What is it?
This is the performance hero in the third-generation Mini range. We’ve already tested the Mini John Cooper Works equipped with an automatic transmission, but now we’ve got behind the wheel of the bigger-selling six-speed manual.
Like its predecessor, the front-wheel-drive John Cooper Works is based around the three-door Cooper S, albeit with a reboot of the standard car’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine underneath the more aggressively styled front bodywork.
The engine produces 228bhp at 5200-6000rpm - a 39bhp increase over the latest Cooper S - and 236lb ft of torque from 1250-4800rpm, representing an improvement of 29lb ft over the base car.
An electronic differential lock is fitted to assist the front axle’s attempts to effectively channel all that power to the road and shuffle torque as it deems necessary. The JCW also has retuned suspension and uprated Brembo brakes compared with the Cooper S, as well as a sports exhaust that emits a potent burble.