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.

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