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Minis have always been fun. They may be small but the one thing they were never short of was fun. No matter what sort of person you are a Mini is a surefire way to put a smile on your dial. The chaps at Mini have had a massive year launching the Mini Hatch, the Mini 5-Door, and now this; the Mini John Cooper Works.

This is no ordinary Mini. Keeping with tradition, the JCW represents the hottest of Minis and brings with it a few special additions. This latest generation JCW is hands down the Mini with the most vents in the world. Yes because the one thing the Mini needed the most was more vents. How many vents you ask? Well excluding the bonnet scoop and main grille, there are five (5!) extra air ducts at the front and four at the rear. The Cooper S has fog lamps, this has more vents! They should’ve called this the Mini A-VENT-ador instead!

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There is reason behind this adventurous styling choice. It’s to make the Mini look more aggressive. It’s certainly worked, like it’s capable of sucking in entire towns through all those air ducts. There vents aren’t the only new cosmetic changes for the JCW. There’s revised LED headlights, wider sills, a larger spoiler, and sportier 17-inch wheels. So it has the looks to match the attitude but has it got the punch? Oh it certainly does.

It has a tuned version of the Cooper S’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine but power is up from 208bhp to a mind-boggling 228bhp. Torque is a very respectable 320NM. 228bhp in a Mini, that’s Golf GTI Performance Pack territory in a car no bigger than a terrier. Not only does it get more power but it loses some weight as well. A manual JCW will tip the scales at 1205kg. 0-100 km/h is over and done with in 5.3 seconds, top speed is around 250. Sports cars look out!

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The JCW will be available with either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox. It’ll ride on 17-inch wheels as standard and there’s a fancy electronic diff lock too. Other sporty changes include revised suspension tuning, Brembo brakes, and a cracking new exhaust. Inside there’s bespoke sports seats, a JCW steering wheel, and stainless steel pedals.

For now the JCW is the most powerful Mini you can buy, which therefore makes it the one to have. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. It’ll be on sale sometime in the New Year and if oil prices continue their downward trend, the small, fun JCW could be the next worldwide craze to follow in the footsteps of the Ice Bucket Challenge. That’d the kind of viral lunacy I’d participate in.

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