The MINI is a common sight on our roads. Cheeky, well proportioned and with that all-important desirability, it's easy to see how they've become so popular. However, the MINI John Cooper Works is still the daddy – but with more and more exiting factories with an automatic gearbox, we wanted to test one with a proper manual transmission. Does it add to the magic of MINI's most powerful production car ever? AOL Cars finds out.
What is it?
For starters, the MINI John Cooper Works features the most powerful engine to ever sit inside a MINI – a four-cylinder unit that produces 228bhp. With front wheel drive and an electronic differential keeping the fun in check, the John Cooper Works is an out-and-out hot hatch, one that MINI hopes will take the fight to competitors. We're testing the manually-geared version to see if there's any more fun to be had over the already capable automatic model.