Limited-Production Mini JCW Challenge Debuts in Goodwood

Color us grey, because the Mini John Cooper Works Challenge Hardtop will not be coming to our shores.

Debuting at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the JCW Challenge is a U.K.-only model that will be limited to no more than 100 units. Sticking with the standard JCW Hardtop’s 228-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four and only available with a six-speed manual transmission, the crew of Mini engineers responsible for developing the JCW Challenge instead chose to focus on bettering the pint-sized hatchback’s handling.

As a result, the standard JCW’s go-kart-like responses are said to be even go-kartier, in part thanks to the Challenge’s coil-over springs. Supplied by Nitron, the suspension can be adjusted for jounce and rebound, as well as ride height. Meanwhile, camber-adjustment plates on the front axle give JCW Challenge owners the opportunity to better prepare their limited-edition Mini for track driving. And if the suspension components aren’t making you wish the JCW Challenge would make its way to the states, then the car’s Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, which replaces the JCW’s standard electronic LSD, certainly will.In order to ensure the JCW Challenge is able to make use of its more capable suspension and LSD, Mini fit it with a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires wrapped around trim-exclusive 17-inch wheels. Mini claims the whole wheel/tire combo saves 5.5 pounds of unsprung weight per corner. Assisting in bringing the JCW Challenge to a stop are a pair of big 13-inch front brakes with four piston calipers developed by Brembo. Other parts included on the JCW Challenge from the Mini JCW Pro Accessories line include the car’s body kit and exhaust—both of which are currently not listed on the U.S. JCW Pro Accessories store site.


Mini Clubman All4 Scrambler revealed in Italy

The Mini Clubman has had a motorbike-inspired rugged makeover for this one-off special in Italy
This is the Mini Clubman All4 Scrambler – a beefed-up Clubman All4 with styling flourishes inspired by the more rugged motorbikes of Mini owner BMW.

Unveiled in Italy, this one-off, off-road concept seeks to fuse the attraction of the common-or-garden Mini Clubman with BMW’s R nineT Scrambler motorbike.
Clad in big knobbly tyres and with raised suspension – much like its two-wheeled inspiration – the all-wheel-drive Clubman All4 Scrambler is painted in the same Midnight All4 Frozen Grey colour and features the bike’s circular headlights on its front grille.
The luggage rack harks back to the Mini Traveller of the 1970s, while silver detailing around the grille surround, windows and door handles adds a touch of contemporary bling. The interior is swathed in leather and Alcantara and there’s a smattering of Scrambler badges.
The car was revealed at the Salone dell’Auto Parco Valentino in Turin as part of celebrations marking 100 years of the BMW Group and 50 years of the brand in Italy.
Both Mini and BMW have been revealing special editions and concepts around the world to mark the centenary of the BMW brand. A Mini Vision Next 100 concept will be unveiled in London on 16 June.
A spokesperson for Mini UK said the All4 Scrambler was an Italy-only show car and there are no plans to put it into production, even as a less extreme, Audi A4 Allroad-rivalling variant of the standard Clubman, despite Mini’s recent history of exploring niches.
We’ve seen spy shots of the next Mini Countryman that suggest it will be a more serious SUV than the current-generation Mini crossover, so buyers wanting to venture away from the tarmac in a Mini may want to wait for the All4 all-wheel-drive variant of the new model. 

MINI John Cooper Works Convertible revealed at New York show

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The MINI JCW convertible is 105kg heavier than the hatchback thanks to the extra strengthening required for a convertible car, which makes it about 0.3 seconds slower from 0-62mph: it will manage the sprint in 6.6 seconds with its six-speed manual gearbox, or 6.5 seconds with the optional 6-speed automatic and will go on to a top speed of 150mph.

The manual model manages 43.5mpg, and the automatic 47.9mpg, a significant improvement over the previous-gen JCW Convertible. 

Styling additions include bigger cooling vents near the grille, sportier-looking sills, LED headlights and taillights, JCW badging and an optional Rebel Green paint that’s only available on John Cooper Works models. The rest of the JCW hatch’s styling upgrades are carried over too, including the large bonnet scoop, red detailing on the grille and striking lightweight alloy wheels.