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2021 MINI John Cooper Works gets a facelift

The MINI John Cooper Works has been given a makeover that includes styling tweaks and extra tech

  • Exterior and interior styling upgrades 
  • Unchanged 2.0-litre petrol engine
  • Revised prices yet to be confirmed 

The MINI John Cooper Works (JCW), the brand’s flagship hot hatch, has been updated for 2021. The JCW benefits from cosmetic styling upgrades and some new standard equipment, following the revised MINI hatch earlier this year. 

Best hot hatchbacksTop 10 best hot hatchbacks 2024

The range-topping performance version of the standard hatch receives a few styling tweaks, both inside and out, and a few more optional extras. Just as with the outgoing model, it’ll be available in both hatchback or soft-top guise, but exact prices have yet to be confirmed.

Exterior and design 

Key upgrades to the outside of the car include a larger radiator grille and broader air intakes. It also gets new side skirts and a more menacing rear diffuser with a twin exhaust. Buyers who opt for the convertible model can also choose a new Zesty Yellow paint.

Upgrades have been made beneath the surface too. MINI says its engineers have reintroduced the car’s optional adaptive dampers, which enable a stiffer setting than before and, in turn, improve the hatchback’s cornering ability.

Interior and technology

The updated JCW gets new sport seats with integrated headrests and a multifunction sports steering wheel. Stainless steel pedals and an anthracite headliner complete the look. 

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The JCW also benefits from a redesigned 8.8-inch infotainment system, which incorporates satellite navigation. Adding to the interior ambiance, the system now glows in two new colour schemes, called Lounge and Sport. The former lights the screen’s widgets in blue, while the latter uses a more fiery combination of red and anthracite.

Buyers can now choose to spec their JCW with a heated steering wheel and driver assistance systems, such as lane departure warning or a stop and go function for the car’s active cruise control.

MINI’s JCW package also adds a range of extras that includes piano black trim and carbon black leather upholstery, the adaptive dampers and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Engines and performance 

Both the hard-top and soft-top JCW models are powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as before. This produces 228bhp and 320Nm of torque, which goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is available as an option.

The MINI JCW can go from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds when linked to the manual gearbox. The convertible, meanwhile, takes 6.6 seconds due to its extra weight. If you opt for the automatic gearbox, however, the 0-62mph times drop to 6.1 seconds and 6.5 seconds respectively.

Check out our top three picks for the best used small hot hatches for £8,500

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