It's lauded as the fastest Mini ever, and there are only going to be 2,000 of the limited-edition John Cooper Works GP ever made.
And, as with virtually every other model announcement this week, the Mini John Cooper Works GP will be revealed to the public in Paris. It's expected to cost £28,790, and will be the fastest production model ever produced by the company. But what sets this limited edition apart from the standard Mini Cooper?
Fitted with JCW race technology
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For those not in the know, John Cooper Works was founded in 2000 as a racing car manufacturer and tuner by John Cooper, who was responsible for the Mini Cooper. John Cooper passed away shortly after creating the company, and BMW acquired the rights in 2007 after considering JCW valuable enough to be an effective sub-brand.
Fast forward to today and the GP is fit-to-burst with JCW technology to give the Cooper a much sportier edge than ever before. Under the hood sits an extensively modified 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine capable of producing 218hp. Also included are race-type features that wouldn't look out of place on your average rally car - an immensely powerful sports brake system, for example, exclusive suspension tech and sports tyres.
So eager to show the world how much zip the GP has, Mini recently hired a test driver and sent its sporty little number around 'The Green Hell' of Nürburgring. It achieved a time of 8 minutes, 23 seconds on the North Loop. The GP hit a top speed of 150mph and can go from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds.
A faster Mini
John Cooper's racing heritage dates back well over half a decade, and it's interesting to see BMW make use of the company's experience to deliver a sporty version of what is already one of the more popular cars in its Mini line-up.
The Mini John Cooper Works GP is built for racing, but also keeps true to its consumer values. A six per cent drag reduction not only improves speed, but also improves fuel economy. Its sports tyres, which are markedly different from standard road tyres, help combat early understeer - a great way for buyers to save money in the long-term, and for driving in difficult conditions.
How has Mini made the Cooper more aerodynamic? By adding a large spoiler, aerodynamic shielding to the engine, front and rear aprons, side-sills and more.
Mini is being shameless with its exterior though, and want buyers to embrace the GP's sporty spirit. Its aerodynamics are complemented by a Thunder Grey metallic paint job with red edging around the bonnet and mirror caps. It's fair to say the GP is aimed at former boy racers - with a semblance of British class, of course - that can afford the £28k+ price tag.
The Mini John Cooper Works GP is a limited-edition, £28,790 sporty Mini with a lot of oomph. Only 2,000 will be produced, and a release date has yet to be announced. It comes with two seats, has an aerodynamic frame, eye-catching paint job and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine capable of hitting 150mph. The GP has 17-inch model-specific alloy wheels and is likely to be a future collector's item.
Driver who achieved 8:23 minutes at Nürburgring not included.
Written by John Meadowcroft