This year’s Performance Car of the Year award went to the bonkers Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, a monster on the track and a forgiving ride off it, according to the people over at Road&Track. And while BMW had the M8 running in this competition as well, the guys over at MINI must’ve been pretty excited to see their little bundle of joy competing with much faster and more expensive cars for the coveted title.
The MINI JCW GP has been praised a lot lately. It truly lives up to its name as it is quite poised and fun to throw around on the track. The engine might’ve been one of the least powerful here but considering how small the JCW GP is anyway, things evened out. The jury, deciding the winner of the award, agreed that this car was right up there when it came to the smiles/lbs ratio. According to Road & Track, the MINI feels like a “rowdy bulldog that needs you to take charge and actually control the torque steer.”
And while the car was fun on the track, it was a bit of a letdown on public roads. The tests carried out to find out the Performance Car of the Year winner include a track section as well as a public road one and while the JCW GP is brilliant on track, the things that make the MINI great are also its worst features on daily commutes.
The aggressive setup that made it such a hoot on the track became a nightmare. Road&Track staff writer, Brian Silvestro summed it up: “Really isn’t pleasant to drive on the road. Extremely stiff setup plus short wheelbase make it very bouncy on any surface. And not having a manual is a letdown.” It’s something MINI should write down for the fourth generation of a MINI JCW GP model. You can read all about the car and its rivals here.