The adventure never ends with MINI, and it’s about to take a surprise turn... Auto Express can exclusively reveal that the firm plans to introduce greater economy and efficiency to its JCW hot hatch by swapping its turbo petrol engine for a diesel!
The famous British marque pulled the covers off its new JCW Convertible at the Geneva Motor Show, and once the hot Clubman joins the line-up in July, the petrol-powered performance range will be complete. However, the firm’s plans are only just beginning.
The JCW diesel would use the Cooper D’s powerplant, but it will stay true to its performance car heritage.
The 1.6-litre unit currently produces 110bhp and 240Nm, while a hot version would deliver more than 160bhp and significantly increased torque.
During an interview with a senior engineer, we posed the question of whether diesel power would ever be an option for the JCW brand. He wouldn’t confirm the existence of an oil-burning variant, but commented that it would be a “good idea”. With the project still on the drawing board, buyers shouldn’t expect the new oil-burner to arrive this year.
Meanwhile, MINI’s tuning arm is also preparing for the arrival of the firm’s new crossover SUV. Bosses remain tight-lipped about whether a JCW version of the compact 4x4 will be built, but it’s likely to appear soon after the model is launched next year.
The John Cooper Works Convertible wasn’t the only drop-top MINI to fly the flag in Geneva. Personalised roof decals are one of the hard-top car’s most popular options, but this is the first time a fabric hood has featured this custom, Union Jack design.
Soft-top specialist Karmann supplied the lid on the show special, and hinted that the new Fiat 500C and Citroen DS Inside won’t have it all their way when it comes to offering custom roofs.
While the recently launched MINI Convertible is only available with a black, chocolate or blue hood at the moment, a company spokesman admitted the range could be expanded to add new designs.