The visual changes from the new 2022 MINI JCW refresh are significant and aggressive. Those are the two words that we kept coming back to seeing the car the first time. And seeing them compared to the Cooper and Cooper S it’s clear that the MINI Design Team has worked hard to create a greater distinction between the normal line-up and the hottest MINIs.
As with the rest of the range the front of the car has been simplified by the reduction of the lower lights (which are now integrated into the standard LEDs). However unlike the rest of the range that features a body colored center crash structure, the JCW uses the typical hexagon pattern from top to bottom. That’s created the illusion of a larger intake (it’s not) and a more aggressive car (it is).
In some ways we actually prefer the Cooper S design as it’s more honest about the form vs function in the bumper. But the aesthetics of the 2022 JCW MINI are hard to argue with given the brand’s heritage. And if you don’t like the black mustache look of the Cooper S, the JCW fixes that by making the entire front portion black.
Around back we see MINI’s most aggressive take on a rear defuser we’ve ever seen in this generation. It’s not clear it’s functional but it clearly signals the car’s place on the performance ladder for the brand.
On the whole this is a one by MINI to further differentiate the JCW sub-brand through design. It’s a critique we’ve had since the very first factory JCW (the R56 JCW) was launched in 2008. In many ways this not only helps to pull apart the sub-brand but it clear hints at the future of JCW.