MINI John Cooper Works (2008–2013)

Model History

July 2008

Oxford factory built John Cooper Works blends road going MINI Cooper S with running gear of MINI CHALLENGE racer for £20,995. 211PS, 280Nm in 1,130kg car. 148mph, 0-60 in 6.2, 165g/km so 2008/09 Band D tax of £145; 2009/10 Band H tax of £175. Exzcellent 40.0mpg combined. (6th gear gives 25mph per 1,000rpm.)

160mph dinnerplate sized speedometer. Explosive performance tamed by electronic diff lock, electronic traction control and DSC, but ETC and DSC can be switched off.

MINI unveiled the world’s fastest small premium cabriolet at the Geneva International Motor Show on 03 March 2009. The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible took centre stage at the event and is on sale in the UK from 28 March 2009, priced at £23,470 OTR.

Featuring the same high performance engineering modifications as the Hatch model carrying the John Cooper Works badge, the Convertible’s 1.6-litre twin scroll-turbocharged engine produces 211 hp and up to 280 Nm peak torque with Overboost deployed.

JCW Hatch 211PS, 260Nm*, 148mph, 0-60 6.2, 40.9mpg, 165g/km, ins 17E

JCW Convertible 211PS 260Nm*, 146mph, 0-60 6.6, 39.8mpg 169g/km, ins 18E *280 Nm with Overboost

Standard kit list of every MINI John Cooper Works Convertible includes a bespoke John Cooper Works Alcantara steering wheel, sport seats, John Cooper Works floor mats and glossy piano black interior. Air conditioning is fitted as standard, as it is now on every new MINI.

Unique lightweight 17” alloy wheels in Cross-spoke CHALLENGE design, shod with Run-flat tyres, feature on the exciting new Convertible. A John Cooper Works Aero kit is standard and the tuning brand’s logo is positioned on the boot, grille, brakes and door sills.

Built entirely in the UK. Several points of operation at MINI Plant Swindon and Oxford have been modified. BMW Group invested in new assembly stations for the Convertible tailgate at Plant Swindon. At Plant Oxford, the bodyshop installed and commissioned all necessary facilities and infrastructure to meet the high quality standards and geometrical accuracy for the Convertible body. Associates in final assembly have transformed all work areas to integrate production of the new Convertible efficiently, and are now building the complete MINI model line-up once again on a single assembly line.

June 2010

MINI UK announced that from August 2010 all MINI models will bear fresh design features both inside and out. At the front, a new bumper with a lower air intake serves not only to update MINI’s face but also to improve pedestrian protection courtesy of larger deformation zones. New style fog lamps adorn either side of the air intake which on MINI One and Cooper features a black cross bar to emphasize the car’s low, wide stance. On the Cooper S two purposeful air intakes feed the brake discs and enhance the sporting intent of this model.

The round MINI headlights display new light elements, with optional Xenon lamps featuring Adaptive headlights (bendy lights) as an option. A new side indicator has a distinctive design of concentric circles and sits in the redesigned side gill housings.

At the rear, a new bumper the tail and brake lights are now LEDs while the brake lights use dynamic intensity lighting that varies according to the deceleration force applied. Pulsating light affords following drivers an opportunity to gauge the urgency of the braking manoeuvre. The LED design also gives a distinctive light design at night. Integrated reversing and rear fog lamps are also new and are housed in the rear bumper.

Along with five new dynamic paint colours and five new alloy wheel designs the new MINI models are subtlely different, yet immediately distinctive.

The interior of all MINI models has undergone a significant makeover too. The centre console, the steering wheel and the air conditioning and audio controls have all been modified to enhance the elegance and premium quality of the MINI range. They also serve to add functionality and improved ergonomics for MINI owners. Apart from the practical benefits of the new interiors, the ambience is further enhanced by new materials and colour lines. In total there are six new upholstery choices, three new fascia options and two new interior colour lines for door and side panels.

The MINI John Cooper Works and JCW Clubman have not been left out of the changes. For the first time a MINI model will be offered with an Inverse colour option. It is Chili red with a contrasting colour for the roof and door mirrors. Complementing this unique and striking body treatment will be the option of Black Challenge alloy wheels, while inside the standard equipment includes anthracite instruments, a Chili red fascia, black lounge leather seats with red piping, red stitching on the gear-and hand-brake lever and red trim on the ignition key.

All radio systems in the refreshed MINI range are equipped with a CD player and AUX-in connection that supports MP3 players and features DAB radio standard across the MINI range with the exception of the MINI First model. The optional MINI Radio Visual Boost and MINI Navigation system use a 6.5” high resolution widescreen colour monitor in the centre of the dashboard and the redesigned navigation system now incorporates an much improved map display layout. The Centre console, meanwhile, houses Bluetooth hands-free phone preparation including a USB interface. These interacting technologies permit audio streaming from appropriate mobile devices and the display of album covers and innovative office functions. Apple iPod compatible videos can also be stored on the board monitor.

MINI Connected (optional) now offers owners of an Apple iPhone a range of functionality including web radio, which allows you to listen to any radio station in the world that has a web address, Google Local Search and Google Send to Car. The system can also receive RSS news feeds (such as Reuters, BBC, Channel 4, Yahoo , Google and many more) and uses a range of MINI services. Users can even call up Facebook and Twitter messages or play videos on the central display as well as send standard text messages. With the voice control option messages can be readout on a text-to-speech function.

May 2012

MINI John Cooper Works GP announced to go on sale in late 2012, restricted in numbers to 2,000. Lapped Nürburgring's Nordschleife in 8 min. 23 sec, beating the previous R53 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, by almost 19 seconds.

September 2012

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is the sportiest and fastest production model ever built. It will cost £28,790 in the UK with production limited edition to 2000 units will. Extensively equipped with John Cooper Works motor sport technology, it has an extensively modified four-cylinder turbo engine capable of developing 218PS, adjustable coilover suspension, an extra-powerful sports brake system and model-specific alloy wheels and sports tyres.

The balance between the engine, the suspension and the aerodynamics was fine-tuned during intensive testing on the Nürburgring North Loop (the old grand prix circuit), where the MINI John Cooper Works GP promptly clocked up a best lap time of 8:23 minutes - streets ahead of many big-name sports cars from higher segments. It has a 0-62 mph sprint time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 150mph.

The powerplant responds instantly to throttle commands and delivers maximum torque of 260NM from just 1750 rpm. For extra punch when accelerating, peak torque can be increased for short periods to 280Nm from 2,000 rpm, thanks to the overboost function. Maximum power of 218PS is delivered at 6,000 rpm. It is transferred to the wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Economy is 39.8mpg with CO2 of 165g/km. For the first time on a MINI, it features an individually adjustable coilover suspension, which allows ride height to be lowered by up to 20 millimetres. Among other things, this means the suspension set-up can be fine-tuned to different circuit conditions whenever the MINI goes out onto the track.

The low-weight 17-inch alloy wheels, again exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works GP, run on high-traction 215/40 R17 sports tyres. Optionally, standard-size 205/45 R17 tyres are available on the same wheels, offering a good sporty balance between performance and good handling in wet or low-temperature conditions. The 7.5 x 17 H2 ET45 wheels, which were specially developed for the MINI John Cooper Works GP, are derived from the MINI Challenge race car, and feature lightweight contours on flow-formed rims.

What does a MINI John Cooper Works (2008 – 2013) cost?

List Price from £25,635
Buy new from £20,710
Contract hire from £274.37 per month