A brand new generation of the MINI Cooper is just around the corner but the performance flagships of the current range, the potent John Cooper Works models, will have to soldier on for a few more years.

To keep them up-to-date MINI is introducing a new engine across its JCW lineup, which promises to deliver the scintillating performance the brand is recognized for but with greater efficiency.

JCW models equipped with the new engine will be available for sale from July.

The new engine is similar to outgoing unit and still features a basic 1.6-liter four-cylinder design that is aided by a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection. A new addition is variable valve control, which promises improved drivability but with lower emissions.

The new engine links up as standard with a six-speed manual, however, all of the JCW models, from the entry-level JCW Hardtop to the new-for-2013 JCW Countryman, can now be ordered with an optional six-speed automatic. The automatic also allows the driver to change gears manually using either the selector lever or the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Peak output remains at 208 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, though an overboost function allows peak torque to be raised to 207 pound-feet for a short time. Note, the JCW Countryman delivers 211 horsepower from its engine, while a limited-edition JCW GP model, which is also new for 2013, will offer even more power, though MINI is remaining tight-lipped on just how much.

In addition to a punchy turbo engine, all JCW models come with a performance-tuned chassis, unmistakable looks and special features that accentuate the race car feel both inside and out. Standard specification include a Sport Button (which allows the driver to tweak the car’s accelerator responses and steering characteristics), powerful brakes, electronic stability and traction control, an electronic differential lock and 17-inch light alloy wheels.

(c) 2012, High Gear Media.