LANDING A WORKS DRIVE (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 129
How do you put a price on fun? It's not always an easy question to answer and we've driven several supercars that aren't any more smile-inducing than a hotted-up shopping hatch. Manufacturers spend millions on developing hugely competent machines that just seem to lack the grin factor. One way to virtually guarantee yourself a smile broad enough to post a wok into is to search out a used MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works edition or, to save mileage on my keyboard, the JCW. With a punchy 1.6-litre turbo engine, livewire steering and a chassis that really puts you in control, this is a car that knows how to show you a good time. Here's how to find one that still has a lot of entertaining left in it.
Modelsword count: 7
3dr hatch (1.6 petrol [Cooper S JCW])
Historyword count: 190
The Cooper badge carries with it a certain weight of heritage; of giant-killing exploits on the Monte Carlo Rally and bank heists in Turin. Things went a bit quiet for Cooper between 1971 and 1990 when the original hot Mini enjoyed its swansong, but the badge was dusted down and resurrected on the R53 version of the 'New' MINI from BMW in 2001. The car we look at here is the second generation R56 MINI which arrived in 2006. The Cooper S JCW edition made its debut in July 2008, arriving in UK dealerships priced at £20,500. In many ways, this marked the R56's coming of age as a sporting hatch and with 211bhp under the bonnet - and aftermarket potential for a whole lot more - the JCW quickly became a favourite not just of those who just wanted the swishest MINI, but also of those who found that blowing away a Ferrari F430 on a trackday just never gets old. It quickly won Auto Express' Best Hot Hatch award and many more followed. This generation was replaced by the all-new MINI 'F56' model at the start of 2014.
What You Getword count: 185
From the outside at least, there are lots of little tweaks to let passers by know you've bought the ultimate MINI. Chief amongst these are special 17" alloy wheels, a more obvious giveaway than the John Cooper Works logos you'll find on the grille, the boot and the door trim. Anoraks may also spot the chromed finish for the side indicator grilles, fuel filler cap and door handles, while the honeycomb black radiator grille and body-coloured engine scoop also add a little bling. MINI also sold a Clubman estate version that was dressed very similarly and makes a great left field choice. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags - front, side and curtain - plus an Isofix child seat attachment at the rear and loads of electronic safety systems to keep you out of trouble. Apart from DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), these include ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution, Corner Braking Control and Hill Assist to stop you drifting backwards on uphill junctions. Remote central locking, an alarm and an immobiliser are of course standard fit. What To Look For (used_look)
To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227
Pictures (high res disabled)
Scoring (subset of scores)
Category: Sporting Cars
|Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.|