The look is one of power, the white stripes down the bonnet scream out power and so too does the bonnet mounted air intake unit. With the Mini Cooper Works you know that the minute you sit behind the wheel that you’ll need to work hard to tame your instincts.
Because this is really a rally car, that has a license to be driven on the public road. Everything about the Mini Cooper Works tells you that your low penalty points ranking is going to be challenged. You know the minute that you run that powerful engine that you will be working hard to control the urge for speed.
For some that’s not exactly the type of emotion that we should be portraying. Especially at a time when road accident rates seem to be soaring, especially among younger drivers, the very ones who dream of driving a car like the Mini Cooper Works.
And there is a point in that argument as you’ll find it difficult to get a location, apart from Mondello Park, to test the true power of the Mini Cooper Works. With the red colour, white top and white stripes on the bonnet you’re a magnet for every squad car. If nothing else every guard wants to stop the car just for a look and to experience the throaty sound of the engine revs at close quarters. But be careful I warn.
The Mini Cooper Works is a very special car. British car expert John Cooper established the Mini Cooper legacy with the older model. Now his son Mike carried on that tradition in association with Mini owners BMW in the current 1.6 litre petrol powered model.
Coopers have carried out extensive engine changes to the car. You’ll find that at the heart of this car is a supercharger. This spins at a higher rpm than in the past, generating even better engine performance.
Once you hit the accelerator pedal you’ll that the throaty sound of the engine will register instantly in your ears. The engine is fitted with a second air intake which is controlled by means of an electronically actuated flap and this opens during acceleration at 4 500 rpm. Combine these features along with new fuel injectors, high power spark plugs and a specially machined cylinder head and you get impressive engine performance and a very distinctive engine sound. And that growl is delivered from a low back pressure centrally positioned chrome twin exhaust system for added effect.
This engine treatment pushes the power of the car to over 200bhp, which is a huge output for a 1.6 litre engine. The result is impressive acceleration giving a 0 to 100km/hr rating of 6.7 seconds, cutting 2 seconds off the standard Mini Cooper performance.
That’s about as impressive as you can get as the car performs almost as well as the 2.0 litre Subaru Impreza WRX, even though the Mini has a smaller engine. And you’ll get similar performance from a Renault Clio Sport or a Peugeot 206 GTi, all of which have bigger 2.0 litre engines.
But the Mini Cooper Works is more than just power and acceleration; this is an image and a statement car of significant proportions. This car is tuned for performance, with a suspension that matches the cars engine abilities. The car comes with bright red, short, stiff springs to reduce ground clearance and ensure even more exciting cornering, without compromising safety.
You will notice the larger brake discs and red calipers at the front and special brake linings on the rear axle. Mini claims that this ensures first-class braking always and provides immediate response with plenty of bite. And you’ll feel the car stick to the road when needed.
On the inside, the Mini Cooper Works gets some special treatment. The sports seats are strong and very supportive; they need to be with the hard sports suspension. The layout of the switches is similar to that of other models in the Mini range, which are impressively classic in my book.
Mini fit ‘Works’ 18-inch alloy wheels with a star design featuring five widening spokes giving the car a sporty and powerful look. It fits tyre sizes 250/40 R18 with the low profile run-flat system.
The Mini Cooper Works is testimony to great engineering with such massive power from a modest size engine. The overall styling effect is superb, based on the latest Mini design, with extra touches to enhance the performance effect.
And you’ll pay almost €10,000 more for the ‘works’ treatment. You get more power and identifiable style but the price is high at over €38,000 on the road.