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Mini’s fastest ever model offers dynamic racing experience

Being small doesn’t mean you’re not strong. The same rule can be applied to the Mini John Cooper Works, a high-performance Mini.
Built for the track, the new Mini JCW, which debuted in Korea last Friday, goes the extra mile in performance compared to the previous model, positioning itself as the fastest and the most powerful car in the Mini family.

The car is the second JCW model that Mini has introduced since BMW, Mini’s parent company, bought John Cooper Works in 2006. The acquired firm had been producing tuning parts and accessories for Mini, and was bought to create Mini’s performance brands like BMW M. 

The new Mini JCW, unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January, shares its powertrain with the BMW 225i, which means it has 231 horsepower. It also boasts 33 kilogram meters of torque. 

With a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the new Mini JCW cars can go from 0 to 100 kph in 6.1 seconds, with a maximum speed of 246 kph.

New Mini JCWs accelerate around the track at the BMW Driving Center on Yeongjongdo Island, Incheon, Friday (Mini Korea)
New Mini JCWs accelerate around the track at the BMW Driving Center on Yeongjongdo Island, Incheon, Friday (Mini Korea)

Fuel consumption of the highest-performing Mini car in the combined cycle is 11.9 liters per 100 kilometers.

“The power and torque of the new Mini JCW were increased by 9 percent and 23 percent, respectively, compared with those of the previous JCW model,” Mini Korea said in a press release. 

In addition to improved performance for racing, the rich motorsport-inspired sound when the car accelerates boosts the fun of the driving experience. 

The performance-oriented car has a sporty look not only externally, but also internally. Inside, the black and red trim is designed to remind the driver that Mini cars with JCW badges are made for fun. The bolstered and quilted sports seats are also another difference from other Mini cars. 

To create a cult following for high-performing Minis in Korea, the company said it will run a “Mini driving academy” at the BMW Driving Center on Yeongjongdo Island, Incheon, targeting prospective customers who have long waited for a racing experience. 

Prices for the Mini JCW cars start from 48.9 million won ($43,500), the highest price tag in the Mini family. The company developed financial programs to offer different buying options for customers. 

“With more diversity being added into the Mini car line-up, the company will be able to achieve its yearly target of 7,000 units, Joo Yang-ye, the company’s brand management and sales director said, raising hopes for the success of the fastest and strongest Mini cars. 

Mini has been quite successful in Korea over the past decade. Since its debut in 2005, sales have grown about 27 percent per year on average as the market leader in the premium small car market here. 

Mini was the seventh-largest foreign car brand in sales last year, selling 6,572 units. Korea is the ninth-biggest market in the world for Minis, the company said. 

By Seo Jee-yeon (