The fabled John Cooper moniker will adorn both three-door and Clubman performance Mini versions set for unveiling at the Geneva motor show.
Having a nearly sacrosanct heritage to live up to, the latest John Cooper Works (JCW) Mini versions should provide the very latest in small car performance motoring.
Cooper, after all, beyond turning the Mini into a rallying giant killer in the early 1960s, revolutionised open wheel racing by introducing rear-engine formula one cars in the late 1950s.
These latest JCW versions will see power upped to from 128kW to155kW from the 1.6-litre, twin-turbo, four-cylinder engine, jointly developed by BMW and the French PSA group.
An 'overboost' feature allows the JCW Mini models to bump torque up to 280Nm for short stints under hard acceleration. Top speed comes at 238km/h, whilst 0-100km/h comes up in 6.5 seconds for the three-door and 6.8 seconds for the clubman. Restrained throttle use should see average consumption at about 7-litres per 100km.
Electronic dynamic driving aides, less 'nannying'
Ensuring this performance is kept under control the JCW models have had their suspension systems modified and ride height dropped by 10mm, whilst brakes have been upgraded, and super light 17-inch alloy wheels - at less than 10kg a piece - are shod with 205/45 performance tyres.
Disengaging DSC gets rid of some of the electronic-nannying while simultaneously engaging an electric differential lock on the front-drive axle.
This performs a pseudo limited slip differential function, by applying brake force - instead of regulating torque distribution - to the spinning wheel during extreme cornering, quelling much of the torque- and understeer problems which afflict powerful, front-wheel drive cars.
Aesthetically ten exterior paint finishes are available for the new JCW models, whilst contrasting interior roof and trim finishes can be ordered in a wide range of combinations. Both Apple iPod and iPhone integration interfaces are optional.
Produced at the British Mini plant in Oxford, the new JCW Minis should give their German hot hatch brethren a rude awakening in the market place when they roll of the production line in August of this year.