RE: Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

RE: Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

Monday 29th January

Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

Reports suggest this is the best F56 Mini yet - we now have a few months to find out



Nobody would blame you for being lost with the current Mini range. That's just the three-door car too, not the bemusing range of additional variants with additional doors. Did you know it's now possible to buy a Mini Countryman Cooper SD All4 Automatic? It's £30,000.

However it's easy to become lost with the proper Minis because, despite the name, this car is not a JCW. It's a Mini Cooper S with a dealer fit 'John Cooper Works Pro engine tuning kit'. It's not a Mini Challenge either despite sharing an engine and a very naughty exhaust. But it is more than just a Mini Cooper S, as evidenced by its additional 19hp and 15lb ft. What this Cooper S Works (that isn't a John Cooper Works) best resembles is the Cooper S Works 210 Edition of 2016 - launched back then as a limited edition with the same mechanical package, and now on sale as a series production model offered in three-door hatch, convertible and five-door form. Understood?


Baffling marketing aside, there's a far more tangible reason for running the Works 210: those who've driven it so far speak very, very highly of it. The suggestion is that it embodies all the joy and vivacity that the third generation Mini has thus far only presented in modest quantities. The Cooper S was fine if slightly grown up, the JCW long termer we had bumped up the price but little else and the fabulous Challenge was very limited run.

Autocar has called this 210 "the best driver's car that Mini has come up with during its current heartland-model generation"; Top Gear said it was "a little riot" and Auto Express reckoned it was "great to drive" - high praise indeed.

Given the changes for this car are modest - the suspension is unchanged from the Cooper S - it would seem that the appeal of the 210 is in how it's specced. The Autocar road test car ran the standard dampers and 17-inch wheels; 'ours' has the optional £375 dampers but keeps the smaller wheels, which sounds like very good news given our less than positive experience with the 18s and run flats.


Otherwise most of the optional kit is what you might expect from a press Mini, given the paucity of standard equipment. So we have the Media Pack sound upgrade (£1,620), heated half leather seats that add £805 and LED headlights for a far more reasonable £85. Plus a few other bits and bobs that total... £8,350. Oh. So much for the decent value represented by a £22k entry price. Still, lots of options should mean lots to talk about, and it's probably not absurd for a Mini option spend...

Initial impressions are dominated by the Bluetooth activated exhaust, which makes such a racket that Mini says it should only be used away from the public highway. Does a multi-storey office car park as off the road? Certainly we - and a few unsuspecting Waitrose shoppers - can vouch for the outrageous din out of those tailpipes. Excellent.

The Works 210 will have to do more than upset pensioners at the supermarket to impress in 2018 though, however encouraging that might be as a starting point. Not only is this Mini far from box fresh - the third generation version is on the cusp of a facelift, after all - it faces a wealth of competition in 2018 including the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, the latest Ford Fiesta ST and the Peugeot 208 GTI that already resides on the PH Fleet. If this car can see off those rivals in terms of enjoyment, while delivering the same quality and desirability that other Minis are known for, then we really will have a standout hot hatch on our hands.


FACT SHEET
Car
: 2017 Mini Cooper S Works 210
On fleet since: January 2018
Run by: Everyone!
Mileage: 1,204
List price new: £19,994.40 (As tested £28,344.40 comprising £475 for Melting Silver metallic paint, £300 for Mini active from 12/06/17 to 11/06/20, £1,695 for Works enhanced kit, £75 for John Cooper Works sport leather steering wheel, £375 for variable damper control, £80 for black bonnet stripes, £120 for Anthracite roof lining, £220 for sun protection glass, £215 for front seat heating, £2,710 for Mini hatch tech pack, £2,000 for Chili pack for JCW sports pack and £85 for LED headlights with extended contents)
Last month at a glance: Is this the Mini Mk3 we've been waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

TXG399

Original Poster:

111 posts

68 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
Definitely the sweet spot of the current range. The JCW isn't worth the extra money and the more supple ride of the Cooper S is far more enjoyable. And the exhaust is beyond hilarious!

I'm a massive fan of the 210 variant. Just a pity that you're running one on fleet now when the model has just been discontinued!

Mince

73 posts

56 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
As much as pressing the fun button on the missile launcher which gives you the added exhaust note and hp is great... the forced pops and bangs, exactly the same every time, even when slowly coming off the throttle coming to a stop get tired very very quickly ....even during just a test drive frown

cerb4.5lee

10,357 posts

115 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
I've been really happy with my 2017 3dr Mini Cooper S, but with the exhaust/performance upgrade on this model...I bet it's an absolute hoot to drive.

I know the BMW Mini hatch is very much a marmite car, but I do think it's a very nice(expensive for what it is)package.

sunnym3

112 posts

167 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
We have the 5 door, really fun car and I bit of a tardis inside. Good little family car. The dealer let us borrow their automatic version for a week before we ordered ours, found the auto a bit slow when trying to change gear at times, went for the manual, we love it.

Hayek

8,772 posts

143 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
Anyone else find it impossible to like cars such as this that look like a caricature of a car?
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aelord

264 posts

160 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
Just get an R53, add a pulley and you have a far better hatch for about £3k

cerb4.5lee

10,357 posts

115 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
Hayek said:
Anyone else find it impossible to like cars such as this that look like a caricature of a car?
I think the F56 is an absolute balls up design wise, but the R53 was a little better though. I think with the Mini it's the way they drive in terms of fun that makes them appealing...and that is what sells them and not the looks imo.

ChevronB19

697 posts

98 months

Monday 29th January
quotequote all
I’m not a pensioner and have never shopped at Waitrose, but I used to drive the original (MINI, not mini) cooper S when I was a race instructor, and thought they were great. However, having somethingnwhere you can make the noise louder for no purpose whatsoever other than giving the driver a kick, I simply don’t get it?

I mean, if you change your exhaust you’ve usually got at least the intention that you’ve ‘added power’ (usually not the case), but when it’s a simple matter of a switch that does nothing but increase volume surely it should be badged ‘willy waving’?

Limpet

3,049 posts

96 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
I love these things. When Mrs Limpet's Clubman went in to have some work done under warranty, the dealer lent us this to run about in:



In terms of simply sticking a ridiculous, dumb grin on my face, this is probably one of the most memorable cars I've driven. Yes, the exhaust is hilarious when you push the little bluetooth fob, yes you know the pops and bangs are mapped in, and yes, everyone within a mile radius is calling you a bellend, but it doesn't matter. The turbo whistle and flutter and deep burble from the exhaust even in "sensible mode" give it a lovely old school feeling. Just enough performance to give the chassis a workout, not enough to be ridiculous, and almost impossible to drive sedately. It just felt like a really nicely judged package. We only had it a few days, but both of us really, genuinely missed it when it went back.

Numeric

449 posts

86 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
My partner adored the R56 cooper S and was utterly in love with the R56 JCW we had, so when we came back from Oz the JCW was the totally logical car for us. But we couldn't do it -we couldn't get past the looks and the somehow lack of fun. So I am glad they have put the smile back in the driving experience, but I still couldn't own a car I would never walk away from and go - that looks nice.

OK the M135i isn't pretty - but in some ways it has the fuggly charm of the old Breadvan, the Mini just looks a mess. Anyway - the other half is now a rear wheel drive lover so I guess we are going that route for a while!

cerb4.5lee

10,357 posts

115 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Numeric said:
My partner adored the R56 cooper S and was utterly in love with the R56 JCW we had, so when we came back from Oz the JCW was the totally logical car for us. But we couldn't do it -we couldn't get past the looks and the somehow lack of fun. So I am glad they have put the smile back in the driving experience, but I still couldn't own a car I would never walk away from and go - that looks nice.

OK the M135i isn't pretty - but in some ways it has the fuggly charm of the old Breadvan, the Mini just looks a mess. Anyway - the other half is now a rear wheel drive lover so I guess we are going that route for a while!
I do think it's a massive shame that BMW struggle so much in the looks department, the only BMW I've liked the look of was my 640d(very dull to drive though), but I always glanced back at it.

I do miss having a car that is nice to look at, but having had a few Bmw's now though I just appreciated the way they drive instead. For my next car I'd like it to be easier on the eyes that's for sure.

The M235i would be close to my ideal for a daily but it just looks so bland/ordinary, whereas I agree that the M135i does have a certain quirkiness about it.

The1Driver

614 posts

87 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Can't see this drawing me away from my GP. Does look alright though.

Ninjin

16 posts

10 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
£85 is not for the LED headlight option, it is for cornering light assist if you have the LED headlights already.

You already have LED headlights from the Chilli Pack option.

Mini options and permutations are a nightmare. Took me ages to figure out what spec was what when I ordered my Cooper-S.

But you are right in saying the S is the best out of the bunch. JCW is just too hardcore for a daily driver.


Edited by Ninjin on Tuesday 30th January 09:28


Edited by Ninjin on Tuesday 30th January 09:29

is1

137 posts

83 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
From a styling point of view, I don't think the daft black wheels do any car any favours.
It just looks like there is a gaping hole under each wheel arch and you can't really see the design of the wheel.
Are black (and diamond cut) wheels done this way for the sake of being different?
I can see no other logical reason for doing so - every diamond cut wheel (often criticised by people on here) would look better painted basic silver.
Take the GT86 wheel as the most obvious example.

Tuvra

7,689 posts

160 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
is1 said:
From a styling point of view, I don't think the daft black wheels do any car any favours.
It just looks like there is a gaping hole under each wheel arch and you can't really see the design of the wheel.
Are black (and diamond cut) wheels done this way for the sake of being different?
I can see no other logical reason for doing so - every diamond cut wheel (often criticised by people on here) would look better painted basic silver.
Take the GT86 wheel as the most obvious example.
I like slver and black wheels, for me it totally depends on the car and the colour scheme.

For example this IMO looks 100 times better....

....than this:-

Then on the other hand I think silver looks much better here:-

Back to the original post, I think the Mini looks great smile

Mince

73 posts

56 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
ChevronB19 said:
having something where you can make the noise louder for no purpose whatsoever other than giving the driver a kick, I simply don’t get it?

I mean, if you change your exhaust you’ve usually got at least the intention that you’ve ‘added power’ (usually not the case), but when it’s a simple matter of a switch that does nothing but increase volume surely it should be badged ‘willy waving’?
Pressing the button sorts the exhaust values and the mentioned 19hp over the standard S. Without the button it drives like an S with upgraded pipes. For the full 210 button needs to be pressed.

TXG399

Original Poster:

111 posts

68 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Mince said:
Pressing the button sorts the exhaust values and the mentioned 19hp over the standard S. Without the button it drives like an S with upgraded pipes. For the full 210 button needs to be pressed.
Not true. The extra horsepower is always there, the button does nothing but open the exhaust valve. The 210 upgrade kit comprises the exhaust and a remap.

I used to work for MINI (and still have staff intranet access which has been quite handy!) and very nearly bought one of these myself so I am 100% confident in my facts.

kayzee

1,744 posts

116 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
aelord said:
Just get an R53, add a pulley and you have a far better hatch for about £3k
How much bigger is the current generation? I once tried fitting a packet of crisps in the boot of my R53... never again.

cerb4.5lee

10,357 posts

115 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
kayzee said:
How much bigger is the current generation? I once tried fitting a packet of crisps in the boot of my R53... never again.
You'll get a multi pack of crisps in the current generation...so not really that much bigger!


Icehanger

256 posts

157 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
TXG399 said:
Mince said:
Pressing the button sorts the exhaust values and the mentioned 19hp over the standard S. Without the button it drives like an S with upgraded pipes. For the full 210 button needs to be pressed.
Not true. The extra horsepower is always there, the button does nothing but open the exhaust valve. The 210 upgrade kit comprises the exhaust and a remap.

I used to work for MINI (and still have staff intranet access which has been quite handy!) and very nearly bought one of these myself so I am 100% confident in my facts.
Yup, more conformation, button is just an exhaust valve, extra HP map is permanently in the ECU.
You can still drive it fast in a more discrete way without all the pops and bang by leaving it shut and in normal driving mode.

Misses loves hers, it's a hoot to drive.