Sam and his F56 JCW Mini ‘Ariana’

We’re yet to come across a petrolhead who isn’t a fan of feisty pocket rockets like Sam’s JCW Mini. There’s just something about a hot-hatch that makes people smile no matter what vintage it is. Sam’s car is apart of the modern day breed of hot-hatchery, and what a belter she is!!

Hi all

I’m Sam and this is my Mini John Cooper works that I have named Ariana. I received the car about 2 and a bit years ago after a family member fell ill and could not drive the car anymore, due to it being too ‘hardcore’ for them, opting instead for a Cooper S. Not wanting to see the car be sold on, I jumped at the chance to own the car.

Skip forward 2 years and I’ve modified Ariana to not only perform well, but also to stand out a bit from the crowd.

I first realised that I wanted a Mini John Cooper Works after owning previous Mini’s in the past. I had an R50 normal Cooper and an R56 Cooper S. But I always dreamt about taking the next step and eventually owning a JCW. However, picking the generation that was right for myself was a vital choice. It just so happened that the one I’d always wanted was the one my family member had so when I got the opportunity to own it myself I couldn’t believe it.

If I had to pick one thing that was my favourite thing about the car it would have to be the performance. The experience and theatre you get when driving a JCW is very hard to describe but is totally addictive! The acceleration pushes you back into your seat and the noise that’s filling your ears from the pro exhaust is just something else. I know this is a very over used term, but the handling genuinely feels like you’re driving a Go Kart on the road.

As for trips and track days, I’ve taken Ariana to many Mini events and drive outs through the local Mini club. As of this weekend, Ariana is potentially going on a trip to Cheddar Gorge to join an evening drive out as part of the Mini’s in the Gorge event. I was also present at the last Mini action day at Castle Combe, where I was part of the parade laps at the event.

My recommendation for anybody buying a Mini John Cooper Works like mine is to just go for it, however. I would recommend buying a pre facelift model due to the fact that this is where the F56 generation was at its best. The LCI’s are very muted due to running GPF filters which will take away from the experience of owning one. Other than that, the F56 JCW is an incredibly fun and capable vehicle that anybody wanting to get into ownership will enjoy.

So, to summarise the F56 JCW Mini. It’s great, I love it, you’ll love it, long live hot-hatches!!!

Car Facts

Make: Mini

Model: F56 John Cooper Works

Year: 2017

Engine: 2 Litre B48 Twinpower engine

BHP: 297

Top Speed: 155

0-62mph Time: 4.8

Weight: 1.2 Tonnes  

Additional Mods: Eventuri induction kit, Airtec intercooler, Eibach Pro springs (25mm) lower, Spacers, JCW Pro exhaust, Exterior and Interior carbon fibre trim