The 2014 Mini John Cooper Works, the hottest new version of a once-tiny car that's almost the size of an Mk3 Golf these days, got an extreme introduction in Detroit this afternoon by a live rock band a very eager fog machine.
But hey, since it's basically the same car that surfaced way back in December, they've got to find some way to jazz things up. The good news is that after it was fired up before a throng of auto journalists and industry folks, I can personally confirm that it sounds mean as hell for such a little engine.
But what engine is that exactly? Strangely, no specs were announced for the JCW Concept today, but the new Cooper S gets a turbo 2.0-liter four (developed by BMW for the first time ever) with 189 horsepower and and 207 pound-feet of torque. We can expect the production Works version to have quite a bit more power than that.
Not present at Detroit this year: the new four-door Mini Cooper. That will probably debut at a later date this year, possibly a European auto show, which should spare my own eyeballs from having to see it for a while.
I should be driving the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S at the end of this month. Mini promises that despite the size increase, it will still have the go kart-like handling and pure driving fun that the outgoing car is famous for. Let's hope so.