Driven: Mini John Cooper Works edition 2015 Review
Following a very short test drive, here is what I think of the 2015 Mini John Cooper Works edition.
What is the Mini John Cooper Works all about?
This Mini John Cooper Works edition is the most powerful production model ever made. So this should be the most fun you can ever have in a Mini.
The John Cooper Works edition can be identified by its black mirrors, contrasting roof, black rear spoiler and JCW badges on the door sills. Looking closer at the front of the car you will notice most of it is covered in grilles to help keep the car cool. Other changes include beefed up wheel arches, a nice set of 18″ alloy wheels and a twin-pipe exhaust system.
The Mini JCW is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that creates 228bhp and 320Nm of torque. All of this power goes through a 6-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels. This means that the car will go from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and will do a top speed of 152mph. In a Mini, this is nuts!
How does it drive?
Get inside the JCW Mini and the moment you move off you are instantly aware of how energetic this car feels. The energy comes in pretty much every way possible. The suspension feels stiff and very well connected to the road, the steering feels instantly responsive and super sensitive to even the smallest inputs and lastly the throttle response to the 228bhp from the engine is just incredible.
After spending some time getting comfortable with the car I started to explore the handling in the corners and, as I’m sure it will be no surprise to yourself, the car felt like a go-kart and handled like it was on rails.
There are selective drive modes that you get in the Mini John Cooper Works edition: Sports, Mid and Green. I carried out most of my testing in Sports mode, which stiffens the suspension, makes the steering a bit heavier, deepens the exhaust note and rev matches the gears on downshifts. Whilst rev matching you will hear the exhaust pop and bang; this kept me smiling ear-to-ear.
The driving position in the Mini in my opinion plays a big part in the feel of the car. You sit very low, it feels as if you are sitting on the floor. This feels exhilarating and makes you feel more in control of the driving experience.
What is it like inside?
Inside, the Mini John Cooper Works edition doesn’t differ too much from the standard models. The most obvious thing is the super impressive leather and Alcantara seats which are particularly good. They are very stiff and hold you in the middle of the seat even when you throw the car around.
The dashboard concept of the car – as ever – uses a huge circular screen with lots of aeroplane-style top switches based underneath. The entire interior is very interesting, it’s super quirky, and a million miles away from the original classic Mini interior, but it now provides a modern and unique motoring experience.
The Mini John Cooper Works edition offers the true Mini go-kart experience. You feel as if you sit so close to the ground, as with a classic Mini, but now you have real power to back it up. With the car in Sports mode the driving characteristics are so dramatic. The car makes lots of noise and is truly rewarding to the driver as you feel a real connection to the road underneath you.
There is no doubt that this BMW Mini John Cooper Works edition is the best thrill you can get from a Mini. It’s hard to see how it can be improved. The level of kit in the car is exceptionally high and the car looks super sporty with all the JCW add-ons. This car feels like a very solid package that will be truly adored by the hot hatch enthusiasts.
Mini John Cooper Works 2015
- Price: £30,600
- Engine: 2.0-Litre Turbocharged
- Power: 228bhp
- Torque: 320Nm
- Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 6.3 Seconds
- Top speed: 152mph
- Weight: 1,205kg
- Economy combined: 49mpg
- CO2: 133 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley