Finally, MINI released the official specs and details of the new John Cooper Works GP ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut. Limited to 2000 units worldwide, the JCW GP is powered by a heavily tuned four-cylinder turbo engine developing 160 kW/218 hp and 260 Nm (280 with overboost) of torque, which doesn’t sound like much, but then this car is not just about outright speed.
It’s the whole package that makes for a great driver’s car. The GP comes with an aerodynamic body kit as standard with extended sills, flared fenders and a couple of spoilers for good measure. It has a race-spec adjustable coilover suspension, an extra-powerful sports brake system and model-specific alloy wheels and sports tyres. All that means the car handles like a charm when you show it some corners.
Straight-line performance however, is not that satisfying. 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.3 seconds and the top speed is 242 km/h (150 mph). But then because the chassis is so damn competent, the car can lap the Nurburgring is a very impressive 8:23 minutes.
The JCW GP is also fairly economical, at 7.1 litres/100 km (39.8 mpg imp), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 165 grams per kilometre.
The car comes as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, again exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works GP, run on high-traction 215/40 R17 sports tyres. Optionally, standard-size 205/45 R17 tyres are available on the same wheels, offering a good sporty balance between performance and good handling in wet or low-temperature conditions.
In this car even the electronic control systems are revised for more driving fun. For instance, the DSC Dynamic Stability Control is not combined with DTC, as would normally be the case, but with a special GP racing mode. The electronic locking differential is also tweaked to act in a more fun manner.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP might not look very brilliant with all those red accents and boy-racer body kits going on, and it is certainly not comfortable or practical as normal MINIs. It will also be much more expensive. But you will be having the time of your life driving this fast little fella on the road or the track. It is fantastic.