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Old 05-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP Hatchback

We’ve previously run a couple of speculative stories on the Mini John Cooper Works GP. It is with some relief that we are now able to provide some official information and images of Mini’s worst-kept secret.
Officially debuting at the Mini United Festival in Le Castellet, France, the 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP is basically the Mini John Cooper Works with more of the works. That includes a mean-looking body kit with an air-gobbling front fascia, new side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a carbon-fiber wing above the backlight. Four-spoke wheels—and lipstick-red mirrors, for that matter—tend to look funny on cars less whimsical than the innately jocular Mini, but as with this car’s predecessor, the mischievous 2006 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GP Kit, this model looks rather snappy. The C/D jury is out on the new GP’s black, silver, and red body graphics, but stickers come off as easily as they’re applied.

All We Know is 8:23
Other performance enhancements include the removal of the hatchback’s rear seat as well as the fitment of a suite of race-worthy chassis bits, including an adjustable suspension, upgraded brakes, and high-performance tires. Detailed specs on those components as well as those pertaining to the GP’s engine, which we expect to be a version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger found in the larger JCW Countryman, will be revealed later this year closer to the GP’s market introduction. The GP should get the same 211 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque from the 1.6-liter as the JCW Countryman, however.

We also must wait to learn how much Mini plans to charge for the new super Cooper, as well as what slice of its 2000-unit production run will be dished out to American customers. We did learn, however, that all 2000 vehicles confirmed at this point will be hatchbacks. If Mini goes ahead with any JCW GP coupes would be part of a separate production run.

However shy with product details Mini is being at this point, it did provide one particularly revealing statistic: At 8 minutes and 23 seconds, the 2013 JCW GP hatch laps the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife a considerable 19 seconds faster than its predecessor. Strident journalists that we are, we’d prefer to verify that ourselves. Just tell us when to show up
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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Four-spoke wheels have never looked quite right, IMO.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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The wheels do look out of place!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:07 AM   #5
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The MINI has 4 bolt hubs... and the new R56 GP wheels are just mimicking the R53 GP wheels:

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #6
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The wheels look fine on a Mini.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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First drive review: Mini John Cooper Works GP
Second generation Mini GP improves on its hardcore forebear in all aspects, but at a price

What is it?

The quickest Mini ever according to BMW. The previous GP was a stripped down, run-out model for the previous generation hatchback, but it was not as finely fettled as the 2012 edition, and the manufacturer has the Nürburgring North Loop lap times to prove it.

An 18-second betterment is all the more impressive when you consider that the standard 1.6-litre petrol unit’s output has only increased by 7bhp (thanks to an engine management overhaul) and 0-62mph has improved by just 0.2 seconds over the orthodox JCW.

The difference, then, has come at the apexes; little wonder when you consider the seriousness of the chassis refit. The Mini’s regular components have been replaced with individually adjustable coilover suspension, permitting the ride height to descend by up to 20mm. Vastly more expensive motorsport-derived dampers have been installed all-round; at the front they’re fitted upside down to enhance longitudinal stiffness.

First drive review: Mini Paceman

Along with the increased camber and reduced toe-in, the 17-inch wheels have been shod in bespoke (mercifully non run-flat) rubber, developed especially for the GP by Korean manufacturer Kumho. To tie it all rigidly together, front and rear braces have been inserted, with the latter occupying the place once occupied by the Mini’s back seats.

If that all sounds expensive, it is. The car’s final cost is an eyeball-raking £28,790 - only marginally less expensive than the 315bhp M135i we road tested this week.
What is it like?

We were limited to five laps of a Majorca karting track with the car, but it barely requires the length of a pitlane to announce its idiosyncrasies. For a start, the GP seems like a more solemn place to be. The exterior may be emblazoned with extra badges, but inside the manufacturer has ignored its cutesy, trite trim inclination and stuck to the basics: the Recaro seats are excellent, and the piano black trim and anthracite roof liner make a decent backdrop for the occasional splash of red stitching.

Better still, the first half turn of the meaty wheel makes it clear that despite retaining the 2.4 turn lock-to-lock speed, the steering has traded its contrived hyperactivity for a more substantial linearity. The first seam in the concrete reveals that the JCW’s tarmac-butting ride control has also been cultured into a rich, ground-hugging thunk by its swankier components.

Toe down, the power comes on much as did before, which is to say in a hearty, lung-busting tirade. However, where the conventional JCW is tyre-spinning torque-spiller, the GP’s 20mm wider front track and putty-like tyre compound make a much fairer fist of tacking 206lb ft of overboost to its now scintillating turn in.

No amount of Germanic track time will render a Clio Cup level of feedback from the electric power steering unit, but the Mini’s already throttle-happy adjustability has graduated from duly provokable to downright elemental as the sharpened chassis better broadcasts weight transfer and lift-off slip.

Without a mechanical LSD up front, the GP’s 215bhp still has a natural tendency to dissipate into understeer or, alternatively, light up a desperately flickering ESP light under serious provocation. But a new GP race mode, which doesn’t permit the stability control to dull engine power, only brakes the inside wheel via an electronic diff control function and so keeps the Mini’s line sweeter than it has ever been.
Should I buy one?

It’s a savage investment to make, and an outgoing Clio Cup or even Vauxhall’s Corsa VXR Nürburgring would deliver much of the thrill for considerably less. But, realistically, this limited edition car - just 2,000 will be made - is for buyers already heavily devoted to the Mini way of doing things.

From that narrower viewpoint, the car, while admittedly not measured on the road yet, is by some distance the best yet to pilot aggressively. The contrived snap and over-egged scurry of the JCW has been superseded by the accuracy and wonderfully organic recompense of an expensive, track-bred solution. It also feels, in stark contrast to some of BMW’s other recent output, like a proper tribute to the bold, ballsy inventiveness of the brand’s original motorsport heritage.

Mini John Cooper Works GP

Price £28,790; 0-62mph 6.3sec; Top speed 150mph; Economy 40mpg; CO2 165g/km; Kerb weight 1235kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1598cc, turbocharged, petrol; Installation Front, transverse; Power 215bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 206lb ft (2000-5100rpm); Gearbox 6-spd manual
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SilverSubaab View Post
The wheels look fine on a Mini.
Agreed, anything quirky or weird a mini can pull off IMO.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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I had a JC Cooper, unimpressed and torque steer awful. Over priced and WRX Subaru better and cheaper. I bought the JC as was bargain used otherwise would not have bothered.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
I had a JC Cooper, unimpressed and torque steer awful. Over priced and WRX Subaru better and cheaper. I bought the JC as was bargain used otherwise would not have bothered.
Especially with the JC, it think it's more the "special edition" hype that gets the car sales over actual performance for price. It's pretty sad that this happens so much, but oh well, if I cured retardation it would be harder for me to stand out in society, thus lowering my income :P
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kostamojen View Post
Exactly. No thanks.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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I think the 4 spokers look good on it. Nice car, but for 40K I'm going with a 3-series.
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