What is it?
Mini has upgraded its ‘N18’ 1.6-litre turbo engine in John Cooper Works tune, fitting the revised powerplant to this, the standard Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works hatch, as well as the new JCW Countryman and Mini GP models. Every ‘Works’ car now gets the same engine, but the ECU mapping is slightly different for the GP and Countryman, giving them a touch more power.
Rather unspectacularly, the changes wrought have not given the Mini JCW hatch any more power or torque: they remain the same at 208bhp and 192lb ft, with an additional 15lb ft on temporary overboost. However, Mini claims improved throttle response as well as lower fuel consumption and emissions.
The key areas of modification are to the pistons, which have redesigned crowns and new rings; an increase in diameter for the turbo feed pipe; a slightly larger air intake; a redesigned drive belt configuration and a modified dual mass flywheel.
Various materials within the engine, such as the head gasket, have been optimised. The new engine has a combined fuel figure of 42.8mpg versus 38.7mpg of old, and CO2 emissions fall to 153g/km from 169g/km.