UPDATE, 22 April 2021: Local pricing and specifications for the 2021 Mini JCW hatch have been announced – click here to read the full story.
14 April 2021: The 2021 Mini John Cooper Works hatch has been revealed, ahead of its Australian launch in the third quarter of 2021 (July to September inclusive).
While the covers were lifted off the facelifted Mini Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper SE hatch and Convertible range in January 2021, and we gained our first look at the John Cooper Works Convertible earlier this month, this is the first official time we've seen Mini's updated three-door hot hatch in full.
Powering the JCW is a carry-over 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, sending 170kW and 320Nm to the front wheels.
An eight-speed automatic transmission will be standard-fit in Australia, enabling a 6.1-second 0-100km/h sprint time, though buyers will be able to option a six-speed manual for no additional cost, increasing the acceleration time to 6.3 seconds.
The John Cooper Works' second facelift has aimed to differentiate it from lesser Cooper and Cooper S variants, with updates including a reshaped front bumper with a taller grille and enlarged functional air intakes, new 'side scuttle' trim pieces, and a reworked rear bumper incorporating a sporty lower diffuser.
A large roof spoiler continues to sit above the tailgate, while LED headlights and 'Union Jack' tail-lights carry over front and rear.
Buyers can choose from 17- or 18-inch John Cooper Works-branded alloy wheels, hiding Brembo performance brakes with red four-piston calipers and ventilated discs up front.
A sports exhaust system with dual, centre-mounted 85mm tailpipes is standard-fit, as is fixed sports suspension "[providing] maximum go-kart thrills".
Adaptive dampers can be had as an option, capable of adjusting damper stiffness within 50 to 100 milliseconds, and providing 10 per cent greater damping force than the system fitted to the outgoing JCW hatch.
The adaptive system also picks up a frequency-selective damper and an additional valve, which combined claim to deliver a better balance between comfort and sportiness, and provide a smoother ride over smaller bumps around town.
Inside, an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen is now standard-fit in European markets, with the system encased in a redesigned black surround, and running a new operating system with restyled menus, Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation and Live Widgets.
Drivers can select from one of two interior 'colour worlds', which switch the colour schemes of the central touchscreen and 5.0-inch instrument cluster from blue and turquoise in 'Lounge', to red and anthracite in 'Sport'.
On the safety front, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go, new for 2021) can be had as options, while rear parking sensors are now standard in overseas markets.
The 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Hatch will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2021 (July to September inclusive), alongside the wider Mini Hatch range.