JCW tuned wasabi style, in Japan ;) - 2015 Mini Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Talking JCW tuned wasabi style, in Japan ;)

Hey MINI fans ! I think it is about time I share a little more about my F56 JCW that I have been enjoying since August, last year, on the roads of ... Japan. Yeah not exactly the next door I know but it makes for a lot more exotic drive right ?

I love my F56 JCW, very refined, powerful, looks cool too ! (well I like to think so) Also it is a pretty exclusive ride in japan, even more in Manual trim like mine.


Yet, it is missing a little something, some sharpness, focus ... it was a little too "clinic". So I started to investigate my option to give it an extra edge.

Here in Japan, we have the chance to have StudieAG, a dedicated BMW tunner, like Dinan in the USA. StudieAG not only tunes but also is involved in the GT300 championship. They are as serious as it can get. So it was only normal I went to see what we could do to sprinkle some wasabi on the MINI.

The shop, on the outskirt of Sendai, is absolutely beautiful, clean and modern, ultra welcoming !


I exposed my vision of the tuning I wanted for the MINI and deal was done !
For a start, it needed sound ! and flair. In Japan the JCW Pro exhaust isn't imported as it doesn't pass regulations ... But the Remus V2 does ! go figure ?! So ... Remus it is, and what an exhaust !! If anything I think I love it even more than the JCW Pro. Borderline scary when it bangs like cannon in the streets of the city ... l


Next on the list, it needed some "chassi" upgrade, not that the stock sport suspension is bad, but it isn't all that great either, too soft and "so called confy" and way to high ! I long debated between JCW Pro option, and KW, the latest was the choice. V1 in fact, why not V2 or 3 ? because it would have been useless. I won't play with the settings, the guys at KW figured it out for me, and the stock valving of the KW V1 is absolutely perfect out of the box !



The ride height was set to -30mm, I just wanted the wheels to follow the fender line in an elegant manner, it was the best setting in this case.

Then was the problem of the stock anchors, I mean, wheels ... I was quite desperate, I never liked the cup spokes. Their bulge was just hideous and just not a fan of the look. Added the ridiculous weight they add to un-sprung mass they had to go ! Now, you know the drill, choosing wheels for JCW is a bit of a nightmare, and it kinda is worse here in Japan ! Sure, we have Rays, and Advan, but what if one doesn't like that style for a MINI ? Well, that has to be me ! So, I had to look somewhere else, BBS was the candidate !! In Japan, we have a special division of BBS that creates the most advanced forged wheels for the German brand, and luckily with have the RI-A ! a specific model created for SUPER GT championship class, it is nothing short of amazing , pure BBS style, 7.8kg for a 18x7.5" wheel !


They are wrapped with 205/40-18 Yokohama Fleva tires, it is the response from Yoko, to Michelin's PSS ... and even if I wanted the Michelin, these Yoko's are really good ! Only ... they are more 215's than 205 ! but on a 7.5" wheel, they just look perfect. Now came the problem of the ET ... the BBS come in ET48 but they don't clear the brakes (of course) we had to add H&R 11mm spacers in the front ... so a ET37 sounds pretty nasty doesn't it ? well ... it absolutely PERFECT ! look for yourself


The wheel is absolutely flush in the front, no rub, perfect ! The back well that is an other story ... with 11mm spacers, at max compression there will be rub on the plastic fender lining, so ...either I lower the offset, or trim the fender, I think it will be trim ! I will wait the suspension to settle, and ride some more, and see how often it is an issue really because so far, it has been ok ...

Now, last piece, the engine. At the very beginning I didn't want to do anything, but ... you know how it is, so I decided to go for a good module. I had the choice between NM, 3Ddesign (a Japanese tuner) or ... some voodoo from the German Ac Schnitzer. Yes I know, why would I pick the latest right ? That price is rape isn't it ? well yes ...and no !



Bear with me for a second ! Yes NM and others are great value for money, no doubt, but Schnitzer is a different thing all together. There is the warranty, and it isn't a scam ! Then, well it is Schnitzer, they have the pedigree to backup their price ... and they might not advertise as much out of the box as the other brands, but let me tell you, this upgrade isn't a joke ! It has a serious punch on demand ! There numbers have to be underrated ! Next, the module is quite tricky to install as it has to hack the CAN bus wiring system, where Schnitzer monitors more data to know at all time how the engine is doing, and adapt all necessary parameters. Yes, it is a lot of money, but I could do it, and was happy to do it ... those who don't want it, can't afford it, have other great options as hand ! but fact is ? I love that Ac Schnitzer grunt, and history on board of the JCW. I don't know in the US, but here in Japan, it actually adds value to the car !


Here we are, here it is, let me tell you it ride amazingly, like I wouldn't believe it could ! the combination of the chassis, and power is a pure pleasure ! and it looks gorgeous at least for me ! It is 100% what I wanted, and I can't stop wanting to drive it ...again, and again, and more.




I hope I can share more adventures with you, and sure will try to ! now, road across Japan, track-days, touge ! it is on

Thanks guys,

KuMa.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 07:31 AM
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looks great! keep up the good work
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 07:59 AM
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O - M - G

You now have a truly amazing MINI KuMa! And the scene in the fist shot (stunning)... I though I was blessed living by the beach!

Your choice of wheels/lowering/power is beautiful, exactly what you want to drive.

I'll be setting my JCW up a little differently, just because we can!! Love the open spoke wheels and the weight is to DIE for! But, I like equidistant spokes, so that further limits me. the KW v1 is just what the doctor ordered, I will drop mine a tiny bit more, depends on the local roads. With power, I won't do a plug-in (after the response I had with a previous diesel plug-in.) I would like a full remap, but that might take a little while for my local tuner to prove it's functional and worthy! until then, I'm stock power and very happy with that!!!
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 08:42 AM
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Outstanding post. Thanks for sharing!
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 09:23 AM
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What a great post and a stunning car. Please do keep posting ,never get fed up of looking at minis like us they're all different! Wonderful.

Ps i really love the picture of the technician reading the manual on fitment of the module. Take note all those who don't . RTFM
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Surprisingly delighted to have moved to an f54((with a r59 in the fold for fun!)
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 10:00 AM
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Excellent Pics and post keep up the good work.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jeremybingham View Post
What a great post and a stunning car. Please do keep posting ,never get fed up of looking at minis like us they're all different! Wonderful.

Ps i really love the picture of the technician reading the manual on fitment of the module. Take note all those who don't . RTFM

Yeah great start, love the white roof.


Nice to see a Mini from Japan, where you tend to have a unique way of doing all things car related (reading the manual for a start...) - keep up the good work.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the very positive feedback ! I have to admit that tuning shop is a bit of a Gem. They have several branches across Japan and are known to do outstanding work on BMWs (and MINI). Well you better know your stuff when you are working on over 150k$ worth cars, with sometimes customers that are very important in the "society" in Japan.

So yes RTFM ! In this case even more because the Schnitzer module has to get wired through the Can bus ... if you screw up, you are good to send the car on a flat bed to MINI. But Schnitzer guarantees the shop that can work on their products, so it is all good.

As far as the JCW goes, it drives incredible now, I will give a more thorough feedback very soon, but I have to install the spacers at the back in couple days to finish it properly. Really that spacer adventure is a pain in the neck to say the least.

The BBS wheels I used are 18x7.5" ET 48 interestingly, I could get away with 11mm spacers at the front ... it sure isn't the best situation, but no choice here. It doesn't rub, is absolutely flush and looks beautiful. For the back it is an other story, I would have thought there was more room there, but no ! those dumb plastic arches have a fairly deep lip inside, and with 11mm spacers, once on full compression, the tire touches it. Sure, I doubt I'll reach that much of compression in normal occasions, yet I hate the idea of rubbing ! or hitting something. For me it means suspension isn't dialed in well enough yet or something has to be done.

At that point we can either put the 11mm there, and say a hail Marry, and hope for the best ... put the 11mm spacers and trim cleanly that inside lip to assure nothing will rub, or use a smaller spacer 8mm or 5mm, which I am not a big fan of, I am a little OCD when it comes to things like that, the idea the MINI has a wider front track, than back, isn't really "happy happy joy joy", so we will see.

Thank you guys, keep MINI !
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Living the MINI dream in Japan
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 07:35 PM
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Man, what a great car you have. I love everything you have done to it , especially those wheels!! Congrats!

PS; How are people doing in Sendai these days?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Man, what a great car you have. I love everything you have done to it , especially those wheels!! Congrats!

PS; How are people doing in Sendai these days?
Thanks jaep1911 ! I tried to keep it sporty / classy ... kind of a "F56 GP" style if you will. I'm glad people have such a positive response to it.

Life is good in Sendai, there are no real traces of the disaster anymore, only if you go along the shore where there is a lot of construction going on. Closer to Fukushima, it is a different story ... not necessarily a funny one. Thousands are still left stranded without houses, barely living in prefabs like refugees, when government is spending billions to accommodate lodging for the future Olympics. But, I can't do much about that can I ? so I am enjoying the wonderful roads I have around, and sharing my passion for MINIs here, as people don't really know about it. A JCW manual is a rare animal in the wild, car lovers sure are interested when they hear it, see it, and finally realize it isn't just a cutesy little car for girls.
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Living the MINI dream in Japan
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