Mini JCW 3 copy

Doesn’t the third-gen MINI breed fast. You’ve seen five-door, Clubman and Cabrio versions testing; now it’s time for the super garang one to swing into focus in the lenses of our European spy photographers.

Of course, you already have a very good idea of what the F56 MINI John Cooper Works Hatch could look like – a striking grey concept turned up in Detroit last December, remember?

This prototype, seen here at the Nurburgring, has the concept’s front bumper (‘three-shape’ protruding chin, enlarged side intakes with no fog lamps), JCW alloys and JCW-badged red brake callipers.

However, it doesn’t have the side skirts, unique side gills, sports exhaust tailpipes nor rear bumper with flaps and diffuser element seen on the concept – in fact the back is pure Cooper S Hatch. The real thing should get ‘em all, though.

It should also get a tuned version of the Cooper S’ 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo engine – reports indicate around 230 hp could be had. If indeed so, that’s a jump of nearly 20 hp over the current JCW hatch.