It’s the fastest MINI ever built, and production is to be limited to just 2,000 examples – the new John Cooper Works GP, which made its debut at the MINI United festival earlier in the week, is set to replace the R53 JCW GP as king of the particular hill when it arrives early next year.

The car is currently completing a programme of testing in preparation for series production, part of which has involved setting an 8 minute 23 seconds lap of the Nürburgring, besting the lap time set by its 2006 predecessor by almost 19 seconds.

There’s no mention of output power as yet, but the promise is surely a noticeable jump in power from the 218 hp as seen in the previous outing. Performance kit for this one includes a full-adjustable race suspension and specially developed racing tyres, as well as a race-spec braking system. And yes, the rear seats have again been removed.

Not just to add flair and presence but also offer improvements on the aero front are bespoke bits, and these are large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts, a roof spoiler as well as a newly-developed rear diffuser to optimise airflow around the underbody.