We’ve been a little down on the new automatic gearbox in the JCW (and Cooper S) recently. While it’s a huge improvement over the previous automatics in MINIs, it delivers less driver engagement as compared to the manual. That doesn’t mean it’s not fast of course. In fact if you want the fastest MINI possible, you’ll want to check the automatic box on the order form. However getting the most out of the automatic takes more than just putting your foot down. There’s a process and a surprising catch to using MINI’s launch control.
The process to engage MINI’s launch control is a bit more complicated than you might expect:
1. Shift gear selector to Sport Automatic (down to “D” and left to “M/S”)
2. Engage Sport Mode
3. Engage DTC
4. Left foot on brake
5. Right foot on full throttle (must click past overboost button below pedal)
6. A checkered flag will appear in the speedometer
7. Driver now has 3 seconds to release the brake and… LAUNCH!
The result of this will be a MINI that sprints towards its top speed wth the best possible grip and shifts. However there’s a catch. MINI is limiting the use of the system to 100 times over the life of the car. Furthermore launch control is only recommended by MINI once 2,000 miles engine break-in period is complete.