New look and old engine for Mini JCW

Better infotainment is the big theme, with this hot hatch.

If you like your hot hatches German-funded, with British brand legacy, the latest Mini JCW update should be of interest.

The potent 2-litre hot hatch has not changed much of its mechanical bits, but there are some slight design and cabin updates.

Those who obsess about all things Mini, will notice the JCW has some additional red colouring around the hexagon grille, which is also larger than on non-JCW Minis.

Mini designers have also added JCW-specific front side panels and those front air intakes and aero fins below the bumper should enhance its cooling and stability. Around the rear there is a reshaped apron and diffusor, promising accelerated airflow and a modicum of increased downforce.

Powering the 2021 model year JCW is BMW’s 2-litre turbopetrol engine, boosting 170 kW and 320 Nm. No power increase, then. Owners can choose between an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The JCW also carries over its pre-facelift sport suspension component. There is now the option of adaptive suspension, too, with frequency-selective damping – but as is the case with most of these systems, the best setting for local roads will be ‘comfort’.

Perhaps the most notable change for Mini’s 2021 model year JCW hatch is a new operating system, controlling its infotainment. Mini has sourced better graphics and attempted to improve the system’s UX, which includes live widgets.

For those Mini drivers who are heavily influenced by mood lighting, the JCW has added some new colours to its selectable cabin lighting.

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