MINI just pumped new technology into its John Cooper Works options package. The new features promise ultra-sporty performance across the whole brand's line. Starting in July, new John Cooper Works options will be available for the Countryman, Clubman, convertible, Coupe and Roadster.

Named after the company's founder and early racecar driver, John Cooper Works is the customization package for the MINI brand, which offers a range of upgrades from an enhanced engine to custom paint jobs. The BMW-owned automotive manufacturer is now adding a new-generation engine, fuel efficiency options, and power train innovations to its John Cooper works line.

John Cooper Works models can now be ordered with a six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function. Owners who opt to go the automatic route still have the ability to shift gears manually. Shifting is done either using the selector, or shift paddles located on the steering wheel. Paddle shifters are quickly gaining popularity with automotive manufacturers such as GM, Porsche, Nissan, Toyota and others. BMW already offers paddle shifters on a few of its models. Paddle shifting will be available across all MINI models.

MINI retooled the John Cooper Works engine with what it's calling "MINIMALISM" technology, which improves the engine's efficiency to help manage fuel consumption and reduce emissions. The new engine is equipped with Brake Energy Regeneration, which draws power from the action of braking to provide power to the in-vehicle network. An Auto-Start/Stop function automatically switches the engine off when the car comes to a stop in traffic, a feature that's available for manual transmissions. A Shift Point Display lets the driver know the most efficient time to change gears. Even the electric power steering works to reduce fuel consumption. The electric motor only draws power when needed.

Enhancements to the engine produced results. In fuel consumption tests in the European Union test cycle, a Countryman consumed 7.4 liters per 100 kilometers, which works out to 38.2 miles per gallon. Countrymen with an automatic transmission ran slightly less efficiently, getting 7.91 liters per 100 kilometers, or 35.8 miles per gallon. CO2 emissions registered at 172 grams and 184 grams per kilometer, respectively.

The extra boost of the S model is now part of the John Cooper Works line across the MINI brand. MINI enhanced the powerplant based on the unit in the MINI Cooper S. The new engine uses a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct gas injection and variable valve control, which is based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC system.

The turbocharger on the new engine develops even greater charge pressure than the engine in the MINI Cooper S Coupe. The engine produces a maximum output of 155 kW/211 hp at 6,000 rpm. Peak torque of 260 Newton meters (192 pounds per foot) ranges between 1,850 and 5,600 rpm.

A souped-up version of the John Cooper Works GP recently tested as the fastest MINI was unveiled at Circuit Paul Recard at the MINI United festival.

Source: MINI John Cooper Works