Next week, Mini will take the wraps off the next-generation Cooper hardtop at the 2023 IAA Munich in Germany. The Oxford-based marque part of the BMW Group will likely focus on the purely electric model but chances are we’re going to wait a bit more to see the John Cooper Works without a combustion engine. The ICE-less JCW was spied earlier this month wearing camouflage, and now we’ve decided to imagine the silent hot hatch without the disguise.
It’s going to look instantly recognizable yet fresh, and we know for a fact Mini is still planning a gasoline-fueled JCW. The models will not mechanically related as the gas models will ride on Mini’s own platform whereas the electric versions will be underpinned by a platform developed by Great Wall Motor. Mini’s parent company BMW and GWM inked a deal in 2019 to assemble the electric Mini Cooper in China at a new factory where the electric-only Aceman small crossover will be built from 2024. The regular Cooper will still be made at home in the UK.
Our exclusive rendering peels of the camouflage in an attempt to uncover the electric hot hatch’s design. It’s expected to feature a more aggressive body kit with different bumpers and bigger wheels compared to the regular Cooper E and Cooper SE. A stiffer suspension setup will lower the ride height and improve handling, while bigger air intakes will make the JCW stand out.
As far as power is concerned, we know the base Cooper E will have 181 hp whereas the Cooper SE is getting 215 hp. To make it worthy of the JCW badge, Mini could push the range-topping version to roughly 250 hp. Of the two batteries announced, logic tells us the performance model will get the larger 54.2-kWh pack instead of the standard 40.7-kWh pack.
From the other details released thus far, we know the next-gen electric Mini will continue to come in a three-door flavor and will have a slightly longer wheelbase despite being overall shorter. It’s going to be widened a bit and will have the lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the floor, which should help with handling by lowering the center of gravity.
At next week’s IAA Munich in Germany, Mini will take the covers off the regular model, so expect the JCW to arrive in 2024.