Living with a sportscar: Mini Cooper S JCW
What is it?
Who doesn't know the Mini Cooper S? It is funky to look at and has road presence and lots of power to play around with. Add the mad JCW tuning kit to it and you've a 192PS hot hatch transform into a furious 210PS beast. Not that the Cooper needed the power upgrade but well, who doesn't like more power, eh!
When you're driving around a Mini Cooper, you wouldn't really want to give it for a wash to the regular chaps on the road. In comes 3M with its foam wash and spray facility. I picked up the car from Turbhe, which is a dusty area, and this wash transformed the Mini back to its original sheen. The wash also doesn't cost more than a regular hatchback too, at Rs 495. Totally worth it!
A wash once a month is ideal for cars like this. Given the lustrous paint quality, a wipe with a cloth is more than enough for the regular days. A black Mini is quite a sleeper and blends well with the millions of Swifts on the road.
Even though she is a hatchback, I did observe that the Mini commands immense respect from the other road users. Slower-moving traffic will give way while the faster ones too cast that 'resigned' look before moving out of the path. I wonder if it has got something to do with that JCW exhaust. Hmm! That being said, she is as nimble as any other hatchback can be and thrice as fast between the gaps.
Saved: In this mode, the gears upshift early, the car doesn't work up the AC and other parameters. It gives around 8.8-9.0kmpl
Karted: This is where the fun lies plus the efficiency. The steering becomes a tad heavy and the efficiency stays put at 7.7kmpl
Exploited: All hell breaks loose in this mode. Use the JCW button when in Sport mode and this is the best experience in life you can have with your clothes on. Efficiency does take a hit with an all-time low of 5.5kmpl
According to the driving mode selected, the Cooper S' screen will change the colour of the outer infotainment ring. No prizes for guessing which mode was the most preferred. The UK-bred Mini meets the UK-born Jaguar, and apart from their origins, both have sophistication, fun and everyday usability in common. But you got to admit it. The Mini sounds much much better
Mini with a Minion?
Both of them are desirable and cute and thrill you with their performance. It makes things easy that both, especially the Minion, come in yellow. Ohh wait! The Minion is an extension of the Mini too. Doesn't get better than this, eh!
My regular driver is the Tiago diesel. The Mini is 104mm longer, 80mm wider and 121mm lower than the Tiago. Yet, she never gives you the feeling that you're driving something unmanageable in traffic. In fact, you can dart through gaps much faster and easier in the Mini, thanks to the available power on tap. Did I say she is way more fun than the Tata as well!
This small detonator, as I like to call it, sits flush in one of the cupholders. Of course, you cannot use the cupholder anymore but do you really care?
Double press the button and one of the exhaust flaps, which is closed, opens up. What is otherwise a seemingly 'calm' 192PS car suddenly transforms into a rip-roaring 210PS monster.
So much that the office security guard had to admonish me for driving fast in the basement. Trust me dude, it ain't the speed but the exhaust!
It's hard to get the respect of the autorickshaw drivers. Like really hard. They view all motorcyclists and drivers with contempt and treat them with utter disregard. Not for the JCW'ed Cooper S. Whenever I have pulled up at a signal, I have always been envied and, like this gentleman in the picture, given the thumbs up.
Never has any car got the OVERDRIVE boys so excited including me, the very reason for this feature. Since the day we first drove the Cooper S JCW, all of us have been scheming and plotting on how to gather that all important moolah and how we would just want to throw away all other accessories and just spec the car with the Rs 2.6 lakh JCW exhaust tuning kit. It's worth all the happiness in gold!
124mm ground clearance may not seem much on paper for our roads. However, here is a proof how the Mini handles it with aplomb. With a full complement of passengers, you do have to pussyfoot over speed breakers. This new-gen Mini has also gone a tad softer and hence has better absorption than the older car too.
I've always have this feeling when I see the Cooper S that it isn't a feature-rich vehicle for the price. Everything in it is optional and costs insane amount of money. However, the images you see here are all part of the standard fare, including the sunroof, mood lighting, Harman Kardon speakers and the backlighting for the door handles.
The Mini was the inspiration for the Swift. Suzuki's idea of making the iconic Mini shape and relative dynamic capabilities accessible to the masses has been a huge success. The Mini is only a couple of 100mm longer than the Swift but isn't any more comfortable. But it is at least 10 times more fun and er...expensive as well. Speaking of which, servicing the Mini costs the same as the M and other petrol BMWs - Rs 30,000/year
Starts Rs 38 Lakhs
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