MINI John Cooper Works 2.0: Distinct Identity

 

When we tried out the entry-level MINI One a while ago, we were amazed by how versatile the marque’s cars drive. This was further reinforced by our experience in the MINI Cooper S.

However, what if you are yearning for something more than just zipping around fast? What if you need that little more adrenaline pump, coupled with the ever-familiar go-karting sensation with your pedal to the metal?

If you belong to this category, the John Cooper Works (JCW) might just be the ideal car for you.

Exterior

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Packaged with a more aggressive stance compared to the rest in its family line, the JCW features aesthetic differences such as a sportier front bumper and a much bigger air-intake.

Complimenting this at the rear is a re-designed bumper set, curving inwards to bring out the centrally-positioned twin-exhaust system. It does look, and sound, mean(er), compared to the other Coopers.

Interior

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For the uninformed, the interior of the JCW might just look like a replica of the other Coopers. After all, there’s only that many changes you can make to the interior of the MINI, no?

But take a closer look and you’ll realise that the JCW boasts a black and red theme, enhancing its sportiness of the car to match that of its exterior appearance (and drive).

The JCW proudly wears its badge proclaiming its presence and brand identity. In fact, it’s incorporated in almost every single corner of your eye, from the steering wheel to the speedo dials, and even the door sills – making sure you don’t forget this is no ordinary 2-litre MINI you’re driving.

Of course, being the top-of-range in the MINI family, the JCW comes complete with the all-familiar MINI Controller in the centre, courtesy of BMW’s iDrive design and technology. Up front, you get to enjoy the 8.8” MINI Professional system, complete with Bluetooth technology, satellite navigation, and other really cool features.

The Drive

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If the fierce(r) looks of the JCW doesn’t impress, the drive should.

Powered by a 1,998 cc turbocharged plant, the JCW puts out 228 horses and 320 Nm of torque, making it the fastest MINI we’ve driven (and even the fastest ever produced this year).

Taking up the traits of a go-kart where you get torque-on-demand, the JCW shoots to the century mark in 6.1 seconds. It isn’t that fast to be honest, but in a car this size and handling ability, it feels almost different from what we originally expected.

Acceleration and overtaking wouldn’t be much of a hassle to you in the JCW. The Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control settings will ensure that you remain planted to the floor in the fastest of turns and swerves, reducing the possibility of understeering even on the harshest conditions.

On days when you feel like cruising together with the Camrys and Accords, the JCW does the job pretty well, even though it ain’t the most comfortable due to its sport damping. But if you’re feeling a little adventurous, a blip on the pedal will give you the crackling exhaust (and performance) a motorsport enthusiast would call as music to his ears.

Conclusion

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Truth be told, the JCW appeals to a niche genre of drivers – those who go for the adrenaline rush, and wish to stand out from the crowd by appearing a little funkier than the ordinary sedan.

Yes, a MINI Cooper S would have done the job, and would be pretty much useful for ferrying kids and groceries around, as well as zipping around town to catch your next business meeting.

But if you yearn for that extra oomph on a dreary Monday afternoon, this is where the JCW presents you with your distinct identity.

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