The Mini JCW is the raciest one in the family, and now it fights for a title
Words By: Vishal Joshi
Photography By: Tejas Bhagat
Paige: This is our shot, Zak.
Zak: I know.
Paige: But what if I screw up?
Zak: You won’t. Come on. You’re going to smash it tomorrow.
Paige: How do you know?
Zak: Because you’re a Knight. Wrestling is in your blood.
Paige: That’s not good. That makes it sound like hepatitis.
Zak: Yeah, it is. We’re riddled with wrestling. And there’s no cure.
Wonder what I am talking about? Or who’s Paige and Zak? Well, ever heard of a movie called ‘Fighting with my family’? Yeah? No? Well anyway, this movie is about a young wrestler named Paige (and mind you, it is a true story) who surprised herself and the wrestling world after she was crowned as the champion among the female performers, the Diva. But that’s not the point here. The thing is; she is different. In a way that she redefined the idea of Diva with her non-traditional look, which was a result of her rebellious attitude, and mainly, a good fighting ability; unlike all her predecessors who were just stunning and voluptuous models that the fans were used to.
So, the John Cooper Works (JCW) is to the entire range of the Mini, what Paige was for her family. Give me a minute or two to tell you why. Now, it has fought its position out to redoubtably be the most cogent Mini. And following are the reasons why....
For one, what makes it so special is the green hue it comes in; which is clearly spotted in the day, but after driving it for a couple of hours at night, you wouldn’t even know that you were driving a black car, well almost, since the contrast roof will peculiarly stand out to tell-a-tale that it is a green car indeed. Then the brake calipers, the mirror covers and the badging will also add to its sporty looks. You will also be given an option to put on some side skirts, sportier bumpers, a roof spoiler and centrally mounted chrome exhaust tips add a tinge of rebellious attitude to the JCW. With that facelift the Mini also gets a pair of bucket seats to sit almost below any car’s seating you see on Indian roads, except when there’s a supercar meet!
Speaking of, it is beefed up with a four-cylinder twin-scroll-turbocharged engine that is now mated to a new 8-speed torque-converter, which is really good! How do I know? That is because I did a good Pune-Mumbai-Pune drive in it and used all its driving modes that really divide the manners of the Mini in 3 different characters, needless to say, I barely came to Mid and even lower from Sport mode, which shrunk the time and distance between the aforesaid destinations.
Along the way, she kept going barrrr-pa-pa and all I did was just push back in the seat and use those extra horses of the JCW to plaster yet another series of smiles and sessions of Goosebumps on me! And while at it, I learned that the increase in numbers was not only paper but on my right foot as well.
My hands on the steering played the best median between all the power that the JCW had on platter and the entire body of the car. Whatever power was being juiced out of the Mini’s engine, which was further getting transferred to the wheels, my hands knew exactly where the wheels were going, spesh considering this is a front wheel driven car. Meaning? A powerful engine pulls the rear end of a rear wheel driven car out when accelerated in a turn; while a front wheel driven car pushes the car almost straight in the same situation. And the JCW, wasn’t going straight, it was right on the line my eyes were looking at. Didn’t feel that it was such a big task for such a small car indeed. And this is where I started noticing her redefined attitude.
But, it would not have been possible without the stiff spine...I mean the chassis and just rightly tuned suspension as well. However, this combination might make you feel the tiny bumps of the road (read expressway) and the edges of the speed breakers as well; but not as much as the passenger sitting next to you will spill the coffee. Yes! Mini has managed to hit that perfect point of tune that lets you race her (in closed environment) or cruise as well. And the steering wheel’s weight, the size, its grip, even the thickness helps loads to give inputs and hold on to that fast line as well.
So, after this short spin in the tiny JCW, I returned home to finally think of it as a car that is real. In a sense that it agrees that it might be pricey. But it has definitely got the worth to keep in the ‘driver’s seat’. And remember, it is here after fighting with its family for the same reason; which undoubtedly has redefined itself. No doubt that choosing the other sibling of it might make for a right decision on paper or in your balance sheet; but it is different. Exactly how Paige is, how she redefined the world of wrestling. And as The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) says, Even though this crazy wrestling world is a fictionalised world, the fans know a thousand per cent if you’re not being real. Alright? That guy just now, that was The Rock. The Rock is me. Dwayne Johnson. Just with the volume turned way up, the treble adjusted the bass. Same guy. So don’t worry about being the next me. Be the first you. And the JCW right here is definitely here to be the first ‘you’