This could be the best hot hatch we've seen in years.
The Mini brand has long been devoted to keeping enthusiasts happy. Among all brands in the US, Mini is the only one to offer a manual transmission on every one of its models. This may finally change when the brand reveals its first electric car next year, but the EV should still be fun, manual or not.
Some questions did arise when Mini announced that its cars no longer had to be small and quirky, opening up the possibility for something like a seven-seat SUV. We thought perhaps Mini was losing its enthusiast focus, but the latest spy shots of the upcoming Mini Cooper Works GP threw that skepticism right out the window.
The previous Works GP was limited to just 2,000 units and was the most extreme Mini on sale. Mini showed off a concept version of a new Works GP model back in 2017, but the details about the powertrain were nonexistent. Rumors indicate that the car will be powered by the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder from the John Cooper Works model tuned to deliver anywhere from 280 to 300 horsepower. That's a fair bit more than the JCW's 228 hp figure.
In addition to the power increase, the GP will also feature a significant weight reduction, so the back seats could be removed in pursuit of performance. Around back we can see massive tailpipes and an aggressive rear spoiler, and the test mule also wears larger brakes. If the rumors about power output are true, this has the potential to be the most enjoyable hot hatchback we have seen since the Fiesta ST was revealed a few years ago. Since Ford won't build a Fiesta RS, this Mini could end up being the ultimate tiny hot hatch.