John Cooper Works

Audi A1 versus the John Cooper Works

Published August 27, 2012

I saw this interesting article in a German magazine, Auto Motor und Sport. It was the Audi A1 Crossroad versus the John Cooper Works. As I used to have a John Cooper Works, I was very interested in this article and of course read it to the end only to find that Audi outperformed the John Cooper Works. That hurt a little, especially with the Audi priced at €49,900, versus the John Cooper Works priced at €29,500. There is indeed a major price difference. Now would I pay the price difference for the performance difference? Probably not. So let us look at this without worrying about the price difference.

Audi A1

If money were no object and I was looking at these two vehicles, my first gut feeling is that I would jump on that Audi A1, but that’s only after I cheated and went to the end and saw the performance statistics. I did love my John Cooper Works when I had it, it was a great little car, but it is a lot like a go-kart. It was not much for acceleration, but it could really do well in passing. On curvy back roads or mountain roads, it was unbeatable fun. The John Cooper Works does have a cool looking interior, but there are parts that look somewhat cheap. The interior of the Audi is slick; it has many nice materials and a more modern industrial type design. The large amount of steering wheel controls appealed to me. I love the way the dials have a very professional  meter-type look. The left dial is red and it really has a rally car type feel.


Speaking of rally car, there are some cool pictures that show the high-end rally cars that match these vehicles. The one for Audi actually carries a VW logo, but looks like it is the exact same body. The Mini Cooper is actually the four-door MINI Countrymen, and they showed it in the snow just tearing it up. Rally cars of always appeal to me, I wish it would become more popular in the United States. What a lot of fun that job would be, eh?


My German is not good; as you can tell my English is not good either, but it did not take me long to figure out the status on both vehicles. The scoring went very close. It shows the scoring for the Audi at a score out of 77 compared to the MINI’s 70. I can see that by the interior, and the size of the MINI’s backseats. I couldn’t quite figure out what the other categories where for their rating system, so just tell you what the results were,  453 points for the Audi versus 444 points for the MINI Cooper S.

John Cooper Works

Bottom line, I was thinking about it more in terms of the cars achievements. If you look at the parent brand of MINI, it is BMW, and I wish that BMW had really shown what they were capable of in their smallest/cheapest car. You could argue that the I135 is the smallest car of BMWs and an extreme showcase of what it is capable of for performance for the price. You could also argue that Audi is a higher level brand then the parent companies true smallest cars, and VW does have some small cars.


So I am not sure that these two cars are evenly matched in a class, so it is difficult to compare them. So if you think about it for the price, price per points in terms of how they judged it, the MINI Cooper did quite well. For €20,000, or whatever those graduations are, you really get some great value out of the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works.



Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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