The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.
The new Mini John Cooper Works is yours for R418 000.

 

By Dave Abrahams

Johannesburg - Dynamite, they say, comes in small packages; the same is true of any package bearing the JCW logo.

While the debate rages on as to whether anything a hand's breadth shorter than four metres qualifies as a Mini, it's unarguable that there is dynamite under the bonnet of this one - the new Mini John Cooper Works, released in South Africa this week.

Two turbocharged litres of it, churning out a quoted 170kW from 5200-6000 revs and 320Nm all the way from just off idle at 1250rpm to 4800; that's 20 percent more engine than before, rated for 10 percent more power and 23 percent more torque - on a car that weighs the same as its predecessor when specced the same.

The result is explosive acceleration - 0-100km/h in a claimed 6.3 seconds with the standard six-speed manual gearbox (two tenths quicker than the previous model) or 6.1 seconds (six tenths quicker than before) with the optional six-speed paddle-shift auto transmission.

Perhaps even more telling in a real-world scenario is BMW's claim that either variant will accelerate from 80-120km/h in 5.6 seconds.

BMW also lays claim to a 20 percent reduction in nominal fuel-consumption, quoting 6.7 (manual) and 5.7 (automatic) litres per 100km in the (admittedly unrealistic) EU combined cycle. The big difference, apparently, is down to the auto's idle-stop function.

The manual 'box also has a new tweak, especially noticeable when driving hard. A speed sensor raises the engine revs to match input shaft speed - yes, Cyril, the manual blips its own throttle on downshifts!

All of which is balanced by uprated suspension, electric power steering and specially-developed Brembo sports brakes with red-painted four-piston fixed callipers all round, behind special 17 inch alloys (18 inch rims are an option).

DRESSED TO IMPRESS

The new Mini JCW looks the part, too, with a deeper front apron that has additional air-intakes where the 'standard' Mini has foglights, side sills, a distinctive rear diffuser treatment and a JCW rear spoiler.

The special LED headlights incorporate white indicators, and the grille, wheel-arch trims and side scuttles are all unique to this model - as are the JCW logo on the tailgate, and the sports exhaust with special tailpipes.

Inside, there are special JCW sports seats in a mix of fabric and Dinamica microfiber, a multifunction steering wheel, JCW gear lever, special cockpit displays and central instrument display trim, stainless-steel pedals and a special, very dark grey headliner.

Bells and whistles include dual-zone aircon, an audio system with USB and auxiliary ports, a dynamic stability programme with traction control, an electronic diff-lock and adaptive damping.

The rotary drive modes controller - switching between Sport mode, the default Mid mode and eco-friendly Green mode - re-calibrates the ambient lighting and the central instrument display as well as the adaptive damping maps and the shift points on auto-transmission models.

As usual with BMW products, the options catalogue is a magnum opus in its own right, from special finishes, heatable seats, a glass roof and premium audio by Harman Kardon to internet connectivity, predictive navigation, real-time traffic radar, and a suite of driver and parking aids, which can drive up the cost of your Mini John Cooper Works considerably from:

BASE PRICES

Mini John Cooper Works - R418 000

Mini John Cooper Works AT - R440 000

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