Top or no top? That is the question. No, not that top. We know it’s summer, but leave your shirts on, people. We’re referring to those of you who’ve been awaiting what Mini’s had planned for its John Cooper Works releases this year.
So, what’s new then? The look has been slightly altered. On the face, you’ll now find a larger hexagonal grille. The air intakes have increased in size as well, allowing for more cooling for the brakes. Units now get the bumper strip in the car’s body color, and the side skirts and rear diffuser have been redesigned as well.
Changes to the interior are fewer but just as impactful. Inside, there’s a new central instrument cluster that features an 8.8-inch display. You’ll also be sitting in John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests, while the steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather and featuring redesigned buttons should continue to be a joy to hold.
Speaking of the tiller, there’ll be quite a bit for you to handle once you’re behind the wheel. Both the convertible and hard-top Mini John Cooper Works come packing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo engine with up to 231hp and 320Nm of torque. There’s a slight difference in performance between the two vehicles, though.
Those figures above are good enough for a 0-100kph sprint of 6.3 seconds if you opt of the standard 6-speed manual transmission in the hard-top. That time is cut down further to just 6.1 seconds if you choose the 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, too. The convertible is slightly behind, however, doing 6.6 and 6.5 seconds with the two transmission setups, respectively.
Mini also claims the optional adaptive suspension has been improved to provide a better balance between performance and comfort. Expect better precision and dampening, the brand says. Four-piston Brembo brakes also behind the 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, which you can upgrade to 18-inch ones for a little extra.
So, again we ask, top or no top? We’re leaning toward the latter. There’s really no substitute for a nice, open-air drive down the expressways—especially now during COVID times.