2019 Mini John Cooper Works: Dodging the Regulatory Bullet

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

At the very start of 2018, Mini announced an update to its Cooper line. Were it not for their help, plus the marginally tacky inclusion of Union Jack taillights, we’d probably never have noticed the refresh.

Now, with 2019 bearing down on us, it’s the John Cooper Works’ turn. Predictably, the JCWs get all of the same upgrades the standard Coopers did — more interior customization, new 17-inch wheels (which are unique for Works), and the patriotic tail lamps. The biggest change is actually something you’d probably rather not see on a performance trim like the JCW, but it’s not Mini’s fault. It’s doing everything in its power to ensure it doesn’t sap power from the motor.

Thanks to authoritarian Europe’s ever tightening emissions restrictions, Mini had to install a new gasoline particulate filter to avoid punishment — and kind of at the last minute. Fortunately, the automaker claims that, by integrating the filter into the sports exhaust system, there’s no loss in performance for Euro-spec models.

There hasn’t been a gain in performance, either.

JCW models will continue utilizing a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Power is delivered, as usual, to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. There’s a small chance models sent to the U.S. may boast different numbers, but Mini hasn’t said anything to that effect. Either way, expect a 0-to-60 time in the low six-second range for the JCW hardtop, with the convertible being a few tenths slower.

Interior changes depend upon your preference (Mini offers more options than any sane person could ever want). But some of the biggest include various plastics with LED back-lit accenting, wireless device charging, some new digital services for the infotainment system, and a puddle lamp that projects the Mini logo beneath the door (though you can get custom logos and text). And that’s just for starters. The automaker will allow you to go hog wild with the personalization of any Cooper model (inside and out) if you’re willing to fork over the extra cash.

U.S. pricing and availability haven’t been announced as of yet. We’re assuming JCW models will arrive at dealerships in early 2019 with no significant changes to last year’s MSRP.

[Images: Mini]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Gedrven Gedrven on Dec 21, 2018

    I applaud Mini for having such a long list of interior and other options, but until Improved Materials & Build Quality is on that list, I'm not interested.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Dec 22, 2018

    Good. About damn time we get particulate filters on DI engines.

  • Slavuta Why America needs school buses altogether? When I was in school, I rode on a regular city bus
  • Jeff Buy whatever works for you if you own an EV and are happy with it good, if you buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and it works for you good, if neither and you like your ICE the way it is that is also good. I believe over time EVs will get better and have a larger segment of the market.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Is New Jersey better than Old Jersey?
  • Tassos Jong-iL Looking forward to buying 2 of these with all of those Rubles we have been earning lately.
  • Dartdude I have a 17 Ram 1500, love the dial and took to it right a way. don't have a lever blocking the dash panel or taking up space on the console.