The Mini John Cooper Works GP is the most powerful Mini ever made, and it recently arrived in South Africa.
It is also the most expensive Mini on the market, with a price of R809,000 at launch.
So, what do you get when you give Mini this pile of cash?
The answer is a very capable pocket rocket.
Powering the Mini GP is a 2-litre, four-cylinder engine – capable of delivering 225kW and 450Nm of torque.
Power is then delivered via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission, which takes the car from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds.
The GP had received special treatment compared to the standard John Cooper Works in the form of an extra 55kW, allowing it to reach a top speed of 265km/h, and lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 8 minutes.
In order to keep the front-wheel-drive hatch planted firmly, Mini added dynamic stability control and an integrated differential lock that splits power between the front wheels to promote traction.
In the spirit of handling, the GP receives several upgrades to set it apart, including
- A wider track
- 10mm lower suspension
- Model-specific engine and transmission mounts
Further attention was then given to stopping power, with the addition of a new sports brake system featuring ventilated discs, and 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels weighing in at less than 9kg.
More notably, though, it gets a model-specific brushed stainless steel exhaust system that produces sounds which are “inspired by motor racing”, according to Mini.
The body is differentiated through new carbon-fibre wheel arch trims, too, along with a double-wing roof spoiler and several other design elements that aim to increase aerodynamics while keeping the car as cool as possible.
Sportiness is the main focus for the interior, with comfort then placed in a firm second place.
Inside you will find two John Cooper Works sports seats finished in a Dinamica-leather combination, an aluminium cross-brace at the rear, and more noise – thanks to reduced acoustic insulation.
These changes were made to reduce the weight of the car and to give the small hatchback a sports car flair, said Mini.
Connectivity is then covered by a 6.5-inch display system in the central instrument panel that shows more model-specific information.
Additionally, a high-resolution 5-inch colour screen replaces the traditional instrument cluster – displaying road speed and other information either numerically or on a scale.
If you are considering buying what is firmly one of the fastest front-wheel drive cars in the world, there are several factors to consider.
The main one is the price.
With a launch price of R809,000, it is competing against the likes of the BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35 – both of which have earned strong brand loyalty in the South African market.
It is also R150,000 more than the “standard” Mini John Cooper Works 3-door hatch.
A number working its favour, however, is the rarity of the car.
Mini is keeping the GP to a limited production run and only 3,000 units will be built – with 38 of those coming to South Africa.
Now I know what you’re thinking: How are you supposed to know it’s your specific GP in the parking lot with the myriad of others you will undoubtedly encounter?
Luckily, Mini thought of this, and will print your car’s custom number on its custom wheel arch.