The Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is a snappy hot hatchback, but it's not generally associated with flat-out speed. The version featured in this new AutoTopNL video is from 2016, packing a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 228 bhp in stock trim. But it seems this particular JCW isn't stock, as the video mentions a total output of 290 bhp. And every bit is used in this top-speed autobahn run.
We're treated to four distinct sprints in this five-minute clip, but we're immediately aware that this isn't a stock Mini JCW. The angry exhaust note is very noticeable from the interior, and the JCW's trademark burbles and pops are even more prevalent here. Furthermore, it eventually exceeds its official top speed of 149 mph, though it takes a while to get there. We'll discuss that in a bit.
The video opens with a modest 139-mph trip, and while it's not supercar quick, it doesn't take that long for the nimble hatch to get there. As for the second trip, we hesitate to call any of these speed runs gentle, but its 133-mph maximum looks easy for an unrestricted section of the German autobahn. Through it all, we get occasional pops from the exhaust during shifting and lift-throttle moments, but exiting the highway to change direction dials the noise to 11. It's definitely a raucous four-cylinder, that's for sure.
It has some guts, too. The third run sees the Mini's speedometer climb to 147 mph before encountering some traffic, but the final run is where everything comes together. From a standstill, the driver punches the throttle to enter the nearly empty motorway as an estate – an older Mercedes-Benz E-Class from the looks of it – passes by. As the JCW's speed enters the 140 mph range it becomes clear the estate is also enjoying the unrestricted motorway. It remains a dot in the distance for much of the run, growing a bit larger as the Mini's speed starts to plateau near 150.
We don't know if the driver was holding the throttle steady, or if the Mini managed to catch the draft wake of the speedy Mercedes. Whatever the case, the speedo begins climbing once again as both cars clear some traffic, culminating with a readout of 255 kph before lifting. That's 158 mph. In a Mini Hatch.
We don't know if future electric Minis will have the mojo of this mildly modded machine, so enjoy those engine pops and growls while they last, folks.