Andrew Frankel from the London Times took the factory R56 JCW car on a first drive recently and was not very keen about this latest hot entry from Oxford:
“This could just be one of the most exciting cars to hit the road since . . . well, since the original Mini Cooper handbrake-turned onto the scene. Sadly, though, the reality is anything but. Instead of being the best sporting Mini ever created, it is the least appealing Iâ€™ve driven.”
And he goes on…
“There are a few small problems you could overlook: the interior is barely distinguishable from that of the standard Cooper S, the new badges look cheap, and in the quest for more visual â€œattitudeâ€, the body kit spoils the Miniâ€™s pert lines.
These, however, are mere niggles. The real issue is that this Cooper leaves a smile missing from your face. What Issigonis and Cooperâ€™s original concept cracked so successfully was the blend of modest power with maximum thrills. Unfortunately, the Cooper JCW doesnâ€™t continue that formula.”
+ Mini Cooper John Cooper Works / Times of London