If you are one of the select 59 Canadians to snag a 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP (out of 3,000 produced) when they reach our shores in the second quarter of 2020, know that you will have purchased the most powerful Mini ever. And the fastest.
Before the Mini GP rolled out on stage at the LA Auto Show, a video was playing showing this little tinder-box staffing – you guessed it – the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit where it cracked the magic eight-minute mark, posting a 7:56.69. 100 km/h arrives in 5.1 seconds.
Mini has massaged its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, via freer-flowing intake and exhaust, higher fuel-injection pressure plus new turbocharger, to torture the GP’s 19-inch front wheels with 302 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. Maybe torture isn’t the right word, as Mini’s aim is to keep those front tires hooked up via standard limited-slip differential. Also standard is adaptive damping and a suspension system that has been upgraded for track duty.
If you want to stir your own gears, however, you’re out of luck as the 2020 Mini GP comes only with an eight-speed auto and paddle shifters. It gets its own cooling system to handle the rigours of track work.
Buyers needn’t worry about going unnoticed in this third-gen GP. It comes only in Racing Grey with roof and mirror caps in Melting Silver; red accents, a huge bi-level spoiler with red inner surfaces, and the letters GP stamped in red on its sides complete the look. Fender blisters made from recycled carbon fibre, both front and back, give this special Mini some extra menace, along with a wider track.
A lowered ride height (0.4 inches) has it crouching menacingly over its unique four-spoke alloys that echo the design of its predecessors. Other aero upgrades include an aggressive front splitter, side skirts, and a pair of big central exhaust tips that will broadcast this puppy’s bark. The deep-chested growl it made when rolling on stage suggests there could be some appropriately juvenile aural fireworks here when the hammer goes down.
As with the two previous Mini GPs, the rear seats are sacrificed in the name of weight reduction. Inside we the typically high-quality appointments of the Mini, along with its signature “riot of circles” design theme that takes its cue from the original 1959 Mini’s round central speedometer. Highly bolstered sport seats and head up display complete the picture.
As the old adage goes, speed costs, and in this case price of entry is $51,900. This puts the GP at about $10,000 over its only real foe in the front-drive hyper-hot-hatch sandbox – the spectacular, but more “common” and less premium Honda Civic Type R. If you are interested, better act quick, and BMW says almost half the 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GPs are already spoken for.