Mini Previews John Cooper Works Concept

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Mini announced today that it would premiere its John Cooper Works Concept next month at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The performance-oriented version of the hatchback is being touted as a concept but really is a logical progression after the production-ready 2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop debuted last month at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The automaker says the JCW edition “flies the flag for innovative sportiness in time-honored John Cooper Works style,” featuring exclusive Bright Highways Grey paint with contrasting red accents, bespoke aerodynamic features and newly designed 18-inch light-alloy wheels.

Mini stated that the JCW Concept is based on the latest-generation Mini, with its longer wheelbase and wider track, lighter weight and improved aerodynamics. Large air intakes replace fog lights while air-channeling elements span the front apron, and LED headlights and a black grille surround characterize the concept’s face. Other aerodynamic-enhancing body features include specially contoured side skirts, a rear apron with flaps, a diffuser element and a roof spoiler.

The JCW’s sports exhaust includes a model-specific silencer system and chrome-finished twin tailpipes, which Mini says is a tip of the hand to the fact that the concept’s performance emphasis goes beyond the JCW logo on the grille. Powertrain details haven’t been released, however.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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