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The new Mini John Cooper Works will debut at the Nürburgring 24 Hours

Mini’s flagship JCW hot hatch will be unveiled in both petrol and EV forms later this year

Mini is transitioning towards a new era of electric cars, but that doesn’t mean it’s leaving its traditional hot hatches behind. The firm has announced that a new, petrol-engined JCW hatch will debut at the Nürburgring 24 Hours this month, sitting above the 201bhp Cooper S in its lineup.

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It's no secret that petrol hot hatches (and particularly more affordable hot superminis) are dying out. Slim profit margins and the need to fund EV development have forced the likes of the Hyundai i20 N and Ford Fiesta ST off sale, but the JCW will survive into another generation. It’ll be sold alongside a battery-powered equivalent, riding on a bespoke EV architecture with Alpine’s A290 in its sights.

The petrol version will be an evolution of the outgoing JCW, and is likely to use the same BMW-sourced 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The previous car sent 228bhp and 236lb ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the latter of which will be the only transmission option for the new model (the previous-gen JCW 1to6 edition was the last JCW available with a manual). Expect a 0-62mph time of around 6sec and a top speed north of 150mph. 

The EV is likely to retain the electric Cooper SE’s front-motor layout, but potentially with more power than the current 215bhp range-topper. Alpine is keeping its cards close to its chest with the A290’s specification, but it’s also certain to generate more than 200bhp. 

The model in these pictures is the John Cooper Works Pro petrol-engined race car that will be run by Bulldog Racing at the Nürburgring next month. Elements such as its quick-release bonnet, aggressive suspension geometry and single-exit race exhaust won’t make it to the production car, but the JCW will no doubt receive a design makeover and more aggressive suspension tuning over the Cooper S. 

The new JCW will debut on June 1 at the N24, before being fully unveiled in production-spec this autumn.

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