Making a debut at January’s Detroit Auto Show will be the new MINI John Cooper Works Hatch, complete with the most powerful engine found on a production MINI – a 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo unit that delivers 231 hp and 320 Nm.
The new JCW also brings with it a package of suspension, brake, aerodynamic and interior modifications that passes more than just a nod to MINi’s motorsport expertise to deliver race-car sensations. In fact, when looking at it in comparison to the previous MINI JCW, this new model delivers 10% more power and 23% more torque, reducing the 0-62 mph time by 0.2 seconds to 6.3 seconds when using the six-speed manual gearbox, and by 0.6 seconds to 6.1 seconds when in harmony with the optional six-speed Steptronic sports transmission.
Just as impressive, thanks to an increased torque, is the driving flexibility of the car with an increase in acceleration from 50-75 mph of 10% to just 5.6 seconds, heralded by an emotive rasp at the rear from the twin tailpipes of the sports exhaust as you climb up to a top speed of 152mph.
And if you are worried that MINI has finally succumbed to the ‘more fun less petrol’ trap, then think again; because when it comes to the new MINI John Cooper Works Hatch, the increase in driving fun doesn’t mean that the driver gets penalised with any increase in fuel consumption. The 4-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo engine with direct injection, fully variable valve control and variable camshaft control offers up a combined consumption with the manual gearbox is 42.2 mpg, with CO2 emissions resting at just 155 g/km; and with the optional Steptronic sports transmission, fuel economy improves by 20% to 49.5 mpg, with CO2 emissions reduced to 133 g/km.
It’s all about performance with the new MINI John Cooper Works Hatch with the suspension and the Servotronic electromechanical power steering having been tuned so that drivers can easily take the opportunity to take advantage of the new JCW’s extra power and torque in complete safety, and the brakes having been upgraded to the newly developed four-piston Brembo brakes positioned within 17” John Cooper Works Spoke light-alloy wheels. (John Cooper Works 18” alloys are optional.) Technology also plays its part with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) and Performance Control all included allowing drivers of all abilities to get maximum enjoyment from the car, with Dynamic Damper Control an option.
That performance target, deliberately high, is also the reason that aerodynamic changes to the MINI JCW have been designed as they are with a new front apron with large engine air intakes, distinctive side sills, a model-specific rear apron and a John Cooper Works spoiler all part of the differential when looking at the standard 3-Door MINI Hatch.
Looking good is just as easy with the JCW’s LED headlamps with white indicators, wheel-arch surrounds and a unique radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate with JCW badging – not to mention the brand new colour option - Rebel Green – that is exclusive to the JCW.
Inside the car the sportiness continues with exclusive bucket seats with integrated headrests in Dinamica/fabric, the sills, a multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles (in conjunction with Steptronic transmission), gear selector, instrument displays, stainless steel pedals and footrest, a Driving Excitement package and key.
And that’s not all, because there are many options that allow you to personalise the new MINI John Cooper Works Hatch the way that you want to. These include a model-specific MINI Head-Up display (with rev lights and gear indicator), Chili Red roof and door mirror covers, bonnet stripes and exterior and interior John Cooper Works Pro design accessories, amongst many others.
Personally I am a sucker for a MINI, but boy! This one looks the real business!