The Mini may have retro charm, but it still has to move with the times.
The 173bhp Cooper S is great fun, but with many hot hatch rivals now providing well over 200bhp, it's starting to look a little weedy.
This new John Cooper Works version narrows the gap - it's much more than just a bodykit, special 17-inch alloys and a shedload of badges.
Modifications to the engine, exhaust, air intake and turbocharger mean the 1.6-litre petrol engine now produces a whopping 208bhp.
That means it'll blast from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds, and at full tilt, you'll nudge 148mph.
The acceleration feels just as outrageous as it sounds, and it's accompanied by a burbling exhaust note that makes it even more tempting to get busy with the throttle.
As hot hatches go, it's hotter than a blacksmith's armpit.
The suspension has been tweaked, too, so the extra power doesn't make the Works too much of a handful.
There's more than enough grip to cope, and the Mini's unbelievable poise and quick, precise steering means it's just as great to chuck around as ever.
There's a long list of electronic driver aids to help keep you on the straight-and-narrow if you overdo it, too. Even the ride isn't too raw.
However, while the drive takes your breath away, so does the price. It costs a staggering £20,995 - that's £4750 more than the standard Cooper S.
At least you get air-conditioning as standard for your money and the resale values will be rock-solid.
Even so, that's a lot of money for a Mini - we'd stick with the standard Cooper S.
• The Mini John Cooper Works goes on sale on July 22, but the Clubman version won't be available until next year.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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