Mini debuted their John Cooper Works concept car at the Detroit Auto Show in 2014 which is a three door hatch back which looks pretty sporty and is on the new platform. The production car has now been pictured when being tested in Sweden in the winter weather.
There is a lot of disguise on the car but not enough to hide what the car is. There are some very obvious clues such as the brake callipers which are JCW branded and the extra air intakes on the front which all lead to the fact that it is a sport version. It is expected that the car will be a lot more powerful that the standard Cooper and there are even rumours that it will see a massive increase from the current 208 to 230 horsepower, but time will tell whether this is right or not.
There are some of the style features missing from this model. It is possible that the side gills and diffuser form the concept model will appear on the production model or they may be added as the testing process moves along. It may mean that this production model is the hardtop but there could be another reason for the lack of them. It could be that this mule is testing the JCW engine kit which was used in the past for slotting between the Mini Cooper S and factory car. Obviously there is not much evidence for this and it could be unlikely but with the JCW tuning kit having arrived a year before the factory model in the last generation car it is not completely off the rails. This may also explain the brakes which have been used as a Mini accessory for a long time.
So although this could be a production version of the Concept shown in Detroit it may also be testing a new tuning kit.