MotoringFile drives MINI John Cooper Works

MINI John Cooper WorksThe team from MINI specialist website MotoringFile have given us a great teaser of the upcoming MINI John Cooper Works. The new top of the line MINI will be in Australian showrooms in August, but if you can’t wait, here’s a few thoughts from their report: “MINI has definitely kicked it up a notch with this new model. If you have the chance to test drive the MINI JCW you must take the opportunity but if you are a fan of the JCW you better get your order in now.”

Read the full MotoringFile report for images and an audio clip. There’s also more images available at the GBMINI website.


MINI John Cooper Works pricing and delivery confirmed

MINI John Cooper Works

The launching of John Cooper Works as a BMW owned brand is virtually complete with the announcement of pricing for the MINI John Cooper Works models. As expected, pricing for the hardtop and Clubman models has been confirmed at $48,800 and $51,300 respectively. Also confirmed is the good news that Australian deliveries are expected in August this year. “These are the fastest cars yet that MINI has brought to Australia but it is not their outright performance alone that will endear them to our customers. The cars are the complete package with bigger brakes, sportier exhaust, and an even higher degree of exclusivity,” said Justin Hocevar, National Manager for MINI.

Full details are listed below in MINI’s press release, but the basics are the John Cooper Works models—based on Chilli specification—feature a revised 1.6 litre turbocharged engine producing 155kW with a maximum of 280Nm of torque. Both the hardtop and Clubman are capable of reaching 100km/h in under 7 seconds. The engine modifications are based largely on the power plants used in the race cars from the MINI CHALLENGE series which has been impressing competitors and fans alike across the country since the series launch in March this year.


MINI John Cooper Works Australian pricing confirmed soon

MINI John Cooper WorksIt is expected that Australian pricing for MINI’s new factory built John Cooper Works models will be confirmed within the next fortnight. The John Cooper Works range will be available in both coupé and Clubman models and will offer a new high-performance version of the 1.6-litre Twin Scroll turbo engine, producing 155kW, the highest output ever offered in the new generation MINI range. Internet rumours suggest the Coupé’s list price, less on road costs and any options, will be under $49,000 while the Clubman will come in under $52,000.

The MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop model will reach 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds, while the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman covers the same sprint in 6.8 seconds. Peak torque now increases to 280Nm courtesy of a high performance Overboost feature between 2,000 rpm and 5,300 rpm. In less frenetic driving, peak torque of 260Nm is available between 1,850 rpm and 5,600 rpm. Deliveries of the John Cooper Works models to Australian customers are expected before the end of the year.

Keep reading for more details as soon as they come to hand.

MINI Challenge

MINI Challenge – Round 3 TV highlights

MINI Challenge at Barbagallo Raceway

Keep your eyes peeled for some great MINI CHALLENGE action on your TV this weekend, including an exclusive interview on Channel 10 with Ben Tune about his roller coaster experience as a MINI CHALLENGE UBER-STAR CAR driver.

Channel 7 will also have a complete highlights package of all the Round 3 action from Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway. Read below for more detail and broadcast times.

MINI Challenge News

Australian MINI CHALLENGE management rights up for sale

MINI ChallengeMotorsport Event Management (MEM), the agency contracted to run the Australian MINI CHALLENGE, has been put up for sale by current owner Iain Sherrin.

In a statement issued today by BMW Group Australia, MINI National Manager, Justin Hocevar said, “MINI is confident that any sale of MEM will be to a suitable purchaser who will continue to manage the increasingly popular MINI CHALLENGE series exactly in line with the arrangements MINI put in place with MEM.

“MINI had a five year plan for MINI CHALLENGE and we see no reason to deviate from that plan with the new owner of MEM. Iain Sherrin has indicated his desire to sell the category management business and focus on his multiple race teams. His team – Sherrin MotorSport – manages six cars for a number of clients, with one added to the stable last week,” Hocevar continued.


MINI Cooper S – Upside down Miss Jane!

R56 MINI Cooper S rollover

Yikes! Images of this R56 MINI Cooper S rollover have recently surfaced on the internet forum. The accident happened in Malaysia and, while details of the moments leading up the incident are only speculation, there has been an alleged eye witness report stating the driver and passenger walked away with no serious injuries.

See below for more images, or read the thread on for more detail.

MINI Reviews Tried & Tested

Tried & Tested: MINI Clubman Cooper S

MINI Clubman Cooper S

Since BMW relaunched the MINI brand in 2001 it has exceeded all expectations. This success has encouraged BMW to create plans to extend the MINI range well beyond the familiar coupe and cabrio models. The first realisation of these plans is the recently launched R55 MINI Clubman. Our friends at Rolfe Classic MINI Garage in Canberra offered AUSmotive a weekend test of a Clubman Cooper S and rather than keep our thoughts to ourselves this is what we discovered.

Firstly, as a current, and very happy, owner of a 2004 MINI Cooper S I am ideally suited to judge how well the Clubman has kept the ethos of the MINI brand, which has become such a worldwide phenomenon. However, I also understand that my experiences may leave me a little biased towards ‘my’ car, so I will do my best at bringing you a subjective and honest appraisal.

As a keen follower of the brand I have watched the progress of the Clubman from concept to production with great interest. Opinion among the MINI enthusiast community is very much divided. Some love the concept of the Clubman, others hate it. I must admit, it wasn’t until I saw the car in the flesh at the launch earlier this year that I began to take the ‘big’ MINI seriously. I had thought the styling was a bit cumbersome and not quite resolved. And while I wouldn’t say I’ve been completely won over, seeing the car for the first time did provide a more pleasing reality than I had first thought. Our test car was about to be used for a local radio promotion which explained the somewhat crude graphics all over the car. Apart from that, the hot chocolate metallic paint and silver roof works surprisingly well. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, I know, but MINI gives customers seemingly endless options when it comes to colour and trim combinations.

Targa Tasmania

Targa Tasmania – At your service

2008 Targa Tasmania

An all expenses paid trip to participate in Targa Tasmania. Sounds good doesn’t it. What would I be driving? And could it compete with Gentleman Jim’s brand new Porsche GT2? Service crew … what do you mean service crew? Yes, the offer to take part in my first Targa Tasmania was not behind the wheel of a tarmac tearaway, but behind the wheel of a service vehicle. Still, when Andrew Robinson asked me to join him and his 2002 MINI Cooper S for his fourth Targa Tasmania assault, I couldn’t say yes quick enough.

This opportunity came up by chance, as most pieces of good fortune do. As an owner of a MINI Cooper S since 2004 I’ve very much enjoyed the social aspect that MINI ownership brings. There’s been plenty of great drives and new friends made in that time. It is through such connections that I had previously met ‘Robbo’. He’s shown me the way around Wakefield Park once or twice and seems a likeable enough chap. So, let’s talk Targa…


MINI to introduce diesel model in Australia

MINI logoGoAuto is reporting that MINI Australia will introduce the MINI Cooper D within the next 12 months. Coupled with a 6 speed manual and a 1.6l 80kW/240Nm powerplant the Cooper D is said to be capable of consumption under 4l/100km. Add to that impressive emission figures of 104g/km and there’ll be a whole bunch of Hollywood actors realising they could have looked cool and still been green, instead of buying a Prius.

BMW Australia are anticipating that new sales growth will come from the diesel segment and as a further show of faith in that prediction they will also be introducing an all new diesel 7 series, expected for Australian deliveries in 2010.

The Australian introduction of the Cooper D is great news for MINI fans as it had long been believed, and confirmed from the inside, that a diesel powered MINI was virtually impossible for the Australian market.

You can read the excellent GoAuto article in full by clicking HERE.

MINI Motorsports

Eastern Creek MINI Challenge – TV highlights

Round 1 of the MINI Challenge kicked off in Australia over the weekend of 7-9 March at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway. Here are three youtube clips from the highlights package which aired on Channel 7 today. This was the worldwide debut of the R56 MINI Challenge cars you can read more about the MINI Challenge by following the links below: