Currently, if you want a 200bhp plus hot hatch then you really are spoilt for choice. The sheer number of models available is huge until now Mini was one of the few carmakers to fall short of the benchmark horsepower figure. Previously the Mini Cooper S came only with 192bhp, now though, there’s a new one called the S Works 210, the giveaway in the title is the new horsepower figure, this small hatch is now available with 210ps (207bhp) thanks to various additions including a John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit which is responsible for the power boost.
More Hot Hatch For Your Money
The standard Cooper S costs from £19,555, this firebreathing Works 210 will set you back from £21,690. So, for the extra £2,135, what do you get along with the horsepower bump? For starters the Works 210 comes with the John Cooper Works aero kit as standard; this makes the Mini a whole lot more aggressive looking which is a very good thing. Also included are the black five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, again, adding nicely to the looks of the car. The aggressive looks and power are also helped by the way the Works 210 sounds, it comes equipped as standard with a new burbling exhaust system as part of the Pro Tuning Kit.
This exhaust system emits a great sound across its two mode settings, you can have loud or even louder, the choice is yours. As part of this system you even get a Bluetooth controller which allows the driver to activate track mode when you enter a track. This does come with a very detailed warning label confirming that it’s for track use only though in case you’re thinking of using it on the road.
A Mini Riot On The Road
This little car is huge fun to drive on the road; you can use all of its power with ease while being confident that it won’t step out on you. All of the additional power makes no difference to the 0-62mph run - which is completed in 6.8 seconds (the same as the 192bhp model) with a top speed of 146mph for when it’s legal to do so.
Show the Works 210 some corners and get the sense that the chassis pivots around you as you turn in, the steering dynamics are sharpened in sport mode and the car remains composed even with all that power trying to make the front wheels break loose when you apply the throttle hard. The obvious torque steer issue does raise itself on minor occasions, but thanks to the excellent damper set up any torque steer has a minor effect on the car’s progress.
The seats thankfully hold you in place very well during all this hard cornering. The seating position is fairly low, this helps to you feel more a part of the car as carve it through the corners – another plus point for the fun go-kart feel of this car.
One of the Works 210 outstanding features is the six-speed manual gearbox, it has a super positive shift feel with a clever rev-matching system that blips the engine on down changes. Not only does this make a great sound, it also helps make shifting down gears a little more of an event.
My test route for this car was in the Cotswolds, which I can safely say features some of the worst road surfaces I have ever been subjected to, the Works 210 did suffer very slightly on these surfaces, but only to the extent that that the car is fairly hard sprung with run-flat tires which did make it slightly worse. However, overall the Works 210 finds a nice balance offering a strong handling composure while remaining for the most part comfortable, if you find yourself on a bumpy road you will know about it, but this is a small sacrifice to make for the strong level of cornering ability that this car is capable of.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine is an energetic unit; it revs freely and allows the driver a great deal of flexibility by allowing you to keep all that power on tap at the push of a pedal. It even emits a great noise as well, the louder standard fit JCW Pro Tuning Kit exhaust makes it even more aggressive sounding and louder at the push of a button. This may not be for everyone all of the time, but the fact that you can switch on at your pleasing is a very good thing.
The Works 210 is a riotous little car on the road, the additional power, and improved driving dynamics and that raucous exhaust note makes it an attractive package. Add to this the large number of extras including the power bump and the bodywork additions for the price and it absolutely worth considering if you’re in the market for a small capable hot hatch.
MINI COOPER S WORKS 210 - Rating 4.2/5 Price: £21,690 Engine: 1998cc, turbo, 4cyl Layout: Front-engined, front-wheel drive Gearbox: 6-spd manual Power: 207bhp at 4700rpm Torque: 221lb ft at 1250rpm 0-62mph: 6.8 seconds Top speed: 146mph Weight: 1235kg Economy: 48.7mpg (combined) CO2: 136g/km
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