2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe

Automobile magazine sent a writer to Austria to test and review the forthcoming 2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe (or Coupé as it is known as in Europe).

Does it drive like a Mini?

Yes, indeed. It’s based on the current Mini Cooper Cabriolet chassis and shares its powertrains with other Mini models. We drove only a top-of-the-line John Cooper Works version at the Wachauring racetrack in Melk, Austria, about an hour from Vienna. In late September, we will have the opportunity to drive the base Mini Cooper Coupe and the Mini Cooper Coupe S.

The author, Joe DeMatio, took the camoflagued pre-production MINI JCW Coupe around the Wachauring with rally legend Rauno Aaltonen riding alongside.

As I become more familiar with the track and the car, Aaltonen decreases the role of the electronic nannies. Before long I’m rotating through the sweepers smoothly, following Aaltonen’s advice to keep the revs way up on the turbo 1.6-liter four and to accelerate sooner rather than later out of corners.

Some important specifications taken from this article include:

  • The MINI Coupe weighs 55 lbs. more than the current MINI Hardtop
  • The MINI Coupe has a 13 degree flatter windscreen angle
  • The MINI Coupe is just over an inch lower than the MINI Hardtop
  • The MINI Coupe has 4.4 ft³ more cargo space (10.0 vs. 5.6) than the MINI Hardtop.

Read the entire Automobile article First Drive: 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe John Cooper Works.