Watch out Ford Focus RS?

We already know what the Mini Clubman looks like, and we have already driven its potent range-topper, the John Cooper Works Clubman. So why is Mini testing this hotted-up and camouflage-clad hot version at the Nürburgring? Could this be the long-rumoured high-power Mini super-hot hatch rival to the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R? 

It certainly sounds the part. Those stick-out dual exhausts don't just look more serious, they also emit a louder rasp that's accentuated by the crackle-pop during its automatic gearshifts. The standard 228hp JCW does 0-62mph in around six seconds; with a whopping 72hp more, plus standard All4 four-wheel drive, a launch control-equipped 300hp Clubman could surely drop it down into the fours? 

We already know the 2.0-litre turbo engine has more potential in it: the latest BMW 530i uses it, and that produces 256hp. Charging it up yet further for a bespoke hot version surely wouldn't be too difficult; if Volkswagen can make a 310hp Golf R 2.0-litre, why not a 300hp Mini? Besides, the engine could the be used in other BMW variants; downsizing is all these days.

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The disguise hides rather a lot of the rear, but there doesn't seem to be much extra aero addenda beneath it. This may be a case of styling upgrades rather than physical changes beneath; we'll have to wait until the covers are hopefully pulled off soon for final confirmation.

A 300hp hot Mini isn't such a fanciful idea, either. Insiders have in the past admitted that there's further potential at the top of the range for more powerful models. Given the huge buzz around super-hot hatches such as the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R, why not make a Mini alternative to take them on? 

Source: Automotive Mike, YouTube

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