Six things you need to know about the 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP
Mini has taken the wraps off its most focussed offering - the new John Cooper Works GP. Here are six things you should know about it:
1. It kicks out some serious power
Over the last few years, manufacturers have been turning up the wick on their small capacity, four-cylinder turbocharged motors. The 2.0-litre mill doing duty in the Mini John Cooper Works GP is a perfect case in point.
Thanks to strengthened internals, improved cooling and a bigger turbo, Mini has been able to extract 225kW and 450Nm worth of torque. Expect a 0-100km/h time of 5.2-seconds and a top speed of 265km/h.
2. Sorry – it's auto only
Bucking the trend set by previous John Cooper Works GP models, this new one is available exclusively with the firm's eight-speed Steptronic transmission that comes fitted with an integrated mechanical differential lock for better traction and handling characteristics on the limit.
Remember that unlike the Clubman John Cooper Works, the GP doesn't come fitted with the Mini All4 all-wheel-drive system, which explains its slightly slower 0-100km/h sprint time (5.2-seconds versus 4.9-seconds).
3. It's made from some pretty exotic materials
Mini has given the John Cooper Works GP some lightweight and incredibly rigid carbon fibre reinforced wheel arches that not only look fantastic (we love how you can still see the weave) but also aid in the car's aerodynamics – particularly at higher velocities.
The roof spoiler, which extends far beyond the car's side line, also has a key role to play in optimising driving dynamics. With its reversed wing profile, it generates maximum downforce with the lowest possible aerodynamic drag in order to press the vehicle onto the road at high speeds. It looks outrageous too, with a design that borrows much from the world of motorsport.
4. Brakes that can keep up with the boost
Look behind those handsome 18-inch lightweight forged wheels (shod with sticky 225/35 Hankook tyres) and you'll find a braking system well suited to the business of slowing the Mini John Cooper Works GP down from speed.
It comprises four-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels and single-piston floating-caliper brakes on the rear wheels. The front calipers are made of aluminium and combined with 360×30mm ventilated discs. They are finished in Chili Red and bear the John Cooper Works logo.
5. A stripped, driver-focused interior
To help you feel more connected to the car, the Mini engineers have ripped out some of the sound-deadening material – a tactic that was not too long ago used by Porsche on its 911T. Not only does this provide a less filtered driving experience, but it also helps to reduce weight.
The rear seats have also been deleted and replaced with a strut-tower base to improve overall chassis rigidity. Frame-hugging John Cooper Works sports seats come standard, as does a John Cooper Works leather steering wheel equipped with metal 3D-printed shift paddles.
6: It's coming to South Africa
According to Mini, the new John Cooper Works GP will be available in South Africa, in limited numbers, from the third quarter of 2020.