When MINI first teased the newest John Cooper Works GP, we knew it would be bonkers. How much so? That remained to be seen, but now we know: it’s the fastest car the company has ever built.
This isn’t the first iteration of the GP but this time around MINI stepped it up a notch. Perhaps to compete with the wildness that is the Honda Civic Type R, they started with the body and added a slew of performance and cosmetic differentiators. Focusing on cooling and stability, everything is purposeful. There’s a massive rear wing, a more aggressive front fascia and integrated lip spoiler, and carbon-fiber reinforced wheel arches.
The car’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 306 hp and 450Nm, or roughly 332 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 happens in 5.2 seconds. The top speed is a hair shy of 165 MPH. It gets a mechanically locking differential, model-specific exhaust, and beefed up cooling. Though it might anger many MINI enthusiasts, an 8-speed automatic is the sole transmission available. Think GT3RS here; the GP is about extracting speed above all else.
But it doesn’t stop there. The front motor mount is heavier duty. A solid rear axle support is in place of the old hollow unit. Frame bracing is more extensive. The front brakes are four-piston and the car has 19-pound 18” wheels. The rear seats have been removed and have been replaced with a strut brace. And there’s a plethora of electronic hardware and software, both controllable and fixed.
Obviously this is a serious performance machine. The stats may not tell the whole story, but this is a car that could provide a massively rewarding driving experience should it be set up right from the factory.
The GP has become a continuous stream of the car’s most hardcore example. This one should be an absolute riot, regardless of its price. Only 3000 will be built so production is limited. While we don’t yet know how it drives, the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP is the most extreme MINI we’ve seen. And it’s glorious.