Mini Cooper S Works
When BMW bought Rover Group in 1994 from British Aerospace, it included the iconic brand, Mini.
BMW, who had for a few years wanted to expand its range to include a small city car, insisted that any car, even a small urban runabout must be faithful to the BMW brand ethos which meant rear wheel drive. Acquiring the Mini brand was a perfect opportunity as it meant BMW could produce it’s own version of a front wheel drive hatchback with none of the restrictions that the BMW badge brought with it.
In 2001 the BMW Mini was launched. Two Cooper versions were released, the Cooper used a 1.6 Litre engine co-developed with Chrysler that produced 114 bhp and the Cooper S which used an upgraded version of the same 1.6 Litre unit fed by a Roots type supercharger to produce 160bhp. That was enough to shift the car from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. The Mini cooper was a hoot to drive, the chassis was crisp and handled brilliantly, so much so that it could easily handle more power. Two upgrades could be specified at the time of order, the “Pepper Pack” which added various interior upgrades, fog lights and 15 inch “rocket” alloys, or the “Chili Pack” which added similar goodied as well as sports seats, stiffer suspension and 16 inch alloys.
Enter John Cooper Works. Established in 2000 by the legendary John Cooper whose name has adorned hot versions of the Mini since the 1961, John Cooper Works set about uprating the new BMW Mini and produced a kit which was fully approved by BMW for both versions of the new Cooper.
The JCW Cooper S kit included uprated (faster spinning) supercharger, polished and ported cylinder head, uprated intake system, free flowing exhaust, re-mapped ecu, spark plugs and badges. The result was good for 200bhp and 0-60 in 6.7 seconds. In 2005 an additional upgraded kit was introduced that included bigger injectors and additional remapping bringing the power up to 210bhp. At the same time an uprated exhaust and air filter kit called the “sound kit” brought the power up a couple more bhp to around 215.
In 2007, BMW introduced the 2nd generation (mark II) Mini which is a completely re-engineered platform. Even though the car looks similar, if a little more chubby, every panel is actually different from the Mark I. The engine is also a totally different unit, a Prince Engine, a joint BMW/Peugeot Citroen development. Consequently the Mark II Cooper S version no longer uses a supercharger to force feed the engine but a turbo instead. This means the new cars distinctive intercooler bonnet scoop is no longer an essential working feature but merely a decorative item.
Evo Cooper S Works review April 2003
Evo Cooper S Works review October 2004
Evo Long Term Tests March 2004
Evo Long Term Tests April 2004
Evo Long Term Tests June 2004
Evo Long Term Tests September 2004
Evo Long Term Tests October 2004
Evo Long Term Tests March 2005