The third-generation MINI John Cooper Works GP has finally been revealed to the world as they try to set a new benchmark for performance in the premium small car segment.
Under the short hood sits a familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 306 hp (225 kW) and 450 Nm of torque which enables it to sprint to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. With a top speed of 265 km/h, it is the fastest MINI the British brand has ever approved for road use. While its top speed gives it that title, it’s important to note that the sprint to 100 km/h is beaten by the likes of the JCW Clubman and Countryman with a sprint time of 4.9 seconds but this GP would make mincemeat out of those two on a circuit.
The most powerful production MINI engine improves on the regular JCW with upgraded internals, a larger volume intake, free-flowing exhaust, and a tweaked turbocharger. As such, MINI also equips the GP with an upgraded oil and cooling system for the engine, so it might better cope with the rigours of being treated like a race car.
This power is sent the front wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission with an integrated mechanical differential lock to distribute the power. This works together with the car’s Dynamic Stability Control to manage both understeer and oversteer while cornering.
Being a special model, there is, of course, the requisite badging both outside and inside the GP. Inside you will notice a drastic reduction in sound insulation and to save weight, there are only two seats with a red stiffening bar designed to keep your bags and boot contents from suddenly crashing forward in the event of an emergency stop. As usual, you will see it sports special 18-inch wheels.
As expected the bodywork is typical GP-style with flared wheel arches, model-specific front and rear fascias, and that massive roof spoiler to improve downforce. The wheel arches are also needed because the GP’s stiffened suspension both lowers the car and widens the track. There’s additional reinforcement in the chassis and engine bay, along with stiffer suspension bushings and a strut bar for the front towers. Paired with GP-specific four-piston front brake calipers and 14.1-inch rotors, the GP is absolutely set up to be a veritable go-kart on a race track.
For those wanting to spec and build a unique third-gen GP, unfortunately, the sky is not the limit as you will receive a car that is Racing Grey metallic with silver, red, and black trim.
A total of 3,000 units will be built worldwide with deliveries slated to begin in March 2020*. Apparently half of these have already received a deposit of sorts but this could be marketing talk.
*The MINI John Cooper Works GP will arrive in South Africa in the third quarter of next year and if you want one, you will need to act fast as a very limited number of these will be making their way to our shores.