Auto Express award goes to high-performance newcomer

It's only been on sale for a month, yet the new MINI John Cooper Works has already claimed the title of Best Hot Hatch 2008, awarded by Auto Express.

The fastest-ever series production MINI has beaten off competition from the likes of the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Clio Renaultsport to take top spot in the annual Auto Express New Car Honours.

An amazing 211 hp, or 132 hp per litre, is delivered from a heavily revised 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol power plant and forms the basis of the appeal of the new MINI John Cooper Works.

MINI John Cooper

Despite the newcomer's engine being an identical unit to that featuring in the high-performance MINI CHALLENGE race car, the CO2 emission and fuel consumption figure for the MINI John Cooper Works beats the competition hands down.

MINI Cooper S VW Golf GTI Clio Renaultsport Honda Civic Type R
Combined fuel cons. (mpg) 45.6 35.3 33.6 31.0
CO2 emissions (g/km) 149 189 199 215

The MINI John Cooper Works offers supreme performance, finely-honed chassis dynamics and an industry-leading ownership prospect which proved irresistible to the team of judges at Auto Express.

David Johns, Editor of Auto Express magazine said: "The latest JCW model to be produced at MINI's Plant Oxford is a firecracker. Not only is it one of the quickest cars in its class, it's also one of the most environmentally-friendly. It outscores all its rivals for entertainment, bringing the no-frills thrills of the original to life in a thoroughly modern and brilliant package."

Hot hatch fans desperate to get behind the wheel of the new MINI John Cooper Works will be delighted to learn that the car can be theirs from as little as £279 per month, through MINI Financial Services .*