LONDON: The people who like miniature care, 2015 Mini John Cooper Works has been made for them with more sporty looking interior.
The arrival of a John Cooper Works version of the third-gen F56 hatchback marks a coming of age, the equivalent of Porsche pulling the wraps from a 911 Turbo or GT3, and confirmation that we’re well into the second year of sales of a Mini generation.
Of course, as the Cooper S has become progressively more powerful, so the output of the John Cooper Works has had to swell to maintain its exclusivity, with the new model’s 228-hp output representing a roughly 10 percent increase over the last one.
Torque stands at 236 lb-ft. That translates into an official 0-to-62-mph time of 6.3 seconds with the manual transmission or 6.1 with the automatic, and a quoted top speed in Europe of 153 mph. And this won’t even be the mightiest Mini for very long, as we can safely anticipate the inevitable GP version will be even quicker when it arrives in a couple of years.
Visually, the new JCW certainly looks far tougher than the slightly anemic Cooper and Cooper S we’ve seen so far, with a far more aggressive grille and unique forged wheels. The dinky little rear wing that sits on top of the hatch is also claimed to be capable of delivering some actual downforce, while the cabin gets some very sporty looking seats.
Mechanical changes are of the tinkering-and-tweaking variety rather than a comprehensive makeover. (Which, to be fair, was John Cooper’s approach when he got his hands on the original Mini back in the 1960s.) The front suspension geometry is changed and the JCW gets some unique aluminum suspension pieces.
We’re also told the rear suspension is stiffer than in the standard car. Brakes are upgraded over the Cooper S units, with one-piece Brembo calipers being fitted at the front. Active dampers will also be available as an option.
As tends to be the way these days, fuel economy has also improved, especially for the automatic version that will be offered alongside the standard six-speed manual. So equipped, Mini claims 58 mpg versus 50 mpg with the stick, although the proviso is that those are Euro figures obtained using that continent’s wildly optimistic test cycle. Still, the numbers are impressive for something this quick, although we’d still obviously take the manual every time.