Over 300 horsepower in a Mini? Consider our interest piqued.
Every so many years, Mini comes out with a more performance-focused hatchback than any it's made before. It calls them the John Cooper Works GP, and there's a new one coming that already promises to eclipse anything the Anglo-Saxon marque has ever done.
Previewed in this trio of teaser images, the new JCW GP will pack a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of otherwise undisclosed parameters, but which is slated to produce over 300 horsepower. But more than brute strength, it will also incorporate a more aggressive aero package, reduced weight, and a retuned suspension.
Mini introduced the first JCW GP as a kit in 2006, boasting 215 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It produced another as a complete package in 2012, with the same power but more torque at 207 lb-ft. Both arrived towards the tail end of their donors' lifecycles and were limited to just 2,000 examples. But the new one will yield 3,000.
Expect the new model to closely follow the cues laid down by the concept shown at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. And we get the distinct feeling that Mini could gun for a new Nürburgring record with the new Works GP.
The last one clocked a 8:23 lap time, but if it's going to take the lap record for front-drive, production vehicles, it'll need to beat the 7:43.8 set by the Honda Civic Type R. And the new JCW GP will boast similar output in a smaller package.
"We are well aware of the enormous fascination exercised by the Mini John Cooper Works GP," said Mini product chief Thomas Giuliani, "not just from the euphoric reactions to the concept vehicle but also from past experience: after all, every one of its predecessors was completely sold out even before the official market launch."