This is Marty. I met him one August evening when he spotted me pulling my Mini Cooper S JCW convertible test car into the parking lot of a local shopping plaza. Marty’s a British ex-pat, from the City of Oxford, where BMW builds the modern Mini Cooper. He likes the car for that reason, but also because (unsurprisingly) he’s a fan of British cars in general. Not that this one is actually British in any way but its name, but whatever: he’d never so much as sat in one of these cars, so I took him for a quick spin to show off how nicely it goes.
As a car reviewer, I’m supposed to be objective, but I was a car enthusiast first and I have no problem admitting that I *love* the Mini Cooper – even when it costs nearly $50,000, as this particular one does.
As great as this particular car is – the JCW boasts 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, a bump up from the Cooper S’ 181 hp and 177 lb-ft – it’s really hard to justify at $50,000. In fact, you’d do just fine with a base model, with its 121-hp motor. As nice as the Cooper S’ turbo engine is, the car’s go-kart handling is the point, rather than straight-line performance.
Outrageous price aside, a week with this one helped cement the Mini Cooper’s place on my short-list of cars I’d like to own at some point.