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XCAR: Mini Adventure
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XCAR: Mini Adventure

7:14 /

XCAR is a home for everyone who has a passion for cars.

-I found myself in Lisbon with this John Cooper Works Mini Hatchback. Why? That's not entirely cool right now, but what is important is that I have to be back in London within 24 hours because my friends are meeting at a pub in London in exactly 24 hours and I really must be with them because, if I'm not, I might miss out on something really fun like a beer and some pork scratchings. So, it seems like a road trip is on the cards. Now, joining me for the journey is producer, Nick. And we really aren't getting on at the moment. But will 24 hours in confined spaces bring us closer together as a happier, huggier team? We'll be best buds forever or will he be dead by Northern Spain? There's only one way to find out. Start the clock. -We set off nice and gently and I think it's time for a nice beginning of journey montage, don't you? Joining along suddenly and completely organically, the subject of the car came up. -So, Alice, tell me about this Mini John Cooper Works. -Well, look at this. What we're in is a John Cooper Works Mini Hatchback. Now, you're gonna think of John Cooper Works as sort of Mini's version of BMW's N Division. You get more power. It's more handling and driver-focused and, basically, a little bit more fun for a little bit more money. So, this car itself is a 1.6-liter turbo charged engine. And that's got 211 break horsepower. And that's-- but you're not seated to just 6.5 seconds and top of the news, damn it, a 150 miles an hour which is quite impressive. There's lots of badges and lots of things all around it and I'm especially a fan of this steering wheel. It's half leather, half Alcantara. You cling on to the leather a bit and you got a nice smooth Alcantara top. I really like it as a product. This is kind of like the most hardcore you can get apart from the GP2's unlimited runs. So, you can still-- anyone who can have one of these, if they've got the money. -What you're saying is, overall, this John Cooper thing, it works. -Oh, yes. It certainly works and then something. -Then, for a change, we needed another montage. Time was passing and we were in different places at different times. Thankfully, the tension between Nick and I soon faded as we managed to bond through a similar love. -Hey, Nick. -Yeah? -Would you like to share a [unk] with me? -I'd love to. I love [unk]. -So do I. -Darkness fell. And if that doesn't justify another montage, I don't know what does. -Nick and I have been taking the drive in 2-hour shifts and we both think largely the same thing about the car. Its performance is utterly brilliant. You can leave the instincts to cruise up the [unk] route. And then, if you need to overtake something or want to accelerate, the talk is just the pickup's incredible selfie go as a consonant crush. It doesn't do a bad job at all. The controls are all easy to use. Everything is very intuitive. However, there are a couple of problems with it. The noise is a little bit drone-y at speed. I'm not sure if you can hear it, but it is this sort of dull whine. But the long distance is a device you turn up the music very, very loud. The final drive is a bit of a biggie especially if you get on to take journeys like this. The seats, they look very pretty and the heat a bit. That's brilliant but they're so uncomfortable. After 2 hours, my right [unk] fell asleep. After another hour, my left one was completely gone. So, we've been going for quite a while now. And to remind you exactly what we're doing and the things that have happened, it's time for a service station montage. -We reached the tunnel some hours after we left and we only had a few hours to go until our deadline. It would be close. We had landed on U.K. soil, but would we make it to London on time before the car explodes or that little girl lost her organs or the fish died of starvation or the 24 ball sets sold out? -Well, we are currently .3 of a mile away from our target destination, the office. And the clock is reading 23 hours and 2 minutes. It's pretty sad to say, unless a meteorite hits, that we've done it, which I think is, yeah, a bitter standing. We've been tired. We've driven well over a thousand miles. As we're talking a little bit about the car, really, because it's been incredibly good. And okay, hard seats aside, it's been comfortable. The ride's been just fine. The control's easy to use. Steering's light. It's also a pretty fine little looker. Every time we go actually for a [unk] stop or a snack, stop for a wee break or whatever. I've looked and I thought, yeah, it's quite cool. I wouldn't mind having one of those on the drive. I wouldn't say it's the perfect car for a journey like that. But if you did have to do a trip like this, if you spec different seats, you'll have a whale of a time. -So, we've made it. We've driven thousands of miles pretty much the entire length of a continent. A beautiful friendship had bloomed and the bond has strengthened to a car. Not bad for a day's work. We were exhausted, yes. But it was worth it and I'll never forget our Mini adventure.

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