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Mini's hottest model to debut at famous endurance race: 2025 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works is coming in petrol and electric car forms with the Hyundai i20 N and VW Polo GTI in its sights

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This is the John Cooper Works race car.
This is the John Cooper Works race car.

Mini has given a preview of its next-gen hi-po hot hatch, the John Cooper Works ahead of an official debut at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance race starting May 30. 

For the first time, Mini is making the focused John Cooper Works spec available on electric models as well as petrol. Full powertrain and chassis details are yet to be revealed. 

Mini has yet to confirm when the Cooper S John Cooper Works will arrive in Australia. The rest of the range, priced from $41,990-$58,990 before on-road costs, is expected to land in the third quarter of the year.

The red and white camouflage livery is made up of the outlines of the world racetracks and is said to be reminiscent of the red and white colour scheme of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rallye winning original Mini piloted by Paddy Hopkirk. 

Despite the camo, it’s pretty easy to see the changes made to the John Cooper Works. Don’t expect them all to make production, though, as #317 has been prepared to compete in the SP 3T category of the ‘N24’ endurance race by Bulldog Racing . 

The wider gloss black wheel arch covers are production items, as are extra intakes on the front bumper’s flanks to cool the brakes and tyres. Inside the new octagonal grille design there are cut outs to feed radiators, again the real deal. 

Don't expect the exhaust and diffuser to make production.
Don't expect the exhaust and diffuser to make production.

At the back, the John Cooper Works gets a unique twin roof spoiler design and different rear bumper valance that’s more aggressive than regular Cooper S models. Inside there will probably be red stitching and bucket seats.

Don’t expect to see the single centre-exit exhaust, white multi-spoke alloy wheels with slick tyres, roll cage, or functional rear diffuser for the production model.

The new Cooper S John Cooper Works will retain its more hardcore focus – its rival set is more Hyundai i20 N and Honda Civic Type R buyers than Polo or Golf GTI prospectives.

This hardcore Mini has the Hyundai i20 N in its sights.
This hardcore Mini has the Hyundai i20 N in its sights.

We anticipated tauter springs, a lower ride height, sportier tuning for the adaptive dampers, bigger brakes and a bit more bark from the exhaust on the petrol variant. The ICE model will only be available with an automatic gearbox, with manual Minis axed from last year. 

As for power figures, Mini has yet to confirm any details. The petrol model will use the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol unit found in the regular Cooper S with a bit more grunt. Given the old John Cooper Works boosted power to 170kW, we’d imagine 180kW to match the Golf GTI would be a good increase. 

For the electric Mini John Cooper Works, guessing is a little harder. It could carry chassis revisions and continue with the SE’s 160kW/330Nm front-mounted motor and 54kWh battery pack, though we’d love to see a bit more punch. 

The Cooper S John Cooper Works will debut this month.
The Cooper S John Cooper Works will debut this month.

Mini hasn’t mentioned a follow up to the hardcore John Cooper Works GP for the new Cooper hatch, yet.

Further details such as power and chassis changes as well as Australian pricing – expect the petrol model to start around $60K – will be revealed closer after the car’s reveal. 

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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