If nowadays you want to buy a new car and keep a certain originality, the Mini 3-door is without a doubt an excellent solution that has the only drawback of being expensive. To access the range of the small Anglo-German, in fact, it is necessary to take into account no less than 23,500 euros, which in the case of the John Cooper Works of our test almost double. It is the price of originality combined with sportiness, since here there are over 230 HP at stake on a 3.87 meter long body.
Numbers that almost certainly make this Mini the most powerful “small” car on the market, as its competitors all exceed four meters. It must be specified, however, that the small external dimensions do not affect the quality of life on board. In fact, both the driver and the front passenger have a lot of space available and the driving position is very sporty. The same cannot be said for rear seat occupants and luggage, but this is certainly not a family car.
The mission of the Mini Jcw, rather, is to move quickly and with a lot of style in the most fashionable urban centers, or to attack a few mountain passes on the weekend. The famous go-kart feeling, although less accentuated than on the “German” Mini of the first two generations, is always present and combined with the low seat – which we are less and less accustomed to due to SUVs – configures a type of driving experience that is increasingly rare commodity. The Mini Jcw is precise and very quick in responding to commands, while the adaptive electronically controlled suspension (which are optional but worth adding for 600 euros) can make it more comfortable or stiffer depending on your needs. The engine-gearbox coupling also follows the same principle, with fluidity or nastiness delivered depending on the situation and the driving mode decided by the driver. In any case, when you ask for everything, the Mini Jcw does not let itself be begged and answers “present” with a certain diligence.
The 2-liter turbo that on some BMWs can be tarnished by the weight, here only has to do with 13 quintals and is very diligent. The little Anglo-German builds up speed quickly, while the automatic gearbox rattles off the 8 gears with precision. Here, although the ZF signed transmission is close to perfection, on such a car we would have preferred the dear old manual control, just to be more connected with the mechanics and amplify the sensations. Even from the Brembo braking system we would have preferred a slightly sportier feeling: there is plenty of power, but the pedal attack is very soft, to the detriment of sensitivity. Speed, on the other hand, is abundant as the Mini Jcw reaches 246 km / h and sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.1 seconds. These figures are practically impossible to find in the B segment and in fact for price and performance, the references of the Mini Jcw are those of the higher category “hot hatch”.
If, on the other hand, we look at the interior finishes and equipment, we are absolutely in the premium area, even with respect to precision in assembly. The style of the cabin is highly refined and personal, with the circular theme dominating and the old-fashioned switches that recall the Minis of yesteryear. It is a layout that is about to turn nine, but that never tires precisely by virtue of its originality. In short, the Mini Jcw remains faithful more than ever to its British spirit and also has a rather complete standard equipment, even if there are some options that are almost “mandatory”, such as the Premium Plus package. It costs 3,400 euros and includes sensors parking, rear view camera, level 2 autonomous driving, head-up display, wifi charging, heated front seats, Harman Kardon hi-fi and panoramic glass sunroof. In conclusion, waiting to see the next generation of the Mini, which will surely be electrified, this Jcw is still a very very pleasant little pepper.
Mini John Cooper Works, the card
What is that: the worst and sportiest version of the Mini 3-door, given that the GP is out of production
Dimensions: length 3.87 meters, width 1.73 m height 1.41 m, step 2.50 m
Trunk: 211 liters
Motor: 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo petrol, 231 HP, 320 Nm
Exchange: 8-speed automatic
Advantages: style, performance, driving, quality
Defects: price, feeling brakes
Production: Cowley, England
Prices: The Mini price list starts at 23,500 euros, for the John Cooper Works you need at least 40,500 euros