Aku dan Mini Cooper S

Having always been a Mini fan, ever since I met this mechanic guy in Seremban in 1965 (I was just a kid then) who had a Cooper S that he raced at that then faraway place called Kuala Lumpur. At that time, he bragged about getting 8th position in a race. It impressed me then, but I now know that only winning first counts. Still, that incident left an indelible impression on me. My dream of being a racing driver was born out of that chance encounter, and although I have never had the opportunity to own a Cooper S, it has until today, remained one of my ambitions. I did own a Clubman for a short while, but that was a long time ago. For me, the allure of the Mini will always be there.

So when BMW Malaysia called me to ask if I would like to have the JCW Mini for a weekend, I dropped everything to collect it, and I have not regretted it one bit.

The Mini of today is very different from those little cars of fifty years ago; but the spirit lives on – the characteristic front grille, although much larger now, and more modern, still retains the character of the first Mini. The overall size is bigger, and the interior fittings are more luxurious, but the overall silhouette is much the same. It is like they took the original Mini, sealed it up, and pumped air into the innards to blow everything up into a bigger car.

Now with a 1.6 litre engine, turbo charged instead of supercharged, the Mini is more potent. The John Cooper Works model, dubbed JCW for short, is even more potent. It is the ultimate Mini, tweaked from the 175 horsepower of the Mini Cooper S to give 211 horsepower and 260Nm of torque form 1850 rpm to 5,600 rpm. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the JCW streaks from zero to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and hits a top speed of 238 km/h, yet promises a fuel consumption figure of 6.9 litre per 100 kilometres (combined cycle). Our enthusiastic driving styles returned a more pessimistic 9.5 litre per 100 kilometres, but then nobody is complaining.

It was hard enough trying to get my hands on the car, with the rest of my test team all wanting to have a go with the JCW, but I sneakily pulled rank, saying I needed it to go up north, and that I did, putting 600 kilometres on the clock in one day, and enjoying every minute of it.

If you enjoy driving, especially fast driving, the JCW will give you nothing but sheer driving bliss; anyone could tell by looking at the gleam in my eyes, and the broad smile on my face every time I was behind the wheel. With the turbo on boost, the JCW nips in and out of traffic as if everybody else is standing still. It handles like a go-kart, and you simply point and squirt; it is that easy.

What really impresses is the ease of handling, the extreme stability, even at high speeds. At 200 km/h, the JCW, despite its relatively small size and short wheelbase, feels like it is going at 100 km/h. The humongous brakes are really reassuring, and the large 205/45 R 17 tyres keep you firmly planted all the time. The gear ratio in top gear gives you around 42 km/h per 1000 rpm, and allows for quick acceleration while keeping engine speed decently low at high speeds. With close ratio gears, though, you can shift down with ease, and cheekily overtake others at any time.

The driving experience I had with the JCW Mini is really something very memorable. I had loads of fun, and wished I could keep it longer. At RM270k, it is not something I can afford, although I am sure that it is worth every penny of it.



Catatan popular daripada blog ini

Aku dan Tinted Kereta

Aku dan Toyota Vellfireku

Aku dan Cikgu Arbainah