News : MINI JCW GP full details revealed

Keith Adams

As before, back in 2006, the ultimate production MINI is being rolled out within months of its replacement’s appearance. The MINI John Cooper Works GP packs 215bhp for a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 150mph. But it’s the car’s coilover suspension and uprated brakes which push the car to a highly impressive Nürburgring North Loop lap time of 8min 23secs, that really impress on what is the fastest production MINI yet built. The official debut takes place at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, and a mere 2000 units will be built.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP’s exclusive suspension technology, too, relies heavily on motor sport. For the first time on a MINI, it features an individually adjustable coilover suspension, which allows ride height to be lowered by up to 20mm. Among other things, this means the suspension set-up can be fine-tuned to different circuit conditions whenever the MINI goes out onto the track. The front shock absorbers are mounted upside down in the tube, with the piston rod pointing down, in order to increase longitudinal and lateral stiffness.

The front camber has been increased compared with the regular MINI John Cooper Works, so that the performance potential of the sports tyres – which differ significantly from road tyres – can be used to full effect, without the penalties of early understeer, inevitably leading to increased tyre wear. Other features include reduced front-wheel toe-in and increased rear camber, which alters the forward weight transfer so as to give more speed and more neutral steering when driving close to the limit. At the same time, the reduced toe-in improves agility and cornering confidence.

On the MINI John Cooper Works GP, the DSC Dynamic Stability Control is not combined with DTC, as would normally be the case, but with a special GP racing mode. Under hard driving, the driver may often not want ASC engine power reduction cutting in, so instead this system offers just ASC braking, based on the EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) subfunction.

Aero tweaks (the Cd is an unimpressive 0.35) and special tyres will help top end performance. As before, the Works GP is a two-seater, with the rear bench being replaced by a substantial strut brace. The mk2 MINI JCW GP will cost £28,790 – over £6000 more than both the current JCW and original GP.


Keith Adams


  1. I cannot get excited about this car,not at nearly 29 long ones.Tip for BMW,strip the bullshit away,all carpets and have it stripped to race trim and knock £13k of the price and sell more.

  2. Doesn’t seem too overpriced for quite a sophisticated track car with a lot of specialised racing parts.

    Hardly a practical road car though, unless you are driving short distances to and from the track- it would probably be better trailered.

  3. Specialised racing parts? Erm, like a set of coilovers and a full geo set up at your favourite aftermarket specialists you mean?

    You can’t really justify this one against an £18K Cooper S based on the extra hardware you get – you really need to be a hardcore MINI fan and buy into the ‘limited edition, ultimate factory R56 development’ thing…

  4. Probably the most pointless car to come of the MINI line unless you’re actually using it as a toy for proper racing. It’d be a real pain in the neck (literally) to drive everyday. And can I say, 215hp for a car that size, 0-60 in 6 seconds is well a bit naff… either they’ve got a really heavy car or they’ve tuned it so much there’s no lower/midrange torque.- or both… Not my cup of tea.

  5. @11, Paul,

    Absolutely, it goes against the grain. British cars should be badly built, poorly developed, rust-prone, out of touch with what the general public are willing to pay for, and preferably beige.

    Anything else is not God-fearing, union-jack waving, and smacks of being built by a workforce indoctrinated by Johnny Foreigner with all that nonsense about ‘efficiency’ and ‘marketing’. I bet they’ve never even heard of grease nipples…

  6. Im sure its great on a track but it is far,far too dear.A couple of grand will buy a re-map and suspension on a standard cooper s,or buy a second hand RS4 with power and comfort.

  7. @ 1

    I like it but I too, Francis, can’t really get excited about it. £28,000 for a MINI!? This just shows how far removed it is from Mini in its concept. Mini was maximum car, minimum size at an affordable price. MINI is becoming more and more a rich lady’s toy, a fashion accessorie.

    Generally, however, this is me all over – I only show interest in cars within my financial reach.

    Third generation MINI soon. I also wonder whether we really need a totally new MINI quite so frequently. I meam, the cost of re-tooling for so many different but no better components. I’m sure MINI could maintain sales, market share running on a longer model cycle – say 8 years. Or have I just got an old fashioned AR head on!?!

  8. There will be plenty of buyers for this and it shows how wide the appeal of the MINI is, that you can have so many variants in so many styles.

    MINI are brilliant marketeers.

  9. @17
    I doubt many rich ladies will be buying this MINI GP as a fashion toy!… the previous MINI GP this is a serious performance car more suited to track days. Also as said it shows how wide the appeal of the MINI is……can you imagine such customers considering buying say a Nissan Micra GP?

    The model cycle of the Mk1 R50 MINI was shorter I believe due to the production tooling being worn out earlier than planned, as it was originally designed for producing around 100,000 MINI’s per year but ended up nearer to 250,000+

    By the time the Mk3 appears late 2013/14 (the Mk2 was introduced in 2006/7) that is a fairly normal cycle these days to remain current and competitive, with a facelift mid-way. We will certainly never again see the original Mini’s 40+ year model cycle!!

  10. Another expensive bling fashion accessory.

    Am I alone in hankering after a “proper” Mini? The original was a super compact, space efficient cheap runabout with some superb design features e.g. bodyshell seams turned outside to liberate an extra 1.5″ of space inside, gearbox under engine FWD and of course the compact suspension. The current Mini is just another bloated modern car that happens to bear a passing resemblance to a design classic.

    It has no more relevance to a proper Mini than a 2012 Beetle does to the ones designed by Ferry Porsche i.e. all that remains is the name and a facsimile shape.

  11. @19

    Martin, I wasn’t suggesting another 40 year model run and I see your point reference the tooling for the mk1 MINI being worn out sooner due to much higher demand than expected. I know that the MINI’s model cycles are now typical. However, my point was that I’m sure the car could remain popular, competitive through clever marketing, useful revisions as opposed to a far more costly ground up new car. The Beetle (not the original!) managed a long model run as did the Ka.

    I know the GP is a serious performance car. My rich lady’s accessorie comment was more aimed at MINI in general and came after I overheard the comments of my sister and her frind who are both MINI owners.

  12. @21
    But a “proper” Mini that is a super compact, cheap runabout can no longer be built in the high labour cost UK……all such cars are now built in Eastern Europe, India or other low wage manufacturing countries. Nissan have recently moved Micra production from UK to India. BL/Rover never replaced the Mini for the same reason, small basic economy cars are not that much cheaper to build than larger cars but yield lower asking prices and need very high volumes to turn a profit. If BMW ever build the Mini/MINI Rocketman concept it is unlikely that it will be built in UK if it sold at ‘Mini’ car prices.

  13. @23 modular platforms keep costs down,well its a free market economy as we are told,but its no use shipping out the work if nobody buys em-because nobody buys the micra no more.

    The Corsa D/punto manage because they are platform shared,as is 500/Ka and god knows what else!Anyway BMW wont worry about that just yet,they hav,nt milked the brand dry quite yet!

  14. MINI will soon be platform sharing according to this report:

    The 2014 F56: All You Need to Know About the 3rd Generation MINI
    “The 2014 F56 hatch is the first of the next generation MINIs and a precursor to replacements for all future MINIs. While it signals a shift away from unique MINI underpinnings and technology (most of the F56′s underlining structure, engines and electronics will be shared with a new line of front wheel drive BMWs) it also could usher new technology, performance and efficiency never dreamt of in a small car. In some respects one could even look at these changes and be forgiven in thinking the next generation MINI is about to get a little more “Mini” like.”
    More Details:

  15. What a brilliant looking car, £29000 its A bargain, a chap is asking £27500 for a mk1 cooper S on car and classic web site, I know which one i prefer for that sort of money.
    Cant wait for the nxt gen GP.

  16. Well for that kind of money I would choose the Astra GTC or Focus ST estate, have change and not look a tool telling everyone I paid nearly £30k for a MINI.

  17. @ 26- Buy an ST or astra then after 3 yrs or even 12 months chop it in for a new one and lose all your money !
    Not the case with a mini. Besides the ST is like driving a sofa, its engine is good tho but expect that with it being a volvo engine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.