JCW “Tuned” MINI In The California Canyons

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.24.25 PMMatt Farah from The Smoking Tire got his hands on a John Cooper Works 4 Door Hardtop, and took it to the twisties of Southern California to put it through its paces. The only problem? It wasn’t a  full JCW. The demo car he was testing was actually a 4 Door MINI Cooper S with the JCW exhaust/tuning kit. While some will debate the various differences, one of Farah’s repeated complaints was braking performance which would have been much better had the test car been fitted with the larger Brembo brake kit available, and fitted on factory JCWs.

Other significant complaints include the high cost of various non-performance upgrades (this particular model was a Carbon Edition), the horrible factory run-flat tires, and some limitations of the provided 6-speed automatic transmission. Farah did note that the paddle shifter performance was better than his earlier experience in a base model Clubman, but obviously he would have preferred the manual 6-speed he requested as a demo.

Matt Farah The Smoking Tire 4 Door MINI SLet’s be totally honest, we don’t care what he thinks. In fact, even though much of his review was positive (Farah is a former MINI owner), all we are interested in, is watching him cruise through some beautiful California terrain. We are however a little disappointed that someone provided this as a review of the high performance end of MINI’s lineup, and, clearly they didn’t include a remote to open the baffle in the exhaust, or instructions on how to operate it as noted in his report of lack of pops and burble. This comes across a huge marketing failure when this reviewer is typically known for getting his hands on performance vehicles.

Check out the video on the next page!


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Mike Bober has been involved in many aspects of the MINI Community, including working with multiple national series racing teams. He currently owns his first MINI, an R53 "Ramsey", a R60 Countryman "Lauda", and a F56 "Stanton". Previously owned was an R59 Roadster "Winnie". -- Along with many other major MINI events, Mike recently completed his second coast-to-coast MINI Takes The States event.

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