Ahead of its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show this month MINI has finally come good with official details on its latest John Cooper Works GP model. This includes a raft of new pics showing the car’s interior for the first time. Today’s info follows an official preview of the car back in May and the revelation of leaked specs earlier this week.
According to a Facebook post from MINI Australia in June a total of 20 GPs are on their way to our shores. That represents 1% of the worldwide production run of 2000 models. We’d not be surprised if Australia’s allocation changed, which could mean more, but it may mean less. Let’s hope not. Australian pricing has not been confirmed yet and based on speculation we suggest you pick a number between 65 and 75 and multiply it by 1000.
So, back to the car then. As we confirmed on Tuesday the â€˜GP2â€™ is powered by a 160kW turbocharged 1.6 litre engine, a modest 5kW gain on the regular JCW model. Maximum torque remains at 260Nm (280Nm with overboost).
A number of exterior styling tweaks set the GP aside from other MINIs and include any colour you like so long as it’s Thunder Grey metallic, complete with red highlights. GP decals on the bonnet and sides of the car also help let the world know this is no ordinary MINI. A fact reinforced by its Challenge racecar inspired rear wing and lower diffuser. And those lightweight 17″ alloys won’t be found on any other production MINI.
Alcantara and leather Recaro bucket seats set off the interior nicely along with the thick leather steering wheel. The red highlights have found their way inside as well, most notably on the gear stick, seatbelts and rear strut brace.
The GP gets the luxury of xenon headlights, but makes do without a rear seat, rear wiper and steering wheel controls. Coilover suspension with dramatic default negative camber settings ensure the semi-slick tyres can maintain grip in extreme cornering conditions. It also reminds you the GP is not that far removed from the MINI Challenge racecars.
A specially tuned Dynamic Stability Control system affords more freedom for the right foot. After you’ve been heavy with the accelerator pedal you’ll be pleased to learn you have six-pot 330mm brakes up front and 280mm brakes at the rear. More than enough for the 1235kg kerb weight.
Generally speaking we’re big fans of the GP, but for the expected razor sharp handling we reckon you’ll have to accept a crashing ride. We do hold some slight reservations that for all its undoubted charms it may prove a slight pain in the arseâ€”perhaps quite literallyâ€”for those hoping to use this car as a daily driver.