Focus RS vs JCW - Page 2 - MINI Cooper Forum
Second Generation Works MINI John Cooper Works and MINI WC50 2007 - Present

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2016, 04:21 PM
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I had a JCW switched to RS then recently switched back to MINI. Bottom line is RS is faster (perceived as ~10% faster) and breaks better. However that is for street use or light racing. If you get it into a track (and I buy these cars mostly for track), the RS has poor cooling system and you can notice the wear on the engine if you rev it up hard. Brakes are also an issue - the RS discs are very large and generate a lot of heat - once they are warm (as in a longer than 10 min race) they don't perform as well. Finally, JCW does have much better stability during turns and can take those turns at higher speeds. Now if you don't take it to the track and have it for street use only, you will smoke JCWs especially on straight lines and the acceleration difference is noticeable! Only benefits I see for a JCW on regular street driving are that all the costs (especially gas, but brake wear, tire wear and service/maintenance during the first 5 years) are significantly cheaper than the RS - so if you take these into account, you may be surprised to find that the total cost of ownership after 5 years is lower on the JCW (one of the reasons I switched back). There are several claims to increase JCW's yield by 30 or even 50 bhp through stages 2, 3 an 4 (improved tuning, intake, downpipes, fast flow cat, etc.) and there are also several carbon-fiber conversion packages available to cut weight down - but all these options are pretty pricey and even risky... With those options, gap is narrowed and in some cases, with proper tuning, you can get the JCW to outperform the RS... then again you can also improve the RS further... so what was first the chicken or the egg? Hope this helps and good luck on your vehicle hunting!

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2016, 06:44 PM
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I have a mk2 Focus RS (standard) and a R52 Cooper S tuned to 200bhp. The Focus in EVERY respect is in a much higher league, the Mini is a poor second in this comparison.

Not saying the Mini isn't a good car because it is, but it simply isn't a like for like comparison.

Another consideration is the residual value of the RS, they simply don't loose money (unless they are high miles), the Mini is good, but again is a poor comparison.

Nice post resuraction though.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2017, 07:17 AM
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It's interesting looking back on this thread after all this time!

I owned my R53 Cooper S, as a second car, alongside a V70 for less than 3 years. I loved that car, but the family simply outgrew it. By the time it was sold it had around 48,000 miles on the clock.

I owned the RS from 2010 to 2014. For the first year, I owned it alongside the V70, while for the last three I drove it alongside a Land Rover Freelander 2. I only did 15,000 in the RS during the whole time I had it, despite being so much more practical. When I changed jobs and opted out of the company car scheme (as the only option was a new 3 Series 320d Touring), I tried using the RS for work for one week - it was hopeless! I traded it for another Land Rover straight away!!

So, what went wrong?

On the plus side, it was faster and better braked than the MINI. It was much more spacious. The RS caused a stir, while the MINI blended in. It was also the slowest depreciating car that I've ever owned (despite it being a Ford).

But, it always felt like a Ford Focus to drive. A Ford Focus that happened to have a lot of power and traction, but just a Focus none the less. I just never truly bonded with the car and once the Land Rover arrived, I usually took the LR out by choice and left the RS in the garage!! Ultimately, the LR had character and charm that the RS, amazingly, lacked.

I still look and smile as one drives by (which I get a good view of from the height of my current Disco 4 - my 5th LR since the RS) and even stopped and had a friendly chat with someone in a Focus RS Mk3 recently. Owning an RS is one I can tick off my bucket list but, if I had my 7 car dream garage of my previous favourites, it'd be my old R53 Cooper S parked up in there instead.

5/04-2/07 R50, 2/07-5/10 R53, all outgrown!
And now, after a Mk2 Focus RS, 3 x Freelander 2's, 2 x Discovery 4's, its....
Impossible to show here within site image size restrictions

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2017, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tigger, Eeyore & Roo View Post
It's interesting looking back on this thread after all this time!

I owned my R53 Cooper S, as a second car, alongside a V70 for less than 3 years. I loved that car, but the family simply outgrew it. By the time it was sold it had around 48,000 miles on the clock.

I owned the RS from 2010 to 2014. For the first year, I owned it alongside the V70, while for the last three I drove it alongside a Land Rover Freelander 2. I only did 15,000 in the RS during the whole time I had it, despite being so much more practical. When I changed jobs and opted out of the company car scheme (as the only option was a new 3 Series 320d Touring), I tried using the RS for work for one week - it was hopeless! I traded it for another Land Rover straight away!!

So, what went wrong?

On the plus side, it was faster and better braked than the MINI. It was much more spacious. The RS caused a stir, while the MINI blended in. It was also the slowest depreciating car that I've ever owned (despite it being a Ford).

But, it always felt like a Ford Focus to drive. A Ford Focus that happened to have a lot of power and traction, but just a Focus none the less. I just never truly bonded with the car and once the Land Rover arrived, I usually took the LR out by choice and left the RS in the garage!! Ultimately, the LR had character and charm that the RS, amazingly, lacked.

I still look and smile as one drives by (which I get a good view of from the height of my current Disco 4 - my 5th LR since the RS) and even stopped and had a friendly chat with someone in a Focus RS Mk3 recently. Owning an RS is one I can tick off my bucket list but, if I had my 7 car dream garage of my previous favourites, it'd be my old R53 Cooper S parked up in there instead.
Interesting you compare the RS to a Landrover.

Says to me pleasure in driving a car comes from many different sources.

Me, I still have my Mi2 RS, my Fiesta ST and my Mini and love them all for different reasons.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2017, 07:57 AM
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Interesting you compare the RS to a Landrover.

Says to me pleasure in driving a car comes from many different sources.
You're darn right there! Glad you're still enjoying yours

5/04-2/07 R50, 2/07-5/10 R53, all outgrown!
And now, after a Mk2 Focus RS, 3 x Freelander 2's, 2 x Discovery 4's, its....
Impossible to show here within site image size restrictions
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2018, 04:20 PM
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Hi,

Currently in a ford garage helping my father pick a car.

I myself have been sucked in by a White focus RS.

I'm seriously considering swapping my JCW for it.

Does anyone have experience of one and experience of a JCW ie, should I be tempted??

The reason is that I'm also considering modifying my JCW to 270 bhp with coil covers and recaro seats; the RS seems to have it all!?
Odd comparison really. Completely different types of car aimed at completely different markets. I had a Focus RS2 and now have 2013 GP2. The RS was a heavy old car that made more sense the more load it was under. On the other hand the GP makes sense at all load levels. I don't know much about the RS3 - I fancy it but it would be too much car for me for the mileage I do. Besides I 'love' the `GP'. Best 20k I ever spent!

Drive like no-one's watching!
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2018, 05:06 PM
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Off topic but a certain niche in the market the new 4WD RS definitely compares with a LR or other 4x4. If you live near or commute through an area with single track roads specially in winter as no worries driving a bit off the road when meeting another car. Nice hybrid (in the traditional sense, not regarding engine type) to a SUV as you still have a small fun hatch when you want it.

Know someone who bought one for this very reason

Just something to think about certain cars while obviously different can attract same customer

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