The previous-generation Mini hatchback in John Cooper Works trim was a hoot to drive. Now, with the latest-gen model, the British marque is adamant that the go-kart feeling won’t go anywhere, even in the case of the all-electric version.

Say hello, then, to the all-new Mini John Cooper Works E, albeit in prototype form. These are the first official photos of the sporty three-door EV hatchback which will make its dynamic debut at next week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom. But wait, wasn’t there a JCW Mini already? Well, yes, but only sort of. Let me explain.

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Will Mini's smallest EV come to the U.S.?

As of today, the only all-new Minis available in the United States are the gas-powered Countryman crossover and three- and four-door Cooper hatchbacks. In the case of the battery-powered Cooper, including the new John Cooper Works, it might never make it here because it's made in China and Chinese-built EVs face huge import tariffs starting next month.

The latest-gen Mini Cooper EV is indeed available with some JCW badges if you want to spend some extra cash over the basic version, but it’s just a trim level. Think BMW’s M Sport models–they’re not true M cars but they carry M badges. BMW makes money and the owner is happy, so Mini is going down the same route.

The new Mini John Cooper Works E, however, is the real deal. Expected to go on sale toward the end of this year or early next year, the top-spec three-door electric Mini could get up to 250 horsepower from a front-mounted electric motor fed by a roughly 50-kilowatt-hour battery.

These specs aren’t official, though, so take them with a grain of salt. That said, the production Mini Cooper SE has 214 hp and a 54.2-kWh battery pack that’s good for a WLTP-rated range of 249 miles on a full charge. Mini will likely use the same battery to feed a slightly more potent e-motor at the front, all while tuning the chassis to supercharge the go-kart feeling that the brand’s models are known for.

Gallery: Mini John Cooper Works E PROtotype (2024)

The company didn’t say a thing about what’s new and improved on the upcoming John Cooper Works E, but we have eyes and can spot a sportier front bumper, a pretty consistent roof-mounted spoiler at the rear and an integrated diffuser in the rear bumper. There are no photos of the interior, but we expect a pretty similar look to the JCW trim that’s available on the Cooper SE, including a round infotainment screen, funky dashboard covers and a JCW-themed steering wheel and seats.

Mini did say that the prototype that will race up the Goodwood hill climb is covered in a camouflage designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the historic win at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally where a Mini Cooper S finished first. The company also said that besides an electric version, the new John Cooper Works will also be available with a combustion engine.

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