What's the news?
MINI has revealed the new John Cooper Works GP, an extreme limited edition model based on the regular MINI hatchback. It's likely to be the last swansong for the current MINI and it's purported to be the fastest and sportiest MINI ever built.
MINI has mimicked the style of the original GP, the 'Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit' with distinctive four-spoke alloys and prominent GP decals, though the new car has also received a serious aerodynamic overhaul. There are deeper aprons front and rear, wide side sills, a large roof spoiler and a chunky diffuser under the rear bumper. It's expected that the GP will be available in just one colour.
MINI hasn't released images of the GP's cabin as yet, but we are told that it carries on where its predecessor left off in having no rear seats. We'd hope the front seats are suitably sporting as standard too.
Again, MINI is keeping some cards close to its chest, but we do know that the GP is powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged petrol engine. It'd be a shock if it's anything other than a further tune of the 1.6-litre unit used extensively in other high-performance MINIs. We'd guess at 230hp. With any luck a mechanical limited slip differential will be standard.
The only hint at the GP's performance is a blistering 8 minutes and 23 seconds lap of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, blowing its predecessor away by 19 seconds.
Shane O' Donoghue - 13 May 2012