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Is there a difference between MINI COOPER S and a MINI COOPER JCW (John Cooper Works)?

Yes, the JCW is a tuned version of the S.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAT1MtMlEJA

If the standard Mini Cooper S is a turbocharged go-kart with seating for four (barely), what do you get when you throw in a few more ponies, a snortin’ exhaust, a race-ready suspension and Brembo brakes? You end up with the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works – a mouthful of words that puts the “zig” Cadillac never quite got into the already zig-a-licious standard Cooper S. After a recent spin in the roomier Mini Cooper Clubman S John Cooper Works – that name will really drive the folks at the DMV nuts – we decided it was time to check out its shorter, more agile sibling to see if it possessed the same fun-to-drive spirit. A JCW convertible is supposedly coming soon, too.

And puts you in an entirely different class in SCCA solo if you plan to autocross it.

I think the S is D-Stock, wheras the JCW ends up in STX.

It has more power and better handling.

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