Driven-MINI John Cooper Works
The very minute I first set eyes on the MINI John Cooper Works I knew today was going to be uber fun. I mean the MINI JCW looks racy, sexy , athletic, all the superlatives that you want to name this little beauty. Done out in the JCW livery it is the epitome of racing athleticism. And its competitors , unfortunately will not compete with the MINI in the looks department.
The JCW logo is displayed prominently on the hexagonal shaped grille,as well as at the rear on the luggage dept lid. The likewise standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring also in LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the direction indicator. The MINI has been made more aerodynamic with air ducting elements in the lower section of the front apron, as well as the side sills.
This explains the distinctive shape of the rear spoiler fitted on the new MINI John Cooper Works, applied to generate downthrust at high speeds. The rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element in the lower area likewise helps optimise aerodynamic balance. Twin exhaust pipes at the rear complete the racing signature. A whole host of new colour variants are available. My favourite was the black and red combo.
Going into the cockpit, there is noticeably more room in the four seats now. It has luggage space of 211L which is not a lot, but enough for a weekend away. New racing seats set the tone, as well as the sports steering wheel, JCW gear selector knob, and stainless steel pedals that scream performance. MINI John Cooper Works has model-specific cockpit displays in a style that is presented here for the first time. Dark dials for the speedometer and the engine speed display optimise readability of the instruments arranged on the steering column.
What is more, the new The standard fittings of the new MINI John Cooper Works also include the MINI Driving Modes, which allow configuration of an individual set-up. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever, the driver can select not just the standard setting MID Mode but also the SPORT Mode and the GREEN Mode so as to activate a set-up that emphasises sporty driving, a balanced, comfortable style or increased efficiency.
This we found most interesting when we drove a challenging gymkhana track. I mostly used sport mode, which gives you maximum go-kart feel, however my time using mid-level was not that far off, so it gives you an easier drive in close quarters.
Engine & Handling
The engine fitted in the MINI John Cooper Works is a powerful 2.0-litre 4-cylinder spark ignition engine. With MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology; output has been increased to 170 kW, and 320 nm of torque,with a combined fuel consumption according to EU: 6.7 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 156 g/km. The unit we drove had a 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission with acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds.
Driving the MINI JCW to Hartebeespoort dam and back allowed us to really put it through its paces. It was responsive on the paddle shift, and by keeping it in firmly in the optimal rev range of 3.5 to 4.5, it literally ‘’ drank the wind’’ It was phenomenal, and I was in an adrenalin funk for the entire time. The sound is guttural and shifts gears nicely through the revs.
Handling is taken care of by the newly developed Brembo sports brake system; exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works Race Spoke light alloy wheels; electromechanical power steering with Servotronic; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) and Performance Control; Dynamic Damper Control standard.
Both on the gymkhana track and on the road, passing vehicles and trucks, I was comfortable, and found the MINI JCW nimble and responsive to all commands.
High-end options to increase driving fun, comfort and safety: Park Distance Control; parking assistant; rear view camera; Driving Assistant including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection; lighting package with LED interior lighting. Other options include: electrically operated glass roof; interior and exterior mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function; seat heating; 2-zone automatic air conditioning.
Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system; with MINI Connected in-car infotainment program; wide range of functions and the opportunity for ongoing expansion due to apps that allow integration in the car via smartphone come standard; exclusive MINI functions Driving Excitement and MINIMALISM; MINI Connected XL Journey Mate with Real Time Traffic Radar; online connection also allows the use of social networks such as Twitter, the reception of RSS news feeds and entertainment features such as, GoPro and Deezer .
R418 000 (Manual)
R440 000 (Automatic)
Driving the MINI John Cooper Works was the most fun I have had in a while. It will compete quite well with its competitors the Golf GTI & the Ford Focus ST. It has everything going for it,looks,performance,handling, styling and of course street cred. The MINI JCW is certainly a car to be reckoned with.
The Mini John Cooper Works 2015.