We’ve always known that the MINI John Cooper Works is something special. And if you’ve been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of one, it’s an experience you aren’t likely to forget. The go-kart handling alone is enough to confirm that this car a born winner – and it seems everyone agrees.

The MINI John Cooper Works received top marks in the importer small car category at the Sport Auto Awards 2015 which took place in Munich, Germany recently. However, “small” is relative because the MINI John Cooper Works definitely packs a punch with its thrilling performance.

The sport auto awards have been around since 1980, and rank among the longest-standing vehicle awards in the world. Even against some very close competition, the MINI John Cooper Works was a clear winner in its category.

Apart from its racy looks and original design, it’s what’s under the hood that will really impress. For starters, the MINI John Cooper Works is driven by the most powerful engine ever installed in the brand’s production models. The 2 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology generating 170 kW (fuel consumption according to EU: 6.7 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 165 g/km) offers an exhilaratingly fun drive.

The technology behind the engine, suspension and aerodynamics are inspired by motor racing and built for extreme driving fun. In conjunction with the 6-speed manual transmission, the MINI John Cooper Works accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds reaching a top speed of 246 km/h. It’s also optionally available with the 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission.

If you need another reason to take the MINI John Cooper Works on, a test drive is just a click away. For now though, a toast to the MINI John Cooper Works for earning its stripes and proving yet again, that dynamite can come in small packages.