The fastest production Mini ever made, the Mini John Cooper Works GP, will reach Australian shores next year following its official debut at this month's 2012 Paris motor show.
The limited edition road-going Mini John Cooper Works GP proved its racing wares in May lapping Germany's Nurburgring Nordschleife in 8min23sec – 18 seconds faster than the original 2006 John Cooper Works GP special.
With all 2000 units featuring John Cooper Works motorsport technology throughout, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder limited edition GP is armed with 160kW of power and 260Nm of torque (280Nm using overboost function), enough to see the 1160kg Mini reach 100km/h from stopped in 6.3 seconds onto a top speed of 242km/h.
Efficiency hasn’t been ignored either, with an average fuel consumption figure of 7.1 litres/100km, based on an EU test cycle, and emissions of 165 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Only available with a six-speed manual transmission, further track inspiration is seen in the use of an aluminium cylinder block, aluminium bearing mounts, reinforced pistons, sturdier cylinder head, low-weight crankshafts, sodium-filled exhaust valves and twin-scroll turbocharger.
The racing trend continues with the Mini John Cooper Works GP featuring individually adjustable coilover suspension for the first time on a Mini, that allows the car’s ride height to be lowered by up to 20mm. Real tech-heads will get a kick out of the inverted front shock absorber design too - mounted upside down in the tube to increase longitudinal and lateral stiffness.
Combing to help stop the John Cooper Works GP are high-traction sports tyres and a racing-derived brake system that includes 330mm discs up front with six-piston calipers and 280mm discs on the rear.
The specially developed lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels, exclusive to the Mini John Cooper Works GP, are derived from the brand’s Mini Challenge race car.
With spirited driving in mind, the John Cooper Works GP’s dynamic stability control is not combined with the car’s traction control system as per normal, but instead tied to a special GP racing mode. The altered system means that under hard driving situations the computer will not reduce engine power, while still allowing the stability control and electronic differential lock control functions to brake individual wheels to improve traction.
Finished in model-specific Thunder Grey metallic paint, the Mini John Cooper Works GP’s exterior is highlighted by red edging round the bonnet opening, exterior mirror caps and side air intakes, John Cooper Works insignias on the lower air intake and the tailgate, and not-so-subtle ‘GP’ side stripes between the front and rear wheel arches. Xenon headlights also join the large front and rear spoilers, side skirts, roof spoiler and rear diffuser.
Inside it’s all business with GP-stitched Recaro sports seats, leather steering wheel and leather gearshift knob with chrome ring and red shift diagram up front and only a cargo guard in the back as the rear bench seat has been deleted. Piano black interior trim and door grips join an anthracite roof liner, rev counter and speedometer.
Interested parties should make their intentions known, and quickly, as Mini Australia’s Piers Scott revealed that of the 30 Mini John Cooper Works GP models bound for Australia, 25 have already been allocated to dealers.
Though official prices aren’t due to be released until next week, expect the limited edition, instantly collectible Mini John Cooper Works GP to command a price tag near the $60,000 mark when it lands in February/March 2013 after starting production in November this year.
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