When Mini introduced the new John Cooper Works Hardtop model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show we had no idea the BMW-owned brand was also working on a convertible model. That became apparent about a month later when a camouflaged Mini Convertible wearing a front bumper identical to the JCW Hardtop was spotted by our trusty paparazzi. And while Mini still hasn’t confirmed there’s a JCW drop-top underway, a second test car sporting the aggressive fascia we’ve seen on the hatchback back in January hit the streets for more real-world action. This time around, the prototype is painted red and, more importantly, most of the camouflage is gone.

With no black-and-yellow tape covering the front bumper, I’m now 100-percent positive this is indeed the soft-top version of the nippy JCW Hardtop. Yes, there are important details missing, such as the racing stripes on the engine hood, the JCW badge on the grille and the unique, two-tone wheels, but these features will likely appear as the vehicle moves closer to production.

As a brief reminder, all these JCW-specific goodies will come alongside a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 228 turbocharged horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 20-horse and 29-pound-feet increase over the previous model, making the new JCW the most powerful production Mini ever, as of 2015. Expect those numbers to translate into six-second 0-to-60 sprints and top speeds in excess of 150 mph.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini JCW Convertible.

Why it matters

With the previous-gen Mini JCW still available with a rag top in dealerships as of 2015, it was safe to assume the Brits were working on a successor, but these new spy shots confirm a new iteration is underway. Unless Mini is preparing some sort of special pack featuring JCW parts, which is very unlikely, expect a 228-horsepower convertible to arrive in dealerships by the end of the year. Better start saving up, as this drop-top will be significantly more expensive than the Fiat 500C Abarth or the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible R-Line, at around $37,000.

2016 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible - spy shots

Mini JCW Convertible Shows Some Skin: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Mini JCW Convertible Shows Some Skin: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Mini JCW Convertible Shows Some Skin: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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