The reviews are going to start pouring in this week and Driver’s Republic has one of the first. Here’s an excerpt:
>It doesnâ€™t seem to matter whether the road is smooth or bumpy, flat or cambered, there’s always an intense tug-of-war between tyres and tarmac. The only thing you can do to minimise this behaviour is to leave the Sport button alone in an effort to keep the throttle response soft, but even then the steering wheel comes alive in your hands when the twin-scroll turbo spools up.
When it happens the temptation is to fight the car, pulling it back into line, but this only seems to make it worse, for the JCW decides to pull in the direction of your last steering input, which can make for some serious zigzag progress. Better then to stay calm, tense but not lock your forearms and try to get a grip on the front-end without over-correcting it.
>Itâ€™s a shame, for while thereâ€™s no doubt the JCW is blindingly rapid when stoked, its propensity to sniff around on bumps, cambers and white lines ultimately limits your point-to-point pace. It also makes you think twice about overtaking if the road is anything less than wide and smooth, which is a sure sign of too much torque steer in my book.
>Despite this unruly trait, once youâ€™re through the torque steer phase and up and running in the higher gears â€“ for the record thatâ€™s 3rd gear on smooth roads, 4th if the goingâ€™s bumpy â€“ the JCW is terrific fun. Actually, itâ€™s like that mate of yours whoâ€™s great fun to be around, but always seems to get you into trouble: you just canâ€™t help but drive the thing faster than is sensible whenever the opportunity presents itself. Thanks to the overboost function that happens to be most of the timeâ€¦
>I feel like a Luddite for criticising Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), but when push literally comes to shove it doesnâ€™t have the consistency, control or uninterrupted drive that a good mechanical limited-slip differential delivers. According to BMW engineers it is objectively better, being seconds quicker around the NÃ¼rburgring, but in the real world subjective feel counts for more, which leaves EDLC wanting.
A highly recommended read…
+ MINI JCW First Look / Driver’s Republic