Mini John Cooper Works GP: Here's the 301-hp Mini

The Mini John Cooper Works GP is a 301-hp Mini Cooper that’s ready to make Mini fans happy.

Mini is pumping its Cooper full of steroids for the LA Auto Show this year. The company is taking the John Cooper Works model and cranking up the power to yield the John Cooper Works GP. It’s stuffed with as many race-inspired treats as you can throw on a showroom-ready Mini. The most interesting part? The 301 hp heading to the front wheels.

Engine displacement stays the same as the standard John Cooper Works models, but power is up by 73 hp. Likely taking the same engine tuning and development out of the similarly powered John Cooper Works Clubman All4, the JCW GP should be a more fun application of the more potent engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, power travels through the front wheels by way of a standard locking differential. The JCW GP sends its exhaust gases through a GP-specific exhaust system. The net result is a sprint from a dead stop to 62 mph in only 5.2 seconds.

Of course, if you plan on actually driving this thing around an autocross or at a track day, you’re going to want more than just heaps of power—so Mini made the JCW GP more rigid and performance-focused. First, the team designed a special engine mount for the GP. A redesigned rear axle and other reinforcements help keep the body structure rigid under torsional load. The folks at Mini also lowered the GP 10 mm compared to the standard John Cooper Works models and added more camber to the front and rear wheels.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP will be limited to only 3,000 cars worldwide. 

One of the coolest parts of the new Mini John Cooper Works GP: the wing.

There’s no shortage of “GP” badging on this Mini. 

Four-piston calipers clamp 14.17-inch rotors, which all sit behind a set of 18-inch forged alloy wheels.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP wing is also heavily branded, but that’s not a bad thing.

The Mini JCW GP might be the end-of-the-road send-off for this generation of Mini Cooper. If it is, you’ll get to look at that huge wing driving off into the sunset.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP shares the same shell with its lower-hp brother but packs a handful of cosmetic differences. 

The redesigned front fascia lets more air in and should provide better cooling for the more potent engine. 

Here’s how the Mini JCW GP stacks up against its non-gp stablemates. 

The Mini JCW GP’s fender cladding is now carbon-fiber composite, to shed some weight and give it a a sportier feel.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP has a model-specific exhaust system, that should be louder than the standard JCW.

Bringing the JCW GP to a halt is a pair of four-piston fixed calipers up front clamping 14.17-inch rotors. Single piston floating calipers handle the rear braking. This all sits on a set of 18-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in 225/35 tires.

Naturally, the folks at Mini couldn’t just throw a bunch of performance parts on a normal looking John Cooper Works model and call it a day. The JCW GP features a host of sporty-looking body modifications. Most obvious is the unmistakable spoiler mounted to the roof, but that’s not the only change. Mini also changed the front apron, the front lip spoiler and made the wheel arch trim out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

Mini didn’t ignore the interior, though it might not be as comfortable as your standard John Cooper Works model. There are two seats and less acoustic insulation. The reductions are pointed squarely at shaving weight. Still, the seats are wrapped in faux suede and leather.

Mini plans to limit John Cooper Works GP production to only 3,000 cars worldwide. That short supply might make the $45,750 MSRP easier to stomach. That might be a price for serious fans of Mini to jump at, but with the Honda Civic Type R almost $10K cheaper, it is not a bargain-basement ride. Regardless, if you are a Mini devotee, you’ll get your chance to drive one of these to your house in March 2020.

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