MINI has given us an official preview of their fastest model yet: the John Cooper Works GP. The model will be limited to 2000 examples and is due for release later this year.
Wearing unique GP decals, an aggressive bodykit and model specific 17″ alloy wheels there’ll be no mistaking this for any other MINI. We can’t say we’re fans of the overall look, but we appreciate the statement made by the GP.
The â€˜GP2â€™ is currently on show at the MINI United event in France. For now, some key details have been kept under wraps. Engine specifications and interior details being the two most notable.
However, we can see some signs of weight reduction, in line with its predecessor. The rear wiper has been removed and while running 17″ wheels may have as much to do with ride quality, the loss in unsprung mass compared to more visually appealing 18″ wheels shouldn’t be ignored. Kumho has worked with MINI to develop a version of their V700 semi-slicks for the GP.
Other than that the only other hints given by MINI include “adjustable race suspension” and “race-spec braking system”.
We expect there’ll be a couple of lightweight Recaro racing seats inside, and most probably the removal of the rear seat also aiding a lower kerb weight. We also expect peak power to be up around 220hp (165kW) and to see more torque than we’ve seen in any previous MINI.
MINI proudly boast the JCW GP can lap the NÃ¼rburgring in 8 minutes 23 seconds, some 19 seconds faster than the original 2006 GP. Although, still some way off the record set by the Renault Megane RS 265.
For now there’s 15 images for you to view, along with the not too specific press release. As more details come to hand we’ll let you know.
Big on performance, small in number: The MINI John Cooper Works GP.
- Fastest MINI ever built
- Best lap of the NÃ¼rburgring-Nordschleife: 8 min. 23 sec.
- Extensive use of motor sport technology
- Racing feeling transferred to the road
- Preview at the MINI United festival
- Production limited to 2,000 cars
12.05.2012 Munich. Only once has there been anything like it, but even that wasnâ€™t as quick. With the MINI John Cooper Works GP, the British premium brand has come up with another car of exceptional talent designed to deliver extreme performance on both the race track and the road. The sportiest road-registered MINI ever made will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2,000 cars. It is currently completing a programme of testing in preparation for series production, part of which has involved setting an impressive fastest lap of the NÃ¼rburgringâ€™s Nordschleife circuit. The MINI John Cooper Works GP lapped the erstwhile Grand Prix course in 8 min. 23 sec. In so doing, the new model has put clear asphalt between itself and numerous sports cars from loftier perches â€“ and beaten the lap time set by its predecessor, the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, by almost 19 seconds.
Underpinning the performance characteristics of the MINI John Cooper Works GP is exclusive powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics technology inspired directly by motor sport. Its twin-scroll turbo engine generates outstanding torque, displays remarkable elasticity and demonstrates a healthy appetite for revs. Specially developed, adjustable race suspension channels this superlative output into spectacular yet precisely controllable handling.
As well as being undeniably imposing visually, the design of the body also gives the MINI John Cooper Works GP ideal aerodynamic balance in extreme driving situations â€“ a key element in delivering that handling flair. Large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler are complemented by a newly developed rear diffuser which optimises airflow around the underbody. The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP also contributes to the carâ€™s inspirational racing feeling; with the rear seats removed, it focuses unashamedly on the needs of the driver and co-driver.
Concentrated motor sport expertise â€“ faithfully embodied at MINI by its John Cooper Works sub-brand â€“ is the not-so-secret ingredient in the MINI John Cooper Works GP recipe. The â€œGPâ€ tag on the model title tells you exactly where the extreme sports edition of the compact MINI most tellingly reveals its potential. The GPâ€™s chassis configuration, the effectiveness of its race-spec braking system, the grip offered by its likewise bespoke racing tyres, and its aerodynamic properties have been honed into a high-performance whole on the NÃ¼rburgringâ€™s Nordschleife circuit, erstwhile venue for Formula One races and lauded as the worldâ€™s most challenging race track. The noteworthy lap time set by the MINI John Cooper Works GP is the product of this extensive testing programme.
The unadulterated transfer of motor sport expertise into the everyday driving environment has history at MINI; it was this approach that made the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit the epitome of extreme driving fun in a small car when it was unveiled in 2006. Specific output of 100 kW/136 hp per litre of displacement and similarly impressive reserves of racing technology have secured its status as a sought-after collectorâ€™s item today.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP follows eagerly in the tyre tracks of its predecessor â€“ and with an even greater spring in its step. It will be in similarly short supply; the world will have to make do with just 2,000 examples. Hosting the preview of the new model is another grand prix race track with history etched into every corner. The MINI John Cooper Works GP will be unveiled publicly for the first time at Le Castellet in France, venue for the MINI United festival on 11 â€“ 13 May 2012.