JCW MINI CONVERTIBLE FLIES DOWNUNDER

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the standard convertible versions of the third generation Mini comes information on the hottest of them all – the John Cooper Works (JCW). Powered by a highly tuned version of the Mini 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, the JCW unit produces 170 kW of power between 5200 and 6000 revs, and 320 Nm of torque that’s on tap all the way from 1250 to 4800rpm. Sitting beside the engine is a six-speed sports automatic transmission that can be overridden by paddle shifters. A… Read more

MINI’S FIRST CONVERTIBLE

Mini has added to its lineup with the introduction of a third generation open-top car. This time around it is a pure convertible, not a cabriolet. That’s because the fixed rollover hoops have been replaced by a rollover protection system that automatically raises the bars when the car’s sensors detect rolling over is a possiblity. The gen-three open-top Mini is coming to Australia in Cooper and Cooper S variants, there is no lower cost Mini One. May we speculate a hot JCW version is in the design stages? To our… Read more

MINI CLUBMAN IS SPORTY, VERSATILE MINI WAGON

While the latest Mini Cooper Clubman station wagon, released here in November 2015, is larger and more conventional in styling than before it remains unmistakably a Mini with its squat shape and distinctive grille. The most significant change is in its length, up by 292 mm to 4253 mm while it is now 117 mm wider (1800 mm) with the wheelbase extended by 123 mm. Height remains at 1441 mm. Gone, thankfully, is the small rear-mounted passenger door which was a talking point with the old Clubman and, because it… Read more

2016 MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS REVIEW

Mini’s rebirth has brought some great things to our roads. The garagiste name, John Cooper Works, is certainly one of those things. With the new range from the British-based maker well and truly out, BMW-owned Mini has brought out the last-but-one of its big guns – the JCW. VALUE Based on the current Mini hatch – more commonly seen with a three-cylinder – the 2.0-litre turbo kicks off at $47,400 for the six-speed manual. With this sobering figure, you’ll be buying plenty of good stuff; body kit, 18-inch JCW wheels,… Read more

MINI ADDS NEW CLUBMAN TO ITS RANGE

Mini has continued the progressive release of its third-generation models with a new Clubman station wagon joining the previously launched three and five-door hatches. Like the second-generation Countryman crossover SUV and the gen-three five-door hatch the new Clubman breaks with Mini tradition by adding conventional rear passenger doors for the first time. Indeed Clubman goes one step further because, by retaining the previous side-hinged ‘barn doors’ at the rear of the car, it has become the first ever six-door Mini. As is the norm with model upgrades the new Clubman… Read more

2015 MINI JCW REVIEW

A few weeks back we enjoyed a great day at Phillip Island thrashing around in a series of brightly coloured gen-three Mini JCWs. Now we have come back to reality having road tested one for a week on our home turf on the Gold Coast – traffic, speed cameras, rough and ready roads, the full catastrophe. Given the high-tech nature of the all-new third-generation John Cooper Works (JCW) and engineering ability of BMW, which runs Mini these days, it didn’t come as a surprise that the real-world didn’t faze the… Read more

JCW MINI IS HOTTER THAN EVER

Aussie Sir Jack Brabham and Pommie father and son Charles and John Cooper were major players in top level car racing for many years during the 1950s and ‘60s, with Brabham winning the F1 world championship in 1959 and 1960 driving Cooper cars. Sadly, none of them are with us anymore, but John’s son Mike Cooper is still involved in the road-going Minis that bear John Cooper’s name. The JCW – John Cooper Works – Minis have been the high-performance versions of the Mini range for many years and hold… Read more

NEW-FOUND WELCOME AT THE DOOR FOR MINI LOVERS

Not to labour the point too much, but many original Mini owners, their families and friends, while not exactly in their dotage, can be physically challenged getting into the back of a three-door hatchback. At the other end of the scale, young families with kids to accommodate in the rear seats face an awkward lift, especially with a squirming toddler or two. It makes sense, then, to ease both burdens by adding a couple of back doors. This Mini has done that with its latest hatchback, without subtracting from the… Read more

2015 MINI COOPER D FIVE-DOOR HATCH REVIEW

Mini purists have long since given up looking away when instructed, so a five-door Mini is just another in a long line of abominations that fill the internet with bile. But, when your arch-rivals have a five-door to pull in the punters, you have to compete on level terms or you lose customers and anger dealers who care nothing for history or internet forum rage. And so we now have a five door Mini hatch. Not the high-riding Countryman based on the old car, but a fresh, stretched version of… Read more

MINI 2002 – 2014

2005 Mini Cooper S Cabriolet

Launched to an amazed world in 1959 the Mini became a huge success worldwide as well as in Australia, with it being built in Sydney for years. It faded from the 1980s onwards though some variants were still being made overseas till the year 2000. The British motor industry was in serious trouble for many years and eventually BMW bought out major sections of the failing business – and decided to build an all-new Mini for the 21st century. Many believed it would be flash in the pan when launched… Read more