Cool car of the day: Turbocharged Mini John Cooper Works

The new Mini John Cooper Works model carries a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, which produces 228 horsepower.

Just because the Volkswagen GTI has been winning car of the year honors for 2015, don’t think for a minute that its supremacy in the pocket rocket department will go unchallenged.

In fact, the BMW Group is aiming squarely at the GTI with the new Mini John Cooper Works, which was shown at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The most powerful Mini ever, it carries a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, which produces 228 horsepower. That’s enough to propel the Mini JCW from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 150 miles per hour.

With all that power under the hood, Mini adds a newly developed Brembo sports brake system; exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works Race Spoke light alloy wheels and electromechanical power steering with Servotronic. And, of course, there are all manner of acronyms, too: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) and Performance Control; with Dynamic Damper Control optional.

On the appearance front, the Mini JCW features 11 different paint options, including a new hue called Rebel Green that’s only available on this model. Other unique John Cooper Works features include a model-specific front apron with large cooling air inlets; distinctive side sill and rear apron design; rear spoiler; LED headlamps with white direction indicators; wheel arch surround with distinctive contours; and a radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate; sports exhaust system with special tailpipes.

The dash and panache carries over into the interior as well. Standard on the new model are John Cooper Works-specific sports seats in Dinamica/fabric with integrated headrests; special entry sills; steering wheel; gear lever or selector lever; cockpit displays, central instrument display and car key in model-specific design; pedals and driver footrest in stainless steel and anthracite roof liner.

Between the interior and the exterior, everyone will know this isn’t just your average Mini.

We’re big fans of cars that are fun to drive here at the SPEED blog. We’re also big fans of cars that are efficient and cars that challenge the established industry leaders. For all those reasons, the Mini John Cooper Works is our Cool Car of the Day.