The JCW GP gets closer to hot hatch perfection.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP is supposed to be the pinnacle of what the Mini Cooper can be as a performance vehicle. As a hot hatch, it's a class leader featuring a grunty 301 horsepower engine, a modified cooling system, and lower and harder suspension. For weight reduction, the rear seats have been tossed out along with some sound insulation, while flared carbon wheel arches are added to go with the wider track. It'll hit 60 mph in five seconds flat and corner like the tires are made from Velcro, enabling the Mini GP to snatch a Nurburgring time of under eight minutes. The car has its flaws, though; torque steer, a rough ride, and lacking the nuance and playfulness of standard MINI models, which is why legendary BMW tuning company AC Schnitzer has released tuning parts to refine the JCW GP.
The first thing AC Schnitzer concentrated on is the suspension and developed its RS Clubsport coilover units with German specialists KW. The system is designed with height, damping, and rebound adjustability, and AC Schnitzer claims it improves agility and handling while lowering the JCW GP an extra 30 to 40 mm. The tuner mentions that the suspension is designed for track use, so we're not expecting a smoother ride quality.
Traction is everything, so to go with the new suspension setup, the German tuners are offering a new limited-slip differential (LSD) developed with Drexler Motorsport. It replaces the existing LSD, and no doubt, the mechanical self-locking differential will help to handle the excessive torque steer.
The JCW GP is already an outrageous looking little car, but AC Schnitzer couldn't resist offering some aesthetic alternatives. As well as a new cover for the iDrive selector, the company is offering a set of weight-optimized AC Schnitzer AC1 alloy wheels available in BiColor or Anthracite.
The JCW GP was designed to be the ultimate MINI model, but if anyone can improve upon it, it's AC Schnitzer. Particularly if they're working with legendary names in the industry such as KW and Drexler Motorsport. While many may have hoped for more power, in something as small and light as this, the 301 hp on tap is already more than enough, so hopefully, the upgrades made go some way to refining the experience further.