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2009 MINI John Cooper Works hardtop

The standard Mini Cooper S is a quirky and fun to drive little coupe, but what happens when you add more power and upgrade every nearly performance part from the brakes to the clutch?

Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

What's in a badge?

More than just a badged special edition, the 2009 Mini John Cooper Works bumps the power and handling to a level above the standard Cooper S.
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2 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

More power

The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine breathes easier through a John Cooper Works sport exhaust and, with the help of tuning, outputs 32 more ponies (208 hp) and 15 more foot-pounds of twist (192 lb-ft of torque).
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3 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Zero to sixty

Sixty miles per hours comes from a stop in 6.2 seconds before eventually reaching a top speed of 147 mph, but straight line performance isn't the purpose of a Mini, especially one like the Mini JCW. Where the JCW Cooper shines is in the turns.

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4 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Brembo brakes

12.4-inch Brembo brakes bring the Cooper to a stop over and over without fade.
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5 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Center stack

The Mini's interior is almost TOO quirky with odd design treatments. The huge center-mounted speedometer integrates the audio controls with the exception of the volume control, which is down below the with the climate controls.
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6 of 6 Corinne Schulze/CNET

At the track

Around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the JCW Mini performed admirably. The little coupe displayed surprisingly little understeer, taking the turns as if on rails.

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