Racing Through The Suburbs in the MINI John Cooper Works
Fun! Fun! SO MUCH FUN! Should I add a couple more “funs” to that sentence? Maybe, but I really should caution – I said “fun” not practical nor comfortable.
I absolutely loved tooling around the neighborhood. It was more fun taking my 2021 MINI John Cooper Works on short freeway jaunts near home, but I remarked frequently how much this would not be my choice for any type of long road trip. Sitting still, the seats were very comfortable, but on the road, I think I felt every “crack” or joint in the roadway. The “ultimate driving machine dynamics” were definitely on board in terms of the vehicle launching forward at the touch of my foot on the accelerator, but the lack of substantial curb weight did not provide for a smooth comfort-laden launch like when I am in a vehicle from the mother company, BMW.
With 301 turbo-charged horses nestled under the tiny hood coupled with an incredible 331 lb ft of torque that’s more than double the power that most other vehicles the size and weight of the MINI would provide. In fact, the MINI GP sets a new benchmark for the small car segment.
Fun On The Outside, Fun Behind The Wheel
Even more impressive in terms of “launch-ability” is the rapid succession of gear changes one experiences when the throttle is fully engaged upon “take-off.” The eight-speed sport automatic with the Integrated Torsen Mechanical Limited Slip Differential adds to the excitement when one punches the gas pedal – to the point that I would never recommend doing so when on any type of a slippery surface – that is unless fish-tailing is the ultimate goal. It would definitely be a lot of fun on a deserted frozen lakebed, but “not-so-much” on any roadway, whether there is additional traffic or not.
We did not do anything all that daring in the John Cooper MINI, but that didn’t stop my lovely wife from telling the fleet-management people she did not think providing me with another vehicle with a built-in roll bar would be a good plan. “Hey, the roll bar is standard.” No additional charge was built in to the the overall $45,750 MSRP of the MINI. Simply, an added safety factor just in case the driver proved not to be a seasoned veteran road-warrior.
Attention To Detail Inside and Out
The interior of the John Cooper Works GP MINI is very striking with the sexy red seat belts, the dynamically striking digital display instrument cluster, the media display which provided all the information the driver would ever need, whether on that short jaunt around town or if they did decide to venture forth on a cross-country journey (not for these “old fragile bones” though). Anyone sitting behind behind the MINI at night will appreciate the British Flag motif displayed when the tail lights are illuminated.
I can sum it up by saying I was absolutely in love with all the aspects of the MINI which made it a perfect “fourth vehicle” for the family. After the large luxury vehicle purchased for comfort, the large SUV or pick-up truck purchased for utility, and the economical hybrid or electric vehicle purchased for economy around town. It is the perfect vehicle for fun, high spirited driving! And the price tag for something that is a MINI version of an Ultimate Driving Machine is not bad either!