Test Mini JCW F57 : The go-kart without the helmet ?

In the month of August, I”ve been wanting to do a little roadtrip fun throughout France, between Paris and Monaco. I wanted a sporty noise rowdy and with which I can make myself happy. The choice was quickly ported to the Mini JCW F57, the convertible version of the ever so cute Mini hatchback. The journey ? N7 between Paris and Lyon and then the RN 85, more known under the name of the Route Napoleon between Grenoble and Antibes. 2 days of road intense John Cooper Works with bucket seats, a choice crazy ? Not that much, as you can see !

I”m going to start this essay with an advice, never take the RN7 to go in the south ! How boring… I believe that if I hadn”t been behind the wheel of this bombinette, I would, without doubt, led directly to the highway. Eight hours of boredom, the more total… So yes, we avoid all the tolls on the A6, but if it is to spend 3 hours with like landscapes as industrial zones or other stretches of fields without interest, so pay the 35 €.

But after those 8 hours, it is time to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the RN85, the superb Napoleon road. From the beginning to the end, that”s wonderful roads, breathtaking scenery and charming villages… The day and the night compared to the day before. On the whole journey through this beautiful road, I was able to take full awareness of the ingredients of the Mini JCW Cab. First of all, I had the opportunity to try it there are now 2 years in version Hatchback, and to be able to remove the roof at the touch of a button, it changes absolutely everything. A car very effective and terribly immersive, you go to a car that causes a listening pleasure even greater and almost constant. And if the sound of a exhaust Mini tells you something, you probably know what I mean by ” listening pleasure “. This ROOOMM POPOPO… What a delight…

You almost forget its main drawback, its train before. This is not his communicativité which is to criticize, but rather his return torque into the steering wheel. The power of the Mini is so big (231 hp and 320 Nm) that the front axle is sometimes hard to follow. During a very strong acceleration in the turn, he dodges somewhat, which does not allow to keep the desired course. In sum, it turns. The wheels are equipped with Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat must without doubt be there for some things but the lack of a limited slip differential is the main factor of this defect. The Mini JCW is still the city to pull the most powerful in its class. And without this asset, it loses it undeniably has its interest and effectiveness.

For the rest, our test model has spoiled me for the pleasure he has given me for 5 days and 2000 km. Despite the 18-inch wheels, the driving modes-Green (green) and Mid (comfort) gives a flexibility of conduct and suspension copies, thanks to the SelectDrive. The Sport mode meanwhile is reserved for the car back in good standing with a suspension very hard, which transmits all the information from the field, a true happiness in sporty driving, especially in the bucket seats of our model. Prefer seats Mini classic if you want more comfort.

The more we advance in the Alps, the more the slope is present, and the brakes are solicited ! This Mini has a very large 335 mm ventilated with callipers, 4-piston calipers in the front. Anything to curb the enthusiasm of such a bomb ! And in the event of such a road, the braking did not suffer any concern despite my pressure to repeat on the pedal in the middle.

Arrived on the coast, what better than to roll the hair in the wind, with the only other companions the sun and the noise fantastic exhausts ” ROOOMM POPOPO… “. Yes I”m repeating myself, but this sound is so good ! I stop here to annoy you with a discourse on forever and I let you just watch my test video, hope you enjoy it.

To complement the video, we can say that this Mini is therefore no real competitor. This is the Audi S1, Peugeot 208 GTi, Volkswagen Polo GTi, the Abarth 595, Renault Clio RS or the Ford Fiesta ST, neither of them has much power or there is a real cabriolet.

It remains of course a very high price : the configuration that we had tested during these few days is displayed at 48 320 €. Yes it is expensive, very expensive, but buy a Mini, it is also possible to purchase a style and a car ultra customizable. The base model cabriolet and the John Cooper Works you will be charged 36 800 €.

If you want a car that has a personality of its crisp, powerful engine, very good chassis, and its downright enjoyable while enjoying the open air. It must be confessed, that the proposal of the Mini is very tempting, despite a train before improved.

Thank you to Mini France for the loan !

Photo credits and video by Ugo Missana

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