Promising race car thrills plus everyday use practicality, the car provides a sneak peek of what to expect when a production super Mini finally arrives.
The MINI John Cooper Works Concept offers a look ahead to the next generation of the car's sporting flagship. Photo:AFP
For those that don't know, John Cooper was a formidable British car builder and racing driver who took the original 1950s Mini and turned it into a proper miniature racing machine.
The original Mini Cooper was launched in 1961, boasted a beefier engine, better carburetors, disc brakes and followed it up in 1963 with the Mini Cooper S which was faster still and went on to conquer rallies and track circuits the world over.
Its abilities were also immortalized in the classic British film "The Italian Job," which featured three -- in red, white, and blue -- being used to outwit the Italian police and the Mafia in a gold heist.
The Mini Cooper S stayed in production until 1971 and came to life again after BMW bought Mini in 2000.
Based on the all-new Mini, launched in November, the latest John Cooper Works concept promises go-kart handling and all-round driving fun.
BMW won't be revealing what exactly is under the car's hood until the car makes its official debut at the North American International Auto Show on January 13 but has confirmed that the car's huge 18-inch alloy wheels, air intakes, front and rear spoilers and side skirts are in no way for show.
They have all been developed to ensure the car stays planted on the road, whether racing down a straight or launching into a corner.
John Cooper himself passed away in 2004, but the business he built, the Cooper Car Company, and the work it does lives on and his estate continues to advise BMW on all matters Mini Cooper.