2009 Mini John Cooper Works
January 4th, 2009Written by Kevin "Crash" Corrigan Added January 4th, 2009
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Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Mini’s. In fact, I think my fascination goes back to something I witnessed as a child. You see, my Grandmother lived in Putney, London UK, just down the road from where Marc Bolan, the lead singer of the 70’s hit glam-rock group, Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex), crashed and died in his Mini with his girlfriend at the wheel. You might remember his songs, “Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Ride a White Swan” etc.
My Gran used to take me down the road to view the tree which he hit after going airborne over a hump-back bridge. It was always covered in flowers and messages, although some bright spark had carved into the bark, “Marc Bolan’s last big hit” (And you thought I had a warped sense of humor).
Anyway, I guess the image of that super quick little Mini was firmly planted in my head at that early age, and has basically stayed there ever since.
Of course, a few years back, when I first heard that BMW was planning the reintroduction of the Mini, as in, “The New Mini”, I was, shall we say, a little apprehensive!
Alex Issigonis did such a wonderful job designing the original that I simply couldn’t believe any company could to do justice to his creation with a retro version, even the mighty Bavarian Motor Works.
Boy, how wrong can you be? Not only is the BMW Mini the perfect reincarnation of Alex’s little wonder, but every time the company introduces a new model to the lineup, they surprise me even further!
The Mini Cooper came first, and that wowed me. Then they bowled me over with the Cooper S. Then, out comes the John Cooper Works Package as an option to the Cooper S and I start to wonder just how much power BMW could ram under the hood of a little Mini.
Now I know, because I’ve just spent a week in the new 2009 John Cooper Works. Oh yes, the Cooper S was good, the JCW package made that great, but, the genuine full works version is simply UNBELIEVABLE!!!
I had this little puppy out on a test track shortly after trying out the Subaru STI and the Mitsubishi EVO around the same course. Honestly, hand on heart, the Mini topped the Subaru, and was seriously chasing the EVO in the fun factor contest. Boy oh boy, this car is not only quick, but it goes around corners like I remember Scalelectric cars doing when I was a kid.
You simply point the car at a turn and wham bam, it goes around it and comes out the other side. It’s only then that you realize you didn’t lift your foot up off the accelerator pedal. I’ve called cars “glued to the road” before, and if that was true, then the guys at JCW are using some kind of magic superglue!
All this, from a 1.6L 4cylinder engine. Ok, fair enough, it does have a turbo, but even so, what a motor! Now I don’t know exactly who designed the new JCW, but I do know this, they did an incredible job stuffing 208 screaming ponies under the hood!
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