• Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Those enamored by a Mini's spritely handling and retro styling but looking for that extra performance edge have had a succession of John Cooper Works models to choose from, straight through to the latest version unveiled this week in Detroit. And now, Mini appears to be preparing a JCW version of the new convertible.

Spied undergoing cold-weather testing in Scandinavia, this Mini prototype appears to be wearing the tell-tale signs of a JCW model, combined with the folding fabric roof of the convertible model. Mini has yet to reveal the convertible version of the latest, third-generation Cooper, but while we're expecting it to take a similar approach to the outgoing model – with four seats and a soft top stacking up in the back when open – there's always the chance that, with the demise of the two-seat Roadster model, the roof on the new cabrio will fold more flush with the rear deck. Since this prototype, like the previous one we saw over a year ago on a flat-bed truck, has its roof up, it's impossible to say at this point.

What we can see is that this prototype, though decked out in swirly camouflage, is wearing the upgraded body kit of the new JCW hatch, including the flared wheel arches, big air vents and dual central exhaust tips. The wheels, though wearing snow tires appropriate to the climate, fill those flared fenders well, and are in turn packed with what look like pretty big brakes. Expect the 2.0-liter turbo four to pack the same 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque as the hardtop version, only with the added thrill of wind in your hair. Of course, if Mini is indeed preparing to launch a JCW version of the new convertible, there's nothing to say it won't do the same with the four-door Hardtop, the upcoming Clubman wagon or any other body-style in the new range.


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