What is it?
The Cooper S Works 210 is, according to Mini, the sweet spot that sits between the well-rounded Cooper S and the focused but fierce John Cooper Works. The recipe used to create the new model is relatively simple, and one we’ve seen before in the form of the limited run Mini 210 Challenge Edition.
Essentially, Mini has taken the standard three-door Cooper S, added a new John Cooper Works pro tuning kit, a tasty free-flowing exhaust (both fitted at the dealer, post registration) and a whole host of aerodynamic upgrades.
As the name suggests, these simple modifications have resulted in an increase in power, with the 210bhp Works packing 18bhp more than the standard S on which it is based. However, despite this added power, Mini has opted to leave the chassis untouched – a potentially clever move considering how well suited the standard Cooper S is to being used as daily hot hatch.
Aesthetically, the upgrades are rather subtle, with the aforementioned John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit and 17in alloy wheels the only indicators that this is an all-new model.
What's it like?
The first thing you'll notice is that it's loud. Unlike conventional sports exhausts, the Pro Tuning kit JCW system comes equipped with a Bluetooth remote that allows the driver to open and close the exhaust valves on the move. With them closed, the volume is similar to that of a standard Cooper S, but with them open, the noise is more reminiscent of a Jaguar F-Type.
Unsurprisingly, flap-open mode is reserved for track use, but even with the exhaust in standard mode it’s still a wonderfully characterful system, popping, cracking and gurgling off the throttle. Combined with a rather antisocial blow off value, the 210 feels rather extreme, even when you’re just cruising around town.
However, once you're out onto country roads it quickly becomes apparent that despite the added noise, the 210 feels just as refined as the standard Cooper S - it's good enough for us to agree with Mini that the 210 really is the range sweet spot. The added power endows it with rapid real-world pace, but it’s not enough to overwhelm the front tyres. No official 0-62mph times are quoted by Mini, but we’d estimate it's somewhere around 6.4-6.5sec.