Wednesday, January 16, 2008

John Cooper Works Tuning Kit

You said you wanted performance, right? Then why not go for the whole deal and have your local dealer install the BMW-approved John Cooper Works Tuning Kit? After all, it takes horsepower from 163 to 200 ponies, and brings torque up to 177 pound-feet from 155 in the stock MINI Cooper S. With that power, you can get from zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds and, if you can find enough space on a closed course, get up to 140 miles per hour. And you get a slick decal and engaving on the exhaust pipes to prove you’re faster than the average bear. Now that’s motoring.

Nevertheless, we suggest you don’t opt for the JCW kit. We say that because the parts are pretty expensive at $4500 in the box, and then you still have to pay your dealer to install them, which takes ten hours of shop time. The whole thing is going to cost from $5000 to $6000 out the door.

For the same amount of money, with aftermarket components you can easily get your horsepower well past the JCW’s 200 mark, and at the same time improve the tires, wheels, brakes, and suspension to keep your power under control, so that you’ve got a balanced performance package. If you still need decals to impress the pedestrians, the aftermarket suppliers will be happy to help you out.

You might note that the MINI website makes a point that the JCW tuning package comes with a factory warranty, and won’t affect your standard warranties on your car. That’s an important point, of course. When you start making changes to engine, suspension, brakes, or other mechanical parts of the car, these changes can affect the performance of your car.

Mini Cooper Forum

However, reputable aftermarket suppliers now offer their own warranties on the parts that they sell, and some, such as MiniMania even guarantee that if their properly-installed parts cause a problem that voids any part of the factory warranty, they’ll pay for the repairs and replacement themselves. You should check the fine print yourself on both the factory and the supplier warranties, but at least you know that you can make changes to upgrade your MINI without worrying that you’ll lose the peace of mind of BMW’s solid warranty protection.


Anonymous said...

There are lots of good companies which make parts for the Mini. The JCW is a bit overpriced, but you do get a guarantee.

sessions said...

I'm assuming you mean the JCW kit for the R53's? I would agree with you there, unless you happen to have money to burn and really value the warranty. But what is your opinion on the tuning kit for R56's? Morristown has the kit for about $1600 and if you add installation and tax it's probably about $2000-$2200 (depending on the installation cost). I admit that is a pretty penny and you could easily get more HP and torque and some suspension upgrades by going after-market. Still, for those that dig the warranty and the JCW brand / heritage (I do) that is an option.

Thanks for the write up!