I've never had more fun in a car than in my MINI JCW. It pulls hard from 2500-5000 RPMs, corners like no other, brakes instantly, and looks outstanding (mine's dark grey with a black roof). It's nice to be the envy of everyone on the road, especially others driving a Cooper or Cooper S. In fact, the sense of community with other MINI drivers is one of my favorite aspects of the car. I was fortunate enough to be in a financial situation where I could afford the JCW, and the slight performance increase (and I mean slight - it's not much) and exclusivity factor made the extra money worth it. HOWEVER, for anyone more sensible than I, the Cooper S is plenty fun and very much less expensive
John Cooper Works 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have a 2009 JCW I love how the car looks and drives. I currently have 96,000 miles on the vehicle, I am at the Mini Dealer every month at $1,000 dollars a pop. Do not buy this car if you are use to Honda/Acura reliability. It is a pleasure to drive, but expect expensive and frequent maintenance .
Sport Package ($1,500 -- includes 17-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Traction Control, xenon headlights); Premium Package ($1,250 -- includes multifunction steering wheel, anti-theft alarm system, chrome trim, automatic climate control); Interchange Yellow Cloth Leather ($1,000); Cold Weather Package ($500 -- includes heated power-folding mirrors with washer jets, heated front seats); Rear Park Distance Control ($500); Bluetooth and USB/iPod Adapter ($500).
1,598cc (98 cu-in)
Double overhead camshaft
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
172 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
177 @ 1,600
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 4.044, II = 2.371, III = 1.556, IV = 1.159, V = 0.852, VI = 0.672, R = 3.193, Final Drive = 3.685
Tricky to launch effectively with so much tire grip and so little torque. Easy to A) bog or B) light the tires. Best technique abuses the clutch. Shift throws feel long, but gearbox doesn't mind being hurried. Shift knob came off in my hand on one 1-2 shift (yikes).
Short, straight, confident. A lot of brake-induced suspension windup where the rear of the car "sinks" when releasing the brake pedal after a full-ABS stop.
Skid pad: Exemplary balance (nearly identical in both directions) and crazy levels of grip. Steering loads up, but it doesn't feel natural. ESP on breathes the throttle to maintain a smooth arc. Slalom: Amazing and trustworthy grip! Aggressive but not spooky turn-in. Adjustable rotation/attitude with throttle. Neither under- nor oversteers unless "told" to do so by driver. Plenty of power at the exit to pull it out of a four-wheel drift. Way more athletic than expected.