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Mini John Cooper Works GP revealed at 2019 LA auto show

28th Nov 2019 8:00 am

306hp John Cooper Works GP gets model-specific performance and cosmetic upgrades to make it lighter and more powerful; limited to 3,000 units.

Mini has revealed its fastest road-going model yet, the John Cooper Works GP, at the 2019 Los Angeles auto show. Limited to just 3,000 units globally, the GP features a number of mechanical and cosmetic changes to make it lighter and faster than the standard three-door John Cooper Works (JCW).

Starting with the engine, the 2.0-litre turbo petrol now develops 306hp and 450Nm – significantly exceeding the output of the same unit in the 231hp/320Nm JCW model. The GP is capable of sprinting from 0-100kph in a claimed 5.2sec and has a top speed of 264kph.

Most of the GP’s extra power comes from the new turbocharger. The motor’s compression ratio is reduced to cope with the extra boost pressure, and a new intake duct and new multi-hole injectors (with up to 350bar of pressure) also feature, as does a GP-specific oil sump.

A new exhaust system is said to bring sound effects 'inspired by motor racing'. Also taken from the firm’s racing expertise is a newly developed cooling system.

Power is sent to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic gearbox with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A mechanical differential lock helps channel the healthy power output smoothly.

Externally, the most notable additions are a giant roof spoiler with double-wing contours, a new front apron design and special wheel-arch extender panels made of lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic and dubbed ‘spats’ by Mini engineers.

The material for the spats is recycled from the production process of the i3 and i8 of Mini parent company BMW. With an exposed matte finish, the front arch panels each feature the car’s specific build number. The body itself is available exclusively in metallic grey, with silver and red details.

The GP’s body structure is said to be “extremely rigid”, with new supports, members and strut braces. The suspension was developed from extensive Nürburgring testing. The track widths are increased and the body is lowered by 10mm over the standard JCW, while a host of new parts and extra front camber reduce roll and improve grip.

The dynamic stability control setup has a GP-specific mode that relaxes the system’s intervention. The new sports braking system (in conjunction with lightweight forged wheels) features four-piston front callipers for greater stability and braking power.

Inside, the John Cooper Works GP gets just two seats. Combined with less acoustic insulation, the shedding of its rear seats contributes to a reduced, 1,255kg kerb weight – 85kg lighter than the normal JCW. New 3D-printed honeycomb metal shift paddles feature, and 3D printing has also been used for the passenger dashboard panel, where the car’s build number is displayed.

Despite the pared-back approach, the GP can still be equipped with sat-nav, wireless charging and heated front seats. It also gets the digital instrument cluster from the Mini Electric as standard.

Mini marked its 60th anniversary this year along with rolling out its 10 millionth car from its plant in Oxford UK. For the Indian market, the company has had a relatively quiet year which saw the introduction of the above mentioned 231hp JCW model and a limited-run Black Edition iteration of the Countryman. Mini could bring the JCW GP to India but expect numbers to be very limited and the price to be higher than the standard JCW.

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