MINI JCW is top dog

MINI John Cooper Works, front
MINI JCW, on track
MINI John Cooper Works, front, track, action
MINI John Cooper Works, side
MINI John Cooper Works, side, track
MINI John Cooper Works, rear, track
MINI JCW, dashboard
MINI JCW, side static

MOST enthusiastic drivers would be quite happy with the latestMINI Cooper S but for those who want even more, there's the scintillating JCW - or John Cooper Works.

This is the name always used for the highest performing models in theMINI range, harking back to the days when John Cooper was the first man to modify the original Mini for more performance, rallying and racing.

With 228bhp on tap from a smooth two litre turbo petrol engine, thisMINI has the quickest acceleration ever offered by the marque.

In quick changing automatic form as I drove it, 0 to 62 miles an hour comes up in a shade over six seconds, and yet, driven carefully, MINI claims it will do 49 miles on every precious gallon.

However, this is not a car that is likely to be driven with economy in mind now is it.With such performance, it should be enjoyed and relished.

Engine response is superb from almost any speed and the crackle of the exhaust is wonderful, but never too loud.

The handing is utterly brilliant, with perfect response to steering and brakes every time, and the road holding is almost uncanny, with the most amazing grip.

It even manages to ride with a reasonable amount of comfort - given its out and out sporting nature. Some car companies have a problem with this compromise, but MINI owners BMW usually gets in right.

Inside, it comes reasonably well equipped, with alloys, aircon, Bluetooth, DAB radio and sports seats but the option packs are quite expensive, adding to a high overall price for what is a small car.

There's still very little rear legroom in the three door hatch, making it at best a three seater for normal sized people.


Price: £24,400

Mechanical: 228bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 153mph

0-62mph: 6.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 49

Insurance Group: 30

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles


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