MINI John Cooper Works hot hatch revealed

The new MINI JCW is set to be the fastest and most powerful MINI ever, when it appears at the Detroit Motor Show

The new MINI John Cooper Works will be the fastest production MINI ever when it goes on sale early next year. The 228bhp, 2.0-litre hot hatchback will also offer impressive fuel economy.

MINI's John Cooper Works tuning arm has a history of bringing faster and more outrageous versions of the British-built hatch to market, and this is its latest effort. It is distinguishable from a standard MINI Cooper S thanks to sportier bumper designs, a new roof spoiler and unique lightweight alloy wheels.

Inside there are sculpted bucket seats trimmed in a quilted fabric, as well as stainless steel pedals, new instrument displays and a unique keyfob. A customised head-up display is an optional extra which beams information onto the windscreen in front of the driver.

But the big story is the changes under the skin. The Cooper S's 2.0 turbocharged engine gets an increase of 39bhp, 10% more than the previous MINI JCW, at 228bhp. That gives 0-62mph acceleration figures of 6.3 seconds for the six-speed manual gearbox, or 6.1 seconds for the Steptronic automatic.

Despite this performance, the JCW claims a competitive fuel economy figure of 42.2mpg combined with the six-speed manual gearbox, with CO2 emissions at 155g/km. Yet that increases to an impressive 49.5mpg with the six-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, with CO2 dropping to 133g/km.

The firm has also worked on the suspension to make the JCW the sharpest and most agile MINI in the range. Firmer suspension is fitted (with optional adjustable suspension available), while a quicker steering system and new bigger brakes should compliment the increased pace.

At £22,865, the JCW will be more than £2,000 cheaper than the four-wheel drive Audi S1. We'll see it unveiled in the flesh at the Detroit Motor Show in January next year.

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