A development vehicle believed to be the Mini John Cooper Works GP has been spied this week in Europe, somewhat confirming that the wild concept revealed at Frankfurt last year will make it to production.
While clearly not the final product – rather based on a 'standard' John Cooper Works 3 Door Hatch – this vehicle features a massive rear wing, and massive front brakes behind the aftermarket alloy wheels.
It also appears the centrally-mounted twin exhausts out the back are fatter than those seen on current models, meaning there could be an even beefier system on the way for the GP.
Under the bonnet will likely be a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine used in the John Cooper Works, perhaps tuned to deliver around 200kW – which would easily make it the most powerful Mini ever. Currently, the JCW Hatch makes 170kW and 320Nm of torque.
That grunt will likely be sent to the front wheels via the choice of a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. We reckon that should see the JCW GP hit 100km/h in under 6.0 seconds, considering the regular JCW manages the benchmark sprint in 6.1 seconds.
Like previous-generation JCW GPs, the new one will be produced in limited numbers – both the 2006 and 2012 versions were capped at 2000 units globally.
Our sources believe the final production version will make its debut towards the end of 2019, ahead of a 2020 market launch.
We're pretty excited about it, what about you? Let us know in the comments, and click here for more images.