This is the all new MINI JCW, which has been revealed in concept car form at the Detroit motor show, with a production model set to follow later in 2014.
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Despite MINI labelling this car as a concept, it's actually a thinly veiled version of the showroom model. The styling is expected to make production virtually unchanged, right down to the unique 18-inch alloy wheel design.
The exterior gets a striking Bright Highways Grey paintjob, with contrasting flashes of red on the mirrors, roof and bumper. At the front, larger air intakes replace the foglights on the standard car and help mark it out as the range topper.
Full LED headlights sit either side of a black-surround grille - another unique design cue for the John Cooper Works model.
As well as exterior modifications, the JCW will also receive a firmer suspension set-up for sharper handling, in addition to a tweaked steering ratio, ESP system and bigger brakes. MINI says the result is 'hardcore driving fun'.
The third-gen MINI is the first to be available with a range of new three-cylinder turbocharged engines but the high-performance JCW model will stick with a four-cylinder petrol engine. However, as with the new Cooper S model, the new engine is upsized from 1.6 to 2.0-litres. Power makes a modest jump from the 208bhp of the outgoing model, to an expected 217bhp. However, if the JCW model follows the Cooper S, the maximum torque figure will also increase, and be developed lower in the rev range.
A launch date has not been officially set but we've been told to expect the JCW to arrive in summer along with the MINI One entry-level model. Prices for the JCW should kick off at around £23,000.