MINI has released a sneak preview of the John Cooper Works concept which will be showcased in January at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

MINI has released a sneak preview of the John Cooper Works concept which will be showcased in January at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Following the introduction of the modern third-gen MINI, the BMW-owned company is getting ready to diversify the lineup with the hotter JCW variant which will likely see the light of production day sometime in 2014. Before that, MINI will show us a concept which will probably remain just about the same in production form.

The concept seen in these photos comes with a more aggressive body kit and has been painted in Bright Highways Grey with red accents and rides on a fresh new set of 18-inch alloy wheels. We notice the beefy air intakes which also take up the space occupied by the fog lights in the regular version, a black surround of the front grille, contoured side skirts and a rear apron featuring flaps along with a diffuser.

There's also a roof spoiler and several body components created to channel more air around the C-pillars to improve the vehicle's aerodynamic balance during high speeds. The production version will likely come with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo developing somewhere in the region of 217 bhp (162 kW).

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MINI John Cooper Works concept previewed ahead of NAIAS debut