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 I’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 “attitude”, the body kit spoils the Mini’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 Cooper’s original concept cracked so successfully was the blend of modest power with maximum thrills. Unfortunately, the Cooper JCW doesn’t continue that formula.”

+ Mini Cooper John Cooper Works / Times of London