Bearing a name etched in history for revolutionary rear-engined cars, this is the fastest and most powerful MINI ever made, the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Mk3 writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Based on the three-door hatch, MINI has completely retuned the hatchback and used aluminium and high-strength steel to keep the weight down to make it faster and more fuel efficient.
Who is it aimed at? The MINI JCW may be frighteningly fast when you want it to be but can still cope around town so it really is the perfect urban run-around.
Styling? The exterior sports some unique styling cues such as the tailgate with a JCW label, bigger brakes, an oversized spoiler, sports exhaust system with special tailpipes, and an exclusive new Rebel Green body-paint finish.
Under the Bonnet? This little pocket rocket packs the most powerful engine ever for a production MINI – a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder TwinPower turbo-charged engine that delivers 231 bhp and 320 Nm of sheer pulling power – it is shockingly fast reaching 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds; 0.2 seconds quicker than the older model.
What about inside? Inside are exclusive sports seats and, overall, the interior is a lot more premium with excellent quality – but ergonomics are never a strong point with MINI and its all a little cluttered for my taste.
On the Road? On the road, you instantly notice just how responsive this car is: the brakes, the steering, everything is sensitive with so much feedback. The second thing you notice is that exhaust note that resonates throughout the car and is almost as loud inside as it is out.
There is a choice of a manual or automatic transmission – our test car is fitted with the auto box, and while that may seem like a travesty in a MINI, similar to other BMW Group automatics, it is faster sprinting from 0-100km/h than the manual.
As expected from a John Cooper works MINI, the grip is phenomenal. The Achilles heel of the previous version was a harsh ride that was best suited to racetracks, but this too has improved and it’s a much more comfortable drive than you’d expect.
And Safety? Reassuringly, there is also a host of safety features to keep you firmly planted on the road. Also available is a Driving Assistant pack, which was recently awarded an Advanced Safety award by EuroNCAP.
Options? There are a host of options on offer, our test car was fitted with a Media XL pack, at €2,132.32 this allows the use of internet-based infotainment, navigation and communication services plus social media, and provide Real-Time Traffic Information. We also had a Chili Pack at €3,762.01 which is a bundle of optional equipment which can be purchased at a significant saving compared to ordering the equipment separately and includes everything from floor mats to leather upholstery.
Will it break the bank? All this fun comes at a price, and our test car was fitted with over €13,000 worth of extras, bringing the overall price from €35,082 (base price) to an eye-watering €48,220. In terms of fuel consumption MINI reckon you will get 5.7 litres per 100 or 42.2 mpg but we got nowhere near this !! CO2 emissions are 155 g/km so motor tax is
Verdict? MINI has made the best John Cooper Works to date; an incredibly well-balanced car. It’s not as hardcore as the GP version, but so much more fun than the regular MINI Cooper and an absolute delight to drive. There are certainly more practical cars and there are also faster for the money, but few are quite as much fun.
Why you’ll buy one? Driving Dynamics; Styling; Super Responsive
Why you won’t? A very expensive MINI
Honda Civic Type R – prices starting from €48,750
Volkswagen Golf R– prices starting from €42,445
Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)
2015 MINI John Cooper Works
Engine: 1998cc, 231kW (170bhp) @ 5200-6000 rpm, 320Nm @1250-4800
Max speed: 246km/h
0-100 kph: 6.1 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 155g/km (Band C €390)
Model price range: €33,993. – (Test Car –€48, 220.59)
No of Doors: 3 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.7 l/100km (42.2mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 211 (731)litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
4th November, 2015