Mini considers high performance division
Mini is considering creating a sub-brand to represent its John Cooper Works (JCW) models.
"It is definitely something we are looking at and we have already started to carry out a few studies," confirmed Mini product and planning manager Dave Tuckett recently.
Parent company BMW has a similar M division for its performance models, and it appears that a JCW division will likely appear sometime in the future.
Three per cent of Mini sales are JCW models, but Mini has highlighted that figure is growing at a rapid rate, and has a halo effect on the rest of the range.
There are currently seven models in the JCW range, with another to follow at some point in 2013.
The latest model is a JCW version of the Mini Countryman, powered by a new 215bhp version of Mini's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.
The new Countryman is the first four-wheel-drive JCW ever produced, and is available from £28,595 with the bodywork and exterior enhancements package.
Other models in the JCW line-up include a racier version of the Mini hatch known as the GP. The JCW GP is also powered by the manufacturer's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.
The GP comes with a number of extensive modifications, including the removal of the rear bench seat. The car, which is available from £28,790, also has motorsport-derived suspension, brakes and aerodynamics, an electronic differential lock and a special GP mode.
Only 2,000 GP models will be produced with the vast majority being delivered to key sales areas including the UK, Germany and North America.
BMW acquired the rights to the John Cooper Works brand in 2007. The company was founded in 2000 by racing car maker John Cooper, the tuner responsible for the Mini Cooper.