With the Works

With our MINI in for a service, I was extremely lucky to snag a brand-spanking MINI John Cooper Works for the day as a loaner.


The John Cooper Works is not a regular Cooper S. It’s drivetrain is thoroughly reengineered with a larger, stronger turbo, running higher boost pressure; different pistons, valves; larger air intake and exhaust; strengthened gearbox; some clever electronics to keep the added power & torque in check and much larger brakes to slow it down.

Compared to our ‘regular’ Cooper S, this thing is an absolute animal.

It pops and crackles between shifts and on downshifts, the turbo whistles as it spools up and the wastegate whistles and chatters on over run. What an incredible engine! Very tempted to take a look at getting one when the time comes to trade up. I cannot begin to imagine how good this thing would be around a track. Out on the road, it’s perhaps a little compromised, if only because I’d probably lose my licence within a week of taking delivery! The rate at which it gains speed through each gear is simply incredible, mountains of torque available to keep things moving with minimal fuss through the heavy commute that was my test route. Seriously tempted.


Thanks to the guys at Col Crawford for allowing me the opportunity to experience this fantastic little car.