The hardcore Mini is only a concept for now, but a production model could happen.

Back in 2006, Mini came out with a feisty Cooper S fitted with the John Cooper Works GP kit and limited to a mere 2,000 units. The sporty formula was optimized furthermore six years later when the John Cooper Works GP special edition was launched and offered in the same number of vehicles. For the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, Mini has prepared another high-performance version, only this time around it’s a one-off concept.

However, we could be looking at the showcar as a taste of what’s to come in terms of a go-faster hatchback positioned above today’s John Cooper Works. That is because the company’s head honcho Peter Schwarzenbauer has already hinted the current generation of the model will receive the JCW GP treatment since “it’s an important part of the Mini brand.”

The BMW-owned marque hasn’t said a word about when it will bring back the hardcore Mini Hardtop, but both of its predecessors were run-out editions, meaning the new one will be out towards the end of the generation. When it will eventually return to the streets, the JCW GP is expected to gain more power over the 228 hp and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) generated by the turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine inside the regular JCW.

The bump in output will be complemented by a multitude of other hardware upgrades, including a stiffer suspension setup, beefier brakes, and some changes inside where there will likely be a pair of body-hugging seats. Speaking of which, the rear ones could be eliminated to shave off fat.

While it won’t be as extreme as the concept shown here, there are reasons to believe it will be the fastest and most powerful road-going Mini ever. All of these improvements are going to command a significant premium over the regular JCW available today, which starts off at $31,800 in the United States.

The JCW GP is heading to Frankfurt Motor Show where it will share the spotlight with the Mini Electric Concept previewing a zero-emissions model due in 2019.

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Gallery: Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept