Mini taken to the max
Only once has there been anything like it, but even that wasn't as quick. With the Mini John Cooper Works GP, the British premium brand has come up with another car of exceptional talent, designed to deliver extreme performance on both the race track and the road.
The sportiest road-registered Mini ever made will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2000 cars. It is currently completing a programme of testing - part of which has involved setting an impressive fastest lap of the Nürburgring's Nordschleife GP circuit - in preparation for production of the range.
This Mini GP lapped the grand prix course in eight minutes 23 seconds. In so doing, the new model has put a clear stretch of asphalt between itself and a number of sports cars from loftier perches - and beaten the lap time set by its predecessor, the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, by almost 19 seconds.
Underpinning the performance characteristics of the Mini John Cooper Works GP are exclusive powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics-technology inspired directly by motorsport.
Its twin-scroll turbo engine generates outstanding torque, displays remarkable elasticity and demonstrates a healthy appetite for revs.
Specially developed, adjustable race suspension channels superlative output into spec-tacular, yet precise, controllable handling.
As well as being imposing visually, the design of the body also gives the Mini John Cooper Works GP ideal aerodynamic balance in extreme driving situations - a key element in delivering that handling flair. Large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler are complemented by a newly developed rear diffuser which optimises airflow around the underbody.
The interior of this Mini also contributes to the car's inspirational racing feeling; with the rear seats removed, it focuses unashamedly on the needs of the driver and co-driver.
Concentrated motorsport expertise is the "secret" ingredient in the Mini John Cooper Works GP recipe. The "GP" tag on the model tells you exactly where the extreme sports edition reveals its potential.
The GP's chassis configuration, the effectiveness of its race-spec braking system, the grip offered by its likewise bespoke racing tyres, and its aerodynamic properties have been honed into a high-performance whole on the Nürburgring circuit, erstwhile venue for Formula One races and lauded as the world's most challenging race track. The noteworthy lap time set by the Mini John Cooper Works GP is the product of this extensive testing programme.
Specific output of 100kW a litre of displacement and similarly impressive reserves of racing technology have secured its status as a sought-after collector's item today.
This GP follows its predecessor with a greater spring in its step. It will only be in South Africa early next year, but in similarly short supply.
Hosting the preview of the new model is another grand prix race track with history etched into every corner. The Mini John Cooper Works GP was unveiled publicly for the first time last weekend at the Mini United festival in Le Castellet, France.