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Let’s face it: MINI’s John Cooper Works Concept looks hotter than the GTI

This time next month, we’ll jump behind the wheel of the all-new MINI Cooper Hardtop for the first time. To up the ante on our anticipation, MINI unveiled its performance-oriented John Cooper Works Concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

Following suit with the new MINI, The JCW Concept is slightly longer and wider than past Cooper Works cars, which should benefit its go-kart-like handling.  While MINI hasn’t announced the performance specs on the JCW Concept, we have big hopes for the hot hatch. Both the new Cooper and Cooper S models have more torque and more power, so we’re going to assume that the new JCW model will see more than its former 208 horsepower, too.

Aerodynamic bits help set the JCW apart from the standard models. There are larger air dams up front, contoured side skirts, and a rear apron with diffuser, all unique to the Cooper Works Concept. We’re also smitten by the Bright Highways Grey hand-polished paintwork, which gives off the illusion that concept is made of brushed stainless steel.

With a concept that looks this close to production-ready, we don’t expect much to change in terms of aesthetics for the JCW Cooper that will debut on showroom floors. However, we’ll be curious to see how this car’s new drivetrain sizes up against other hot hatches like the VW GTI. 

Let us know what you think of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept in the comments below. 

Check out all of DT’s coverage from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

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Davis Adams
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Whether you're talking about gadgets or cars, Davis always seems to prefer "next year's models." He's a neophile to the core…
2015 MINI Countryman: Out with the old and in with the new (foglights and paint)
2015 MINI Countryman

Sometimes, new models creep onto the show floor without a big conference and without much fanfare. At this year's New York International Auto Show, the 2015 MINI Countryman did just that, debuting with an updated paint scheme and LED fog lamps.
The new color, called Jungle Green Metallic, is one of three new colors headed to the largest MINI in the lineup, and it comes with a new set of alloy wheels, too. Otherwise, changes to the Countryman seem nominal, as the cute ute saunters onward toward 2015 with the brand's 1.6-liter four-cylinder and turbo-four, and front- or all-wheel drive.
The Countryman will likely be one of the last vehicles to receive MINI's new turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, which have recently been introduced with the all-new MINI Cooper Hardtop.
We're not sure yet when the Countryman will receive a complete overhaul with MINI's new design language and engineering, but as the brand's second-best-selling model in the lineup, we'd expect to see the vehicle move to the new platform in the next couple of years.
In the meantime, we think this new Jungle Green Countryman looks surprisingly at home out in the woods, and we're OK with the idea of a MINI that likes to play outside as much as some of Jeep's softer products.
Interested in seeing more auto show news? Check out our coverage from New York.

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Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept: The future of Cars or techno overload?
Land Rover Discovery Concept Vision

Land Rover has long been the off-road standard of the world. And even though its most famous model, the Defender, wildly lacks in tech, the British carmaker just might lead the world in automotive tech - from this moment forward.
The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is perhaps one of the most important and impressive vehicles I’ve ever covered. It uses lasers. It has touch screens, everywhere. Heck, it is a touch screen. It knows where you're looking and puts information there. It can be driven remotely. And that's just the beginning. 
Vision technology
We already reported that the Discovery Vision Concept has a “Transparent Hood” which uses cameras and augmented reality to make the hood disappear during off-road and parking scenarios.
This, as it turns out, is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only is the windshield of the Discovery Vision capable of displaying images; every single piece of body glass – including the panoramic moon roof – is as well.
Called “Smart Glass”, the entirely transparent glass can display images just like a computer screen. This allows for all kinds applications. Perhaps most exciting is combining eye-tracking sensors and navigation information to relay point of interest (POI) information to passengers.
That information can then be swiped – like on a smartphone – on one of four seatback-mounted 10-inch touchscreens or to a docked tablet.

The Smart Glass can be used for more than just data. It can also be used to tint and dim the interior, with infinite gradients – or just blacked-out with the swipe of a finger. Imagine, too, using the panoramic moon roof to display a screensaver image or mood lighting.
This isn’t the only use of screens in the cabin. Two small OLED screens are embedded into the steering wheel and can be used to operate the infotainment system. Glance through the steering wheel and the driver is privy to a digital instrument cluster on a three-million pixel high-res screen.
In the center of the cabin are two more high-res touch screens, which display system menus. The lower of the two screens flips up to reveal a storage cubby, which also includes an inductive smartphone-charging tray.
Interior comfort
The interior isn’t all about tech, though, it’s also loaded with comfort; Land Rover describes it as “cozy and secure.” The first two rows of seats are covered in oil- and water-resistant Nimbus white leather, while the third row is covered in Navy blue leather, which is nicely accented by open pore wood trim and polished and machine-finished aluminum.

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Land Rover’s New York-bound ‘Discovery Vision Concept’ will debut new sub-brand

Good news British 4x4 fans: The Land Rover Discovery is back … but not how you might have hoped.
We’ve been speculating a lot lately on Land Rover’s next move. Its iconic Defender is being sent out to pasture, and its LR4 (aka ‘Discovery’ globally) is overdue for a revamp.
After the flop of its DC100 concept, Land Rover seemed unsure how to proceed. Rumor that the British brand had copyrighted the “Landy” moniker emphasized that lost feeling.
Now, though, Land Rover announced that it’ll be bringing an all-new concept to the 2014 New York Auto Show later this month called the “Discovery Vision Concept”. Intriguingly, the car won’t just show a new direction for the LR4. Instead, it’ll preview a whole new line of premium family SUVs.
Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer for Land Rover commented, “Discovery has been pivotal in helping to build the foundations of the Land Rover brand.  It is admired all over the world and loved by its strong customer base. We have created the Vision Concept to share the essence of Land Rover’s new age of Discovery and to debut a new, compelling, relevant design direction that connects on an emotional level with customers of today and tomorrow.”
For decades, Land Rover only offered three models: The Defender, the Discovery (later rebadged LR3 and then LR4), and the Range Rover. Then it split Range Rover into its own brand with the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque.
Now the Discovery will get the same treatment. Perhaps its underlings will include the spiritual successor to the Defender.
I don’t know yet what lies in store for the new Discovery brand and its sub models. Whatever shape they take and whatever name they carry, I just hope they’ll be less of a mouthful than “Land Rover Range Rover Evoque”.

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