Mini John Cooper Works review - quick and engaging but suffering from middle-aged spread - Performance and 0-62mph time

The JCW is certainly fast and relatively sophisticated for a hot hatch but it’s doesn’t quite have the fun factor of its chief rival

Evo rating
Price
from £23,790
  • Performance, grip, refinement
  • Price, not as involving to drive as the Ford Fiesta ST

Performance and 0-62mph time

The John Cooper Works hatch and convertible are both powered by the same 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 228bhp and 236lb ft of torque. And until the JCW Countryman and Clubman hit the roads, that makes them the most powerful production Minis ever.

The JCW hatch goes from 0 to 62mph in 6.1sec for the eight-speed automatic and 6.3sec for the manual. That puts the JCW ahead of most of its competition; the manual JCW hatch is 0.2sec faster than the Ford Fiesta ST. Both the manual and automatic JCWs have an impressive top speed of 153mph. 

The Convertible is 100kg more than the hatchback and, as such, its performance figures aren’t quite as impressive. The manual reaches 62mph from a standstill in 6.6sec, with a maximum speed of 150mph. The automatic soft-top is 0.1sec quicker to 62mph, but it has a 1mph slower top speed. 

The latest JCW feels a significant step up in performance terms over the last generation. The 23 per cent rise in torque is most noticeable, although the electronic limited-slip diff can’t always distribute power across the axle effectively with the increased grunt. For the most part though, the new JCW never feels anything other than rapid.

Most Popular

Lotus Type 131 production confirmed for this year
Type 131 render
Lotus

Lotus Type 131 production confirmed for this year

All-new sports car to rival the iconic Porsche 911 and set the blueprint for Lotus's future models
25 Jan 2021
Naturally aspirated engines – best of the breed from 4-pots to V12s
Naturally aspirated engines - group
Supercars

Naturally aspirated engines – best of the breed from 4-pots to V12s

The naturally aspirated engine is capable of stirring emotions a turbocharged motor can only dream of. We celebrate the best of the breed.
22 Jan 2021
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS: history, specs and buying guide
Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS buying guide
Ferrari

Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS: history, specs and buying guide

With a little help from a certain private eye, the 308 GTB/GTS would become Ferrari’s best-selling model. Here’s our essential guide
25 Jan 2021