Mini and Mini Clubman John Cooper Works (2008): first official pictures

Published: 24 February 2008

Just take it in for a moment. That’s the Mini John Cooper Works you’re staring at, all 208bhp of it. Mini will unveil this steroidal version of the already beefy Cooper S at Geneva 2008 before opening the books in July, so get saving. 

The Mini JCW extracts an extra 33bhp over the standard Cooper S by dumping the regular turbocharger and strapping on a bigger, twin-scroll unit. The air filter and exhaust get a tinkle too – the JCW’s twin central tailpipes have noticeably more girth, which should enhance the soundtrack.

So, what are you waiting for? Give me the Mini JCW’s stats.

Can do. Using a leaden right foot to coax the overboost function, which briefly summons an extra 14lb ft of torque over the standard 192lb ft, the JCW will sprint to 62mph in 6.5 seconds.

It’ll top out at 148mph, giving Mini the perfect opportunity to squeeze a couple more numbers onto the dinner plate-proportioned central speedo – it now reads 160mph, ten more than lowlier versions. Hmm.

And if it’s a pub stat you’re after, get this: the Mini JCW produces 132bhp per litre from its turbocharged 1.6. That’s a good one to bore Civic Type-R owners with.

And all this while returning over 40mpg, Mini claims, but what are the chances of that?

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the Mini Clubman John Cooper Works

Wow. So what other changes are there?

The JCW debuts Mini’s Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) system, which allows the front wheels to spin slightly when you’re caning it, before handing over to the standard DSC if things get out of hand. They can both be fully switched off too, in which case you’re free to slide around to your heart’s content, aided only by the standard limited slip diff.

It’s all pretty standard upgrade stuff after that really. You know the drill; sportier 17-inch rims stretched over bigger, bright red brake calipers; suspension dropped by 10mm; stiffer springs; a few JCW badges and a more aggressive body kit. Expect a pair of deep bucket seats in the front as well.

A six-speed manual shifter is the only gearbox option and, as ever, power is driven through the front wheels.

And do I spot a Mini Clubman there?

Ah, we were hoping you wouldn’t notice that. Interesting looking thing, isn’t it? Looks like a ladybird to our eyes.

The JCW Clubman is like phoning for Batman and getting Robin instead – it still has the utility belt and a cape, but it’s all a bit, well, embarrassing. The extra weight means it’s slightly slower to 62mph (6.8 seconds), and the length will blunt the handling ever so slightly. From our experience with the Clubman though, it might offer a better ride compared to the hatch. And if you must have that bit extra space and another door, there it is.

The Mini John Cooper Works will set you back £20,500, or an extra £1200 on top of that for its hilarious Clubman sidekick.