Updated 2.15.16 with first USA photos from Daytona
Cool to see and hear the new MINI sports flagship at Daytona the other week. It might have lagged the BMW M-livery M5 and M3s off the line for the IMSA Hot Lap Experience shown in the below video.... but it definitely looked like it was enjoying every second on that high-speed racetrack!
The new look is most recognizable thanks to the new full-moon LED DRLs, LED fogs and smart bi-xenon projector beam main lamps in front.
We even hate the tail less than before: in JCW guise, the too-large rear lamps shrink into the bodywork thanks to less chrome. What is normally a ridiculous chrome ring around the brake lights is now subtle gloss black. The high-riding rear wing is a highlight around back too.
2016 MINI JCW Hardtop - USA
Update: we prepared this whole post just now --- before realizing a double deja vu. This car debuted online months ago. Sigh. See below.
MINI has a bit of a problem. This hottest-ever JCW hardtop is just not doing it for us today. Aside from the cool new cabin and better LED accents outside, we see zero reason to pick this 2015 model over a pre-owned 2009 model. Trouble ahead for MINI.
This big news here is that US pricing is announced with a base of $30,000.
2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop
The 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its much-anticipated World Premiere with a grand introduction by none other than rally legend Rauno Aaltonen at MINI’s press conference in Hall D of the COBO Center, at 1:20 pm ET. Aaltonen will take the stage in a Classic Mini similar to the 1966 Mini Cooper S that he drove to victory in the famed Monte Carlo Rally in 1967.
With Aaltonen on hand and the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in the spotlight, MINI proudly announced a new motorsports partnership with LAP Motorsports to compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The Indianapolis-based team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will begin running the MINI John Cooper Works cars in the series later this year.
MINI’s long history of rally-car racing has always been reflected in the brand’s John Cooper Works performance series, and the newest Hardtop further extends that tradition. The latest edition in the premium line, the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop offers the most powerful engine ever installed in the brand’s production models, delivering optimal performance to the premium small-car segment.
“This is undoubtedly an exciting time at MINI as we relaunch the John Cooper Works sub-brand as a true model in itself and with the most powerful engine we’ve ever had in a production model MINI,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will be an important part of our business moving forward, offering customers a premium high performance vehicle in a small package.”
Specially tuned for high performance on the track and on the road, the first John Cooper Works model to be built on the shared front wheel drive global architecture with BMW Group will be powered by the latest generation MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology four-cylinder engine. The car also features a sports exhaust, refined suspension technology and model-specific design features which not only optimize the car's aerodynamic features, but also guarantee a fun and efficient ride with an irresistible temperament.
In addition to the World Premiere of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, the stunning MINI Superleggera Vision concept will also be on display, along with the MINI Hardtop 4-Door which made its North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
Check out the latest video of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in action featuring legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and French Rally Car driver Guerlain Chicherit.