (perhaps a bit over-firm for some tastes) but well-suited to the mission of the "works" Mini. Few cars can dart through traffic so pugnaciously -- taking advantage of momentary openings in the flow that larger cars would never dare try to squeeze through. And the best part? You'll still enjoy economy-car gas mileage -- 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway. Provided, of course, you drive it like an economy car -- which is no easy thing. Still, even lopping 10 mpg off the top as a result of "Let's Motor!" driving habits, the hard-charging Mini uses less fuel than most V-8 (and some V-6) performance cars do just idling.

The JCW "works" package adds $6,300 to the $20,900 MSRP of new Mini Cooper S coupe; a loaded convertible S with the "works" upgrade and a healthy serving of additional extras such as the $1,400 Premium Combo #1 (which adds a Harmon-Kardon stereo, automatic AC, trip computer and chrome interior liner) can push the out-the-door price to more than $36,000.

Not cheap by any means. But few cars are as uniquely brassy --or as fun to drive -- as this one is.

And for those seeking the ultimate Mini, there's something else in the "works" for later this summer-- a GP kit designed to create a competition-ready machine with even more power (218-hp) even bigger (18-inch) rims, Recaro sport buckets, track-tuned suspension, AC "delete" (which along with removal of some sound-deadening material shaves almost 100 pounds more off the car's curb weight) and exlcusive grey-blue paint job with contrasting silver roof/front end and Chilli Red outside mirrors.

It will be the quickest, fastest production Mini Cooper ever offered for sale -- with a top speed reportedly in excess of 145 mph and 6.1-6.3 second 0-60 capability.

Only 2,000 of these very special limited edition GP "works" Minis will be built, so they'll be collectible down the road, too.

Better get in line now.

END

jillsuncle
08-23-2006, 10:29 AM
Let me get this straight. You are a very small person and you want High_performance. Ok I get it now. Meet me at the track and tell the dude "midget class". :D

Eric
08-24-2006, 05:26 PM
Let me get this straight. You are a very small person and you want High_performance. Ok I get it now. Meet me at the track and tell the dude "midget class". :D


Believe it or not, I fit in that thang with room to spare.. and I'm no midget! Plus, the chicks dig it, too...

Kwozzie1
09-03-2008, 06:33 AM
Let me get this straight. You are a very small person and you want High_performance. Ok I get it now. Meet me at the track and tell the dude "midget class". :D


Believe it or not, I fit in that thang with room to spare.. and I'm no midget! Plus, the chicks dig it, too...




Let me get this straight. You are a very small person and you want High_performance. Ok I get it now. Meet me at the track and tell the dude "midget class". :D


Believe it or not, I fit in that thang with room to spare.. and I'm no midget! Plus, the chicks dig it, too...


WOW!! Crazy
I rode in a John Cooper Works Mini today ....what a blast. Shee it just left everything and acceleration was amazing. I glanced at the speedo on this short stretch of road and it was reading 140kmh thats 87MPH in a 60KPH zone...yeah the dude I was with is a mad keen driver or just mad...BUT I felt toatally safe. Sat on the road and around
corners like a train welded to rails... Just awsome. Not bad int eh leagroom in he backe either.

chiph
09-03-2008, 10:15 AM
Top speed I got in my old Cooper S (non-works) was 95mph (152kph) and it was totally stable at that speed, and would have gone faster if my passenger at the time hadn't freaked out.

I'm 6' tall (1.82 meters) and my seat wasn't even all the way back. Eric, who is taller, probably had lots of room.

Chip H.

Kwozzie1
09-03-2008, 11:48 AM
Top speed I got in my old Cooper S (non-works) was 95mph (152kph) and it was totally stable at that speed, and would have gone faster if my passenger at the time hadn't freaked out.

I'm 6' tall (1.82 meters) and my seat wasn't even all the way back. Eric, who is taller, probably had lots of room.

Chip H.



Was that one of the original BMC Minis..they were hard case little units

This BMW Mini would still have heaps to go...was a shame it was in a city street.

chiph
09-03-2008, 02:20 PM
Oh, sorry for the confusion - mine was a BMW MINI.

I don't know about the new turbocharged Cooper S's, but in the ones with the supercharger, lots of people were putting in small-diameter pulleys to get the supercharger RPMs up higher. Totally voided the warranty, of course. But they were in the 180-185 HP range, without the low-restriction intake or exhaust plumbing.

Chip H.

Kwozzie1
09-03-2008, 04:42 PM
I am not sure what the top performance figures are of the little beast.
Oh I did sit int he front seat and sure is a lot of leg room.... I would not have the seat right back myself but I am only 5'9" ;)