New Mini John Cooper Works launches this fall

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A new generation of the Mini Cooper hatchback debuted last year, but still in the works is the car’s high-performance John Cooper Works grade.

It makes its world debut this fall but a lightly modified version wearing a livery inspired by the red and white color schemes used on Mini racers from the 1960s will be present during this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring, scheduled for the weekend starting June 1.

It won’t simply be a static display, though. It will be entered as a private entry by Germany’s Bulldog Racing in the 24-hour race’s SP3T class designed for production-based cars with turbocharged engines displacing between 1.6 and 2.0 liters.

The latest Mini Cooper has been revealed with both electric and gas powertrains, and the JCW grade will also offer both powertrain types, Mini has confirmed. However, electric versions of the Cooper are based on a separate dedicated EV platform, while the gas version is essentially a major update of the outgoing Cooper.

Teaser for new new Mini John Cooper Works debuting fall 2024

Mini hasn’t confirmed any specifications for the JCWs but the gas version should come with its predecessor’s 2.0-liter turbo-4, perhaps with a bit more horsepower than the older model’s 228-hp rating. Drive should go to the front wheels only, via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Don’t count on a manual being offered. The 2024 JCW 1to6 Edition launched last May marked the end of the third pedal’s run at Mini.

It isn’t clear what Mini plans for the electric JCW. The electric Cooper currently tops out with the Cooper SE grade which features a 54.2-kwh battery and a single electric motor at the front axle, rated at 215 hp.

Mini has only announced the gas Cooper for the U.S. market. It will arrive in showrooms later this year as a 2025 model, initially in base Cooper and sporty Cooper S guises.

All versions of the electric Cooper are currently built in China only. Importing them to the U.S. will attract steep tariffs, meaning Mini is likely to wait until production of the EVs is also added to the automaker’s plant in the U.K., where the gas versions are built. That’s currently scheduled for 2026.

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