With the third-generation Mini already in development, the Mini John Cooper Works GP is a limited-run version of BMW’s second-generation hatchback.
Although Mini has yet to reveal specific performance details for the race-bred, two-seat machine, it has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 8min 23sec during its development.
That’s 18sec quicker than the best lap time achieved by the BMW-owned brand’s next-fastest model, the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, which lapped the gruelling German circuit in 8m 41s.
The old car – which is the spiritual predecessor to the Mini John Cooper Works GP – had 210bhp and 180lb ft and was fitted with a limited-slip differential. Although the power hike was modest compared to the base car, the JCW GP was around 40kg lighter than the standard version.
The Mini John Cooper Works GP should produce in the region of 220-230bhp. It's fitted with adjustable race suspension and a competition-spec braking system with six-pot callipers at the front. The ECU has been race tuned.
The car has redeveloped aerodynamics, with a reprofiled nose for less drag, and a sealed underside and rear diffuser. It also gets an aggressive appearance and features large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler.
It runs on high-performance tyres that have been specially developed for the car – the car in the official pictures issued by Mini is fitted with Kumho Ecsta V700 rubber and runs on 17in rims.
The John Cooper Works GP will be produced in an exclusive colour, Thunder Grey metallic. Mini also promises that it will have an exclusive interior design. It gets Recaro seats and, like the Mini Cooper S JCW GP Kit, the rear seats have been removed to allow the fitment of a load-bearing brace.
Jorg Weidinger, head of chassis and suspension development on the Mini John Cooper Works GP: “This is a track car, but it is also developed for everyday use. It is not a car you put on a trailer to take to the race track; you drive it there.”
The car, to be built in Oxford, is coming to the end of its pre-production test programme and will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2000 cars. Details of the number of right-hand drive examples that will be built and the price have yet to be confirmed.
Mini United, the event where the John Cooper Works GP has been unveiled, is a three-day celebration of the marque which this year is taking place at the Paul Ricard race circuit in southern France.