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New Mini gets the Works

John Cooper Works package makes most powerful Mini Cooper ever

Published: January 3, 2015, 9:00 AM
Updated: June 19, 2018, 9:04 AM

2015 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Hardtop

Mini has announced the John Cooper Works version of the new Mini Cooper hatchback. The most powerful Mini Cooper ever, according to Mini, is set for its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in January 2015.

Among the notable accents on the 2015 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Hardtop are an exclusive high-spoiler, and rear diffuser around bright dual exhaust tips. - 2015 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Hardtop rear view

JCW versions are not new for Mini models, but the news is a newly-developed direct-injected 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine (with variable valve timing and variable camshaft control), torquing up the front wheels with 236 lb.ft. at just past idle all the way up to nearly 5000 rpm.

Those outputs are up 10 and 14 percent, respectively, over the Cooper S model, and can propel the little hardtop to 100 km/h in about 6.5 seconds (with the six-speed shiftable automatic transaxle). The manual, although making the car marginally slower in acceleration tests, features rev-matching software to smooth out downshifts. Braking ability is entrusted to a Brembo fixed caliper system.

Of interest is the use of equal-length driveshafts up front to all but eliminate torque steer under full power.

Body add-ons help stability (most notably the high rear spoiler and rear diffuser) and air-flow to the bits that need it — engine, brakes, etc.

The 2015 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Hardtop features exclusive racing style seats done up in leather and microfibre (Dinamica). - 2015 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Hardtop interior

The interior is naturally Mini, with the cues we’ve come to expect (large, centre-dash-mounted round display system for the multi-information system, for example, and toggle switches arrayed along the bottom of the centrestack), but it also features a dose of JCW upgrades (such as stainless steel pedals, racing-style seats incorporating a variety of materials, leather steering wheel and shifter, and bright entry sill plates, among others). Exclusive 17-inch wheels, a red grille blade and dual bright exhaust tips announce the JCW package to the outside world.

A full suite of driver assistance systems is also on board — dynamic cruise control, collision and obstacle warnings, park distance control and a rearview camera.