In the 1960's John Cooper was a name synonymous with excellence in the motor racing world, originally known for his world famous rear-engine chassis design that changed the face of motorsport. Today his name adorns the division responsible for specialised high performance Minis.
The JCW Paceman model offers more power to the standard version, while an aerodynamic performance kit enhances handling and looks. A sports exhaust has been designed to increase performance and produce a sound that bellows the arrival of the Mini. Add into the mixing bowl colorful racing stripes, contrasting painted roof and, not to forget, very fetching two-tone 18-inch light weight alloy wheels. From the outside the JCW certainly looks like a sporty compact coupe with lots of flair and character.
The interior at a glance looks very similar to the Cooper but once seated the differences are clear to see. The Paceman has extra legroom and not just for the passengers in the front but also in the back, which was a big problem for the smaller Cooper. The driving position is also much better due to the increased ride height giving a better view of the road ahead. The JCW is fitted with full leather interior and the sports seats add much needed stability and comfort through the corners. Even with long journeys the comfort of the sport seats are not compromised, which is sometimes an issue with compact sportier cars.
Since 2013 all cars made by Mini have been fitted with the new infotainment system "Mini Connected" it comes complete with USB audio interface, web radio, sat nav, Bluetooth, and once connected to a iPhone you can control of all your social media websites through the 6.5 inch, high-resolution colour display and what a great tool to have whilst on the go - BYOM - bring your own music. Driving the JCW never failed to put a smile on my face, the nstantaneous power delivery and an unquenchable thirst for revs define the twin turbo 1,598cc four-cylinder engine. Powering through the gears is a great feeling and by engaging the sport button you increase the sound from the exhaust and it also quickens the gear changes for a greater driving experience. When driving this car, you will find yourself slowing down and giving-way at any opportunity so you can accelerate through the gears again, the fun factor is high and it brings the inner child out of any person behind the wheel. Along with the emphasis on fun, Mini have always been a top contender for the best handling car. Driving around tight and twisty corners is a delight and the Paceman more than delivers in this aspect of the driving experience
Overall - great fun to drive complete with excellent build quality, on sale in the UAE with a worryingly steep starting price of 205,000/- Dhs.