This is the MINI John Cooper Works GP, which we first saw back in May. The fastest MINI ever had its world debut at the recent Paris Motor Show, and like its predecessor, will be limited to just 2,000 units. One for the collectors.
The standard 211 hp JCW is already a manic little machine, but the John Cooper Works GP takes things up a notch. The 1.6-litre four-pot gets an aluminium cylinder block and bearing mounts, reinforced pistons, sturdier cylinder head, low-weight crankshafts and sodium-filled exhaust valves.
With all that, the direct-injection twin-scroll turbo engine with BMW’s Valvetronic tech makes 218 hp and 260 Nm from just 1,750 rpm. For extra acceleration punch, peak torque can be increased for short periods to 280 Nm from 2,000 rpm on overboost. Power is transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
When you consider the fact that this MINI weighs just 1,160 kg, 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (0.2 sec faster than JCW) and a top speed of 242 km/h isn’t surprising at all. At the Nürburgring North Loop (the old GP circuit), the JCW GP clocked 8:23 minutes, which is a whole 18 seconds off its predecessor’s best lap time.
The JCW GP’s sits on individually adjustable coilover suspension, which allows ride height to be lowered by up to 20 mm. The front shocks are mounted upside down in the tube, with the piston rod pointing down, in order to increase longitudinal and lateral stiffness.
Front camber has been increased compared with the regular MINI JCW, so that the performance potential of the sports tyres can be used to full effect, without the penalties of early understeer, inevitably leading to increased tyre wear. Other features include reduced front-wheel toe-in and increased rear camber, which alters the forward weight transfer so as to give more speed and more neutral steering close to the limit.
The brakes are powerful, featuring six-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes, vented at the front. The front discs are 330 mm in diameter and 25 mm thick, with 280 x 10 mm discs at the rear. The lightweight 17-inch alloys, derived from the MINI Challenge race car, are wrapped with 215/40 sports tyres.
One more thing. Here, DSC is not combined with DTC, as would normally be the case, but with a special GP racing mode. Under hard driving, the driver may not want ASC engine power reduction cutting in, so instead this system offers just ASC braking, based on the EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) subfunction.
Crazy little monster!