Updated 2021 Mini John Cooper Works revealed

Mini’s performance model gets a light refresh, but few mechanical upgrades

Mini has officially revealed the facelifted version of its Mini John Cooper Works, joining the wider range with some subtle styling and tech updates. The updated JCW is already in production at Mini’s Oxford assembly plant, and is priced from £28,815 for the three-door hatch, rising to £32,215 for the cabriolet. 

New for 2021 are a set of fresh bumpers front and rear, with a larger painted grille surround, blockier graphics and GP3-like detailing around the lower secondary surfaces. Tinted head and tail lights from the GP3 have also been carried across, so too a new selection of colour and trim options.

> Mini Electric Pacesetter revealed as Formula E pace car – previews all-electric John Cooper Works

Inside there’s a new instrument pack derived from that seen in the GP3 and Mini Electric, pairing a larger colour display with a physical needle to one side underneath the same glass covering. To make full use of the new, more configurable display, Mini has also introduced a new steering wheel, while the dash itself is now marginally different to before. Mini’s take on BMW’s operating system has also been refreshed, with a housing around the embedded screen.

Despite the new face, Mini has not applied much in the way of technical upgrades to the new JCW, sharing the same turbocharged B48 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 231bhp and 236lb ft of torque. This same engine is used broadly throughout the Mini and BMW range, even appearing in the Toyota Supra and Morgan Plus 4, and like in all its applications has a broad torque curve peaking at just 1450rpm, making it feel more gutsy on the road than its figures might suggest. 

Both a six-speed manual and eight-speed torque converter style automatic transmission are able to be fitted, which sends power to the front wheels exclusively. The John Cooper Works also has an uprated four-piston brake package compared to lesser Cooper S models, and rides on standard-fit 17-inch wheels – 18s are an option.

The chassis is also otherwise unchanged, finding its base in the UKL platform that also underpins front-wheel drive BMW models featuring the usual MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension designs. Passive dampers are standard fit on the JCW, with adaptive units relegated to the options list.

Recommended

All-electric Mini John Cooper Works in the works
All-electric Mini John Cooper Works front 3/4
Mini John Cooper Works hatchback

All-electric Mini John Cooper Works in the works

Mini is to expand its EV range with a future hot JCW model, making it one of the first ‘real’ EV hot hatchbacks
2 Dec 2020

Most Popular

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better
Mercedes S-class – front tracking
Mercedes

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better

It may be slipping out of fashion, but the institution that is Mercedes’ S-class is only getting stronger
22 Jul 2021
Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110

Lotus's first all-new car for a quarter of a century comes AMG power and sub-£60,000 price tag
13 Jul 2021
New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback – front tracking
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster

After months of tech insights, we now finally get to see the all-new Audi RS3 in its finished form
19 Jul 2021