Mini was absolutely right to leave well enough alone where the Cooper S Works 210’s suspension settings were concerned.
It could have made passive sports springs standard fit, or else fiddled with the car’s state of tune just for the sake of fiddling.
But it resisted the temptation and has produced a car here – tested in absolutely standard specification, remember – whose handling represents the firm at its best.
To drive, the Works 210 is an eccentric, vivacious supermini that’s agile, immediate and energetic in everything it does – and compelling in plenty of ways.
But unlike other performance Minis we’ve driven, there’s a sense of well-judged equilibrium to the spring rates, damper set-up, ride fluency, grip level and rate of handling response. There’s also a truly pleasing, lively and playful sense of balance to the cornering manners that those more expensive, over-sprung, over-tyred model siblings often fail to reproduce.
Like all Minis, the Works 210 is fairly reactive in how it rides over a typical B-road, but it doesn’t ever pitch and rebound over the bumps in a discouraging way, and it quite easily maintains a cradled, settled sense of composure.