Powered by a tweaked version of the Cooper S turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder, the GP has 160 kW (218 hp) and 260 Nm of torque, enough for a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6.3 seconds and a 242 km/h (150 mph) top speed. A time of 8:23 minutes around the Nürburgring. That’s 19 seconds quicker than its predecessor and faster than cars such as Audi’s TTS Coupé and the Lotus Exige S. Good going for a vehicle capable of averaging 7.1 l/100 km (39.8 mpg imp).
Also contributing to the GP’s performance is the aero package which consists of a larger front spoiler, aerodynamic shielding beneath the engine, an aggressive diffuser and bespoke carbon fibre rear wing that reduces lift forces at the rear axle by 90 per cent.
Chassis enhancements include the introduction of 330 x 25 mm front brakes discs with six-piston calipers and 280 x 10 mm discs at the rear, along with an adjustable coilover suspension set-up and front and rear strut braces. The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is combined with a special GP racing mode rather than the usual DTC, meaning that just ASC braking occurs instead of power reduction cutting in. The EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) software brakes the inside wheel while turning, and redirects that drive power to the outer wheel, which is making contact with the road, or track..
Visually, the JCW GP is finished in exclusive Thunder Grey metallic with red mirror casings, bonnet scoop edging and air intakes in the front apron. ‘GP’ side stripes and rear badging, xenon headlights in black shells and lightweight alloy wheels derived from items on the MINI Challenge race cars. Measuring 7.5 x 17-inches, they come wrapped in 215/40 R17 sports rubber or standard-size 205/45 R17 tyres as an option. Moving inside, there’s a just pair of Recaro sports seats, thick-rimmed JCW leather steering wheel, chunky chrome gearknob, piano black trim, anthracite roof lining, rev counter and speedometer dials and that all-important Sport button.