Mini used this year’s Nurburgring 24 hour race to present a unique John Cooper Works GP prototype, well before the fully-fledged production version goes on sale in 2020.
Armed with the latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo packing at least 220kW of power, the new GP is billed as the fastest production series Mini in the brand’s history, and the most powerful version ever built for the road.
Mini is tight-lipped about outputs for the new GP, but expect it to offer at least 225kW (306hp) and 450Nm of torque – precisely that of the yet-to-arrive 2020 Mini JCW Clubman and Countryman landing in most markets late in 2019.
Apart from the latest powertrain, the new JCW Clubman and Countryman will get a host of performance enhancements including all-wheel drive as standard, as well as a new eight-speed 'steptronic' transmission with integrated mechanical differential lock for the front axle.
It’ll also get a new race-bred cooling system and the latest sports exhaust system with a more developed exhaust note according to the brand.
There’s a specially-engineered chassis with further stiffening and more reinforcement for the body structure, engine mounts and chassis fastenings which work in concert with the newly-developed drivetrain.
There’s also a bigger John Cooper Works sport brake system to deal with the significant performance upgrade, which we’d expect will be standard when the JCW GP breaks ground in production form.
Expect the new Works GP edition to get all of that (and more) with the exception of all-wheel drive – it will employ a front-drive system, but details are still sketchy at this stage.
Like most new performance editions, the GP will be tested and timed at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The previous model achieved a time of 8:23, the new Works version stands to be significantly faster. Try 7:56.69, as seen on the dash of a prototype at the Ring.
It’s also the third Works GP edition the company has produced in its 60-year history and only the second time we’ll see a Works GP car in Australia.
Production of the new Works GP will be limited to just 3000 examples, though, that’s substantially more than were made of each of the two previous versions produced in 2006 and 2013 – each of which was completely sold out before their official market launch.
Judging by the prototype on display at the Nurburgring – there’s been some serious development with the car’s aerodynamics given the heavily worked body kit all round including ducts feeding all four wheels and a huge race-spec rear spoiler.
This is a car that looks like it could be well and truly be on the grid for next year’s N24 race, and frankly, we can’t wait for more details on this car.
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