Mini DNA has always had a sports gene running through it - now BMW has brought that out even more strongly with the upgraded factory-fit John Cooper Works pack for the Mini and Mini Convertible.
It's all about the visuals, with the black border around the lower part of the body highlighted front and rear by a central recess and the side skirts curving inwards to a stylised opening at the rear wheel-arch. The radiator grille also has the same honeycomb structure as the lower air intake.
To back up the sporty looks, the JCW pack comes with traction control and an electronically controlled locking function for the differential. Traction control mode (just press the DTC button!) raises the threshold of the stability programme, making it easier to pull away on loose sand or snow with a degree of wheel spin.
It also allows controllable slip on the front wheels in hard cornering for a more exuberant driving style powering out of tight corners while still gently brtaking a spinning wheel to improve traction without adversely affecting steering feedback.
The interior of the car is jazzed up with JCW door sills, a sports leather steering wheel with red contrast stitching, red shift-pattern lettering on the gear lever and red stitching on the handbrake gaiter.
But show doesn't have street cred without go: for that there's the John Cooper Works tuning kit, available as a factory-fit option or a retro-fit for the Mini Cooper S , Cooper S Clubman and Cooper S convertible.
It includes an engine management upgrade, sports air filter and a special sports silencer with chrome tailpipes that delivers a notably more authoritative exhaust note - all of which delivers an extra 12kW, up to 147 at 5700rpm. Torque is 250Nm from 1250-5000rpm, rising to 270 between 1800 and 5000 on overboost.
That, says BMW, is good enough for 0-100 in 6.8 seconds and 234km/h flat out.
And lastly, for that serious bad-boy look, there are 18” Red Stripe alloys in black with a special red trim strip that exactly matches the colour of the JCW brake callipers visible behind them.
BMW SA has not yet decided when the upgraded JCW Pack and tuning kit will be released in South Africa; when they tell us, we’ll tell you.
The body kit and honeycomb grille give the John Cooper Works Pack a distinctively sporty look.
The JCW Pack interior trim includes a sports leather steering wheel with red contrast stitching.