When Mini launched the new Cooper in 2001 it set a new benchmark for the segment. It was fast, great handling, fun and had great styling which meant that sales went through the roof and continued right through the second-generation model which was sold worldwide to great success.
But times change and now we’re on the third generation of Mini hatchback. Before the Cooper S used to be the top dog, then they added the John Cooper Works pack. Now the JCW is its own model sitting at the top of the regular production model tree (there’s a limited GP at the very top usually) and what a car it is!
Still fairly diminutive by modern hatchback standards, the JCW packs a 228bhp punch thanks to the four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which means 0-62mph is dealt with in 6.3 seconds on the way to a 146mph top speed – not bad for a little hot hatch! But the really impressive thing is the way this JCW tackles a set of twisty bends – it’s such huge fun you’ll be turning around just to drive them again!
For 2021 the JCW is brought in line with the newly facelifted Mini hatchback range, with an aggressive new front end, dark tinted lights front and rear and a whole host of new tech inside including a new digital display for the driver.
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