Five minutes in the Mini JCW is enough. Five minutes, and I’m bathing in the warm glow of relief: this is an immeasurably better car than the last Mini to take John Cooper’s name in vain. And, I’m afraid, hairy-chested, ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’ brigade, the rejuvenation is entirely thanks to technology.
Heresy? No. Hot hatches are supposed to mainline frothy, accessible mischief, but the old JCW fizzed like Mentos dropped into Diet Coke. Messy and hyperactive, it torque-steered violently, and what it sorely lacked in suspension travel it over-delivered in power. So how the hell am I managing not to hopscotch across the road in this new car, which musters another twenty horses?