The MINI franchise is finally facing some stiff competition in the compact performance segment, particularly abroad where buyers can now get their retrotastic kicks in the 180-hp Fiat Punto Abarth SS or the Clio Renaultsport 197. It's been simply a matter of time before MINI let loose the John Cooper Works team again on the new R56 Cooper S, and the fruits of their underground labors have been caught on the Nurburgring in the form of a Stage II version of the R56 Cooper S JCW package.
Sporting a set of 18-inch rollers pilfered from the JCW GP Limited Edition Cooper S, this test mule also receives a set of upgraded brakes, a JCW-spec sports suspension package and a restyled aero kit. A proper tune of the turbo'd 1.6-liter mill, coupled with a new JCW exhaust, is expected to bring output up from to around 215 horsepower.

Expect the JCW-massaged version of the Cooper S to debut in Geneva next year, with sales beginning later in '08.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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