The engine is based on that of the Cooper S but is 39 percent more powerful, thus enabling the car to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 5.9 seconds when paired to the paddle-shifted six-speed automatic, and 6.1 seconds with the six-speed stick. Mini further claims that the engine’s elasticity is improved by 10 percent, evidenced in a 50 – 75 mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds. Top speed is 153 mph, Mini says.
If anything has kept the previous JCW models from becoming truly great cars, it is their notoriously unruly front-wheel-drive demeanor, which constantly sends their drivers into an arm-wrestling match with their front wheels during spirited acceleration.
After all, what’s the point of having all that extra power if the front wheels simply spin and tug and transform into pools of molten rubber each time you hammer the gas?
To help foster a better relationship between man and machine that this time around, Mini says that it has extensively developed the JCW’s chassis even beyond that of the Cooper S, fitting a sports suspension as standard fare (a standard suspension is available as a no-cost option, but if you have to ask for that, you’re probably not JCW material in the first place).
Retuned front axle kinematics should support crisper turn-in and directional stability while the electronic power steering system features a Torque Steer Compensation function to further tame the beast.
Standard wheels measure 17 inches in diameter, while two-tone 18-inchers are available as an option, within which are nestled a set of large disc brakes with red-painted JCW-specific calipers.
And of course, the John Cooper Works looks every bit the part of the rabble-rouser. Its modified front end has half a dozen grille apertures, not counting the hood scoop, so engine and brake cooling shouldn’t be an issue. Similar story out back, where the center-mounted dual exhaust tips are nestled within a bumper with four big mesh-filled holes.
A rear spoiler sends air off the car in an organized fashion while looking really damn cool, And of course, JCW badges appear in the grille, on the tailgate and fender trim, just in case someone missed the memo that you’re in the crazy one.