Auto Express got behind the wheel of the new JCW Cooper S automatic recently and came away less than impressed. Here’s an excerpt:

>Under the bonnet is the manual car’s 1.6-litre engine. Although it features an uprated supercharger, performance air filter and modified head, the auto’s torque converter drops output by 7bhp to 203bhp. And unlike VW’s DSG, the MINI’s conventional six-speed auto not only drains power, but is slow to change gear, too.

>So while the 0-62mph sprint takes 7.3 seconds (against the manual’s 6.6), the lethargic box masks the beefy engine’s considerable verve. Despite having Adaptive Transmission Control, which adjusts to your driver style over time, response never feels sharp.

AE doens’t pull any punches with their conclusion as well. You can read the full article here:

[ MINI Cooper S Works Auto ] Auto Express

And for the record we’ve officially given up hope of MINI USA ever offering the MCSa JCW kit in the US market.