At the other end of the spectrum from Bentley’s announcement of the fastest production SUV, comes Mini’s announcement of its most powerful John Cooper Works version of the tiny hatchback.
Derived from the Mini John Cooper Works GP concept shown at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2020 production version (of which only 3,000 will be produced for worldwide distribution) features a 300-hp turbo 4-cylinder engine and a host of racetrack-inspired features, such as lightweight materials, to provide the iconic sporty small car with a new dimension of performance and driving fun.
The concept also supplied the sporty look with large front and rear aprons and a striking high spoiler.
Its predecessor, called GP2, was introduced in 2013 as a 2,000-unit limited edition (500 allotted to North America) loosely based on the JCW Challenge race car. Its 214 hp was a slight bump from the John Cooper Works car achieved through a modification in compression. It featured race-track inspired body work (including a high rear spoiler), unique wheels, adjustable suspension, special Recaro front seats and no rear seats.
There was also a John Cooper Works GP Kit previously available for the 2006 Cooper S.
“The fastest MINI in our brand history – which now goes back 60 years – is an expression of pure racing passion,” says Thomas Giuliani, Vice President Product and Launch Management. “We are well aware of the enormous fascination exercised by the MINI John Cooper Works GP, 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.”
The company did not release much information about the new car, expected to be introduced in Geneva and then go on sale next year.