New Car: 2012 Mini John Cooper Works GP

The second-generation Mini John Cooper Works GP will hit 150mph and lap the Nurburgring in 8 mins 23 seconds, making it 18sec faster round the famed North Loop than the first Mini GP and the fastest-ever production version of the British supermini.

The tweaked Mini GP II will again feature a raft of engine, suspension, interior and aerodynamic tweaks that lift it to the top of the Mini range, albeit with a price to match. At £28,790 it lists at over £6k more than a John Cooper Works.

Putting out 215bhp and 207lb ft of torque on overboost from its uprated 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, the GP claims just 7bhp and 15lb ft over the standard JCW hatch, though peak torque arrives lower down the rev range at 1750rpm. The 0-62mph sprint time is down by 0.2sec to 6.3sec.

According to Dr. Kay Segler, Senior Vice President of Mini, it was a deliberate choice to keep the power boost fairly moderate and to concentrate instead on chassis dynamics and weight loss. “We did not want to enter the horsepower race with the GP,” said Segler. “The Mini is designed to be a car that can be enjoyed, and driven fast by an amateur. It must be a confident car, not a difficult one.”

Key to this is the race-spec suspension upgrade, which consists of adjustable-platform dampers all round. This allows the ride height to be reduced by up to 20mm and tailored to a specific track. To improve cornering power, the front dampers are turned through 180 degrees and mounted upside down, which ensures they resist cornering forces more effectively. Kumho Ecsta sports tyres are also an important element of the Mini GPs performance upgrades and will be standard.

You won’t miss the GP upgrades from the inside either, where a strut brace replaces the rear seats, Recaro sports seats sit up front and various style additions including a red gear-lever highlight the GP’s performance machismo further still. Curiously, despite the stripped-out interior the Mini GP weighs in at the same 1235kg as the standard JCW.

Thanks to: Autocar

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