Upcoming flagship hot hatch snapped in heavy camouflage on the back of a truck. The company has already confirmed it'll make more than 220kW from its turbocharged petrol engine, but will it be front- or all-wheel drive?
Photographers have snapped the Mini JCW GP on the back of a car carrier in Europe, giving us a closer look at what the German-owned British marque has in store for its new performance flagship.
Despite the swirly yellow wrap covering its entire body, we can see some of the design changes coming to the 3 Door Hatch's body, including racier bumpers, widened guards and a massive rear wing.
The motorsport-style alloy wheels are likely placeholders while the company finishes the final design for the production model, though we can see a much beefier brake package sitting behind those rims.
Last week Mini confirmed the new JCW GP will make over 220kW from a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which is well up on the 170kW output of the 'standard' JCW. For reference, the previous-generation GP made 160kW.
While it's not confirmed whether the GP will be front- or all-wheel drive, it's likely the new hot hatch will feature a version of the high-output 2.0-litre turbo donk used in the BMW X2 M35i xDrive, which sends 225kW and 400Nm to all four wheels.
It's also worth noting the Mini range and the BMW X2 share their 'UKL' architecture, making it a logical guess that the flagship hot hatch will shoehorn a version of the SUV's drivetrain under its little body.
Should that prove to be correct, the added traction of all-wheel drive could see the Mini's 0-100 time dip well under the 5.0-second mark, making it the quickest-accelerating production model in the brand's history.
As a guide, the bigger and heavier X2 with the M35i drivetrain hits triple figures in 4.9 seconds, so the three-door Mini with the same running gear could easily shave a few tenths off.
The company has already confirmed a production run of 3000 units for the new limited-edition model, and it's anticipated to make its public debut very soon – perhaps at the Geneva motor show next month.
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