The JCW GP was recently spotted undergoing testing, confirming that the production car would retain the extreme rear wing design, aggressive bodykit and bespoke wheels seen in the 2017 GP Concept.
The four-cylinder turbocharged engine will make the GP the fastest and most powerful road-going Mini ever built by the company. No performance figures have been confirmed, although the company appears to be targeting the 8:23 Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap time achieved by its predecessor. Mini has confirmed that an early development prototype has already achieved a lap time some 30 seconds faster than the last-gen car, though no specific times have been announced.
Initial teaser images released by Mini showed a close-up of the rear diffuser, apparently previewing a design that's revised from the original concept, and four-spoke alloy wheels that aren’t as motorsport-inspired as the centre-locking 19in wheels used on the concept.
The 2017 concept’s large front and rear aprons are unlikely to be carried over in their entirety to the production model, although its LED rear lights which display half of the Union Jack in a nod to the car’s British origin, have since become standard on the regular Mini hatchback.
The prominent use of lightweight materials including carbonfibre, which Mini said optimised the car’s power-to-weight ratio, may yet make it into the final car, although this would come with an increase in price.
Inside, the concept had a rollcage and pair of low-mounted bucket seats, with gearshifts controlled by paddles on the steering wheel. Mini has yet to reveal if the production version will follow suit.
The BMW-owned British brand said the concept is inspired by its triumphs at the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1960s, “embodying dynamic flair and the ultimate in driving fun”.
BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer previously told Autocar that a JCW GP model was likely to appear again. “The John Cooper Works GP is an important part of the Mini brand,” he said. “It has worked well for us in the past.”