Mini's range-topping performance hatch is coming, and it's going to be a very, very powerful beast when it touches down. Just 3000 are going to be offered worldwide.
Mini has confirmed the 2020 John Cooper Works GP will offer more than 220kW when it launches next year, comfortably usurping its pared-back predecessors for punch.
As with the wider Mini range, we know the next GP will draw on a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. At the moment, the most powerful model in the Cooper Hatch line-up – the JCW – makes 170kW, all put to the front wheels.
The previous limited-edition GP, of which just 55 came to Australia, offered 160kW from its 1.6-litre four-pot.
Power isn't the only place the 2020 GP will deviate from its predecessors. Mini has decided to build 3000 examples of the car, up from the 2000-car production run of the GP and GP2 before it.
At the moment, Mini is developing the car on track. Given the previous GP lapped the Nurburgring in just 8:23.00, we'd expect the new model to be getting close to the 8:00.00 marker around the Green Hell.
On the styling front, it's expected to look a lot like the John Cooper Works GP concept released at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. The teaser images certainly mimic elements of that car, from the cartoonish rear wing to the angry-looking exhaust, so let's hope the aggression continues when the car is fully unveiled.
There's still one big question, though. Will the GP be front- or all-wheel drive? Mini has been turning to all-paw drivetrains in its JCW models of late, offering the most powerful Clubman and Countryman with four driven wheels instead of two. Given 220kW is a lot of power, an all-wheel drive GP certainly isn't out of the question.
A hint could come from elsewhere in the BMW Group stable – the X2 M35i xDrive. Also powered by a high-output 2.0-litre turbocharged four, the M Performance crossover sends a meaty 225kW and 400Nm to all four wheels.
Given the X2 is based on the same front-drive UKL platform as the Mini, sharing that drivetrain would make sense. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.