The New Mini John Cooper Works Edition

MINI continues its evolution with a new generation of superior models.

It’s been 20 years since the successful launch of the modern MINI, with the brand still enjoying solid sales on these well-loved vehicles. The MINI brand has become known for its agile driving capabilities, high technology standards and overall superior quality compared to many other competitors in its segment. Now this beloved British brand has evolved into the latest model generation, with the MINI three-door, MINI five-door and MINI Convertible all being given an intensive makeover. This month, we at FACT magazine were handed the keys to our very first MINI experience, compliments of the outstanding team at Alfardan Automobiles Showroom.

We were fortunate enough to be offered the MINI three-door John Cooper Works (JCW) Edition for the day. The JCW models are high-performance vehicles, fitted with superior engines, interiors and performance capabilities, along with unique exteriors. The MINI’s new front design displays the characteristic hexagonal radiator grille, an enlarged black surround as well as the hallmark round MINI headlights. These headlights are LED and are now fitted as standard.

Typical MINI proportions and short overhangs define the view of the flanks, whilst the freshly designed, characteristic side scuttles compliment the new body colours, including the 18-inch, Circuit 30 fact magazine Spoke Black Design, JCW light-alloy wheels. The rear apron too has been upgraded in looks, with LED back lights in the Union Jack design now fitted as standard. The original multitone roof and matching exterior mirror caps are beautiful to look at and amongst the most striking features of the vehicle. All-in-all, we found the exterior to be aesthetically pleasing and well put together.

Internally, our JCW model housed a stylish, comfortable and well-equipped cabin. The supportive sport seats provide a great driving position, whilst the quality materials, finishes and trimmings used throughout the interior are usually to be found in a vehicle with a much higher price tag. The JCW trim also features a nappa leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and larger thumb rests, JCW door sill trims, an anthracitecoloured roof liner and stainless-steel pedals. Eccentric elements have also been incorporated into the interior design such as the LED light ring framing the central instrument.

This MINI’s 8.8-inch colour touchscreen display comes complete with SiriusXM satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, touchsensitive ‘favourite buttons’, Piano Black high-gloss surfaces as well as Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. A multifunctional instrument display, five inches in diameter, is present behind the steering wheel and displays all driving-relevant information, check-control messages and status displays of the driver assistance systems. Additionally, the operating system controller situated on the centre console now sports an all-black surface along with a navigation system. A choice of two colour schemes for the central instrument and digital cockpit displays can be accessed through the control system menu.

Performance wise, the MINI John Cooper Works is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four, petrol engine. Combined with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, this zippy vehicle produces 231hp or 170kW. This allows the MINI JCW to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 6.1 seconds and to deliver a top speed of 246km/h. Boasting adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes and an electrically locking front differential, this exceptional compact car delivers precise handling and a go-kart feeling experience. In fact, we spent several hours embracing the sporty feel of this road-hugging vehicle, never without a huge smile on our faces.

The JCW comes with a Driver Assistance Package with an extended range of functions. These functions ensure maximum comfort and safety and include new lane departure warning, new Active Cruise Control (now featuring a stop and go function) and standard automated emergency braking. Thanks to consistently optimised emission control technology, all model variants comply with the Euro 6d emission standard.

Our first experience in the new three-door MINI JCW Edition was thoroughly enjoyable and we can honestly say that the fun factor of this magnificent little machine is amongst the highest we have ever experienced. ✤