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Waiting for Works Clubman
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So we've all seen the reviews saying that the John Cooper Works is a good little car, but a common complaint is that it's just too much when compared to the MINI Cooper S. After all, there's a £4,500 price hike over the very adequate S, so that makes the JCW very expensive for what you're getting. Is that actually correct, though?

Well, the base price of the Cooper S is £16,245. Most of us know just how hard it is not to start ticking boxes, and almost all Cooper S cars sold have the Chili pack, but let's imagine a world where people really do buy a Cooper S for £16,245. They get a car without any extras, no air con and 16" wheels.

the base price of teh John Cooper Works is £20,995. Actually slightly more than £4,500 on top of the base price for the S. And almost every buyer is going to start ticking the options list again. But you *could* buy a JCWfor £20,995, and it would be an attractive and capable car.

But just looking at the base figures doesn't tell the full story.

The JCW has a better standard spec than the Cooper S included in the base price. Ignoring the (actully rather important) powertrain and braking changes for a moment, with the JCW you're getting the bodykit and aircon, 17" wheels and various other little extras you might be tempted to pay for if you got the S.


I've not added up the cost of the non-JCW extras like the aircon and wheels, but I'm guessing that they'd account for at least half of the price hike.

Looking at the car configurator on the official website, if I spec a Cooper S Hatch with all the stuff included as standard on the JCW car, including the FACTORY arerokit (the JCW kit is actually quite a bit more expensive, but can't be included as a factory option on an S), and 17" web spoke with web spoke alloys (which seems fair, as they are more attractive and more unusual than the ubiquitous 17" crown spoke alloys; though you could shave £500 the price by choosing crown spokes instead), you get a grand total of £19,005 for the Cooper S.

That's right - buying a Cooper S with all the toys and extras included as standard on the JCW will set you back £19,005, and that's *without* touching the brakes, engine, gearbos and clutch - all the bits that people will actually be buying the JCW for.

If you have the dealer fit the JCW body kit (it's about £500 more than the factory-fit aerokit), JCW brake pack (no idea about cost for the larger discs and calipers), and JCW stage 1 engine mods (around £1,400), I'm sure that you will actually end up spending quite a bit more than the JCW's base price - and unlitamtely for a less capable car, because you're boosting the S engine while missing out on the Challenge engine.

To conclude, the JCW is actually *LESS* than £2,000 more than an identical S, not £4,500, as will as costing less *overall* than an S treated to various JCW upgrades.
 

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Not sure if the pricing has changed, but my S worked out just over £18k with the Chilli pack, air con, 17s, punch leather, chrome int, hifi and silver dash trim as extras. Then came the JCW aerokit installed for less than £1k when the car was new, and later on the tuning kit again for around £1k. I believe the aerokit was sold for around £600ish a few months after I purchased so you can (could anyway...) buy an S to a similar spec to the factory car for a little less, not more. That's ignoring the breaks which I don't think need upgrading.

Forgetting all that it's not really fair to directly compare them, the tuning kit and the factory car are aimed at different markets. I got the tuning kit as I wanted a little more from my S and didn't want to take the depreciation on a fairly new car and wanted to retain the warranty in full. I wouldn't imagine there are that many buyers comparing the two now.

PS. Don't forget to add the cost of a future JCW factory tuning kit to give you factory owners the nice JCW engraved exhaust and airbox + filter :D
 
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