If you’re aiming for a Mini but would prefer it to be the most competent and most powerful Mini ever built, let your choice fall on the Mini John Cooper Works Hatchback. Keep reading for more.
The Mini Hatchback is a combination of words one probably doesn’t expect to hear every day. Yet, the car is very real and an embodiment of what the company is capable of when it comes to redefining the term “pocket rocket.” The hatch is based on the standard 3-door Mini, but has a number of improvements stored between its two bumpers. The most impressive one is a 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder engine that generates 228 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque thanks to BMW TwinPower turbo technology. Keep reading for more.
Everything That’s Better
As a result of the reworked engine, the Hatchback can go from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 6.1 seconds with the six-speed Steptronic automatic that benefits from launch control, and in a slightly slower 6.3 seconds with the standard, six-speed manual transmission. The automatic can either be shifted normally or with paddles on the steering wheel. With the automatic rev matching making for faster and smoother shifts with the manual. Whichever transmission option you go for, there is no way you are going to make a bad decision.
Particularly Interesting Features
The Mini Hatchback boasts Brembo 330mm rotors up front, coupled with four piston fixed calipers that provide eye-popping stopping power. Their sheer visual appearance is imposing, especially when coupled with the standard 17-inch alloy wheels as well as the optional 18-inch ones. The exhaust system was also specially tuned to provide a rich tone when used alongside automatic rev matching. The result is a nice purr that’s loud enough to provide a hint of sportiness, but quiet enough to stay civilized. Safety was also a big concern for the company, which is why the Mini Hatchback incorporates such safety features as Performance Control, Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DST). All these electronic driver assistance features are standard and can be disconnected if required.
Mini Driving Modes as Standard
Mini Driving Modes are now an integral part of the Mini handling mandate and can be selected by a rotary switch near the shifter. You can choose between Sport, Mid and Green, all of which affect the response of the engine and transmission as per the driver’s preference. These are no mere selling points, mind you – there’s an actual difference to be felt in the real world. This is most obvious at highway speeds; there’s a sensation of more power available, especially when you make the transition from Green. Similarly, the handling of the Hatchback is impressive. This is mostly thanks to a combination of a low centre of gravity, short wheelbase, wide stance and standard sports suspension. As a result, you’re able to make the most of what the car has to offer because you’re aware of exactly where the wheels are at every moment.
Both Standard and Exceptional at the Same Time
What’s true in the case of the standard Mini Cooper should, by default, also be true in the case of the Mini Hatchback, right? Well, here’s the thing: while the Mini Cooper is a legendary car and an iconic city driver altogether, the Hatchback is a whole new creature. While it does look an awful lot like a Mini on the outside, it’s general mode of conduct – especially when pressed hard –resembles that of a nimble sprinter more than a city driver. Combined with the usual quirkiness of Mini’s styling decisions, the end result is a car that’s as much a pleasure to drive as it is a joy to observe while sitting still.