The MINI brand has evolved from what it once was. Whether their increase in size is to your liking or not, there’s one thing they haven’t compromised on, and that’s that when they build hot versions, they make them really hot! Take previous iterations of the MINI John Cooper Works, or JCW, that have been fire-breathing street racers in compact shells. Well, for 2020 MINI’s turning the heat up and has confirmed power outputs of more than 220kW for the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP.
A Brief JCW GP History Lesson
The first John Cooper Works GP was released in 2008, with a pared back weight and upgraded performance courtesy of a 155kW power package (25kW up on the standard Cooper S), electronic limited slip differential, and Brembo 4-pot brake callipers. The ante was upped in 2013 when a new JCW GP, known by fans as the GP2, was released. Power was boosted to 162kW from the turbo 1.6-litre engine, while a stripped interior reduced weight substantially. 0-100km/h took little more than 6 seconds, and a 6-speed manual was the only gearbox available on this track-hardened special. 6-piston Brembo front brakes were equipped, as were high performance tyres on the 17-inch alloy wheels, and fully functional aerodynamic bodywork including a carbon fibre spoiler. The most hardcore JCW GP, yet, the GP2 was extremely rare and highly sought after, but was produced in limited numbers of just 2,000.
A New, More Powerful JCW GP
But there’s a new MINI John Cooper Works GP on the way, based on the latest generation Mini JCW, but with the wick dialled up, dialled way up! BMW has, as of yesterday, teased a new MINI John Cooper Works GP for release in 2020, teasing us with just 3 images and a confirmed power output.
So, then, that power… Well, the 2020 MINI JCW GP will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder motor lifted from the X2 M35i that will develop more than 220kW, which will make it the fastest and most powerful MINI ever produced.
As is the typical JCW GP procedure, we can expect a boatload of weight to be shed in various aspects, with sound deadening and mod-cons removed for the sake of lightweight performance – the British way. There will also be numerous upgrades to the aerodynamics, incorporating large front and rear aprons, and a striking, but effective roof spoiler. MINI also claims the use of lightweight materials, which given BMW’s investment in carbon fibre technology, we expect to see at least a carbon fibre roof and liberal use elsewhere, as the teaser images above already show carbon fibre wheel arches.
As a track hardened special, the suspension of the MINI John Cooper Works GP will also be substantially upgraded, with high-grip tyres expected to be standard. MINI hasn’t yet confirmed whether the JCW GP will remain front-wheel drive, but it’s become a tradition to we expect that to be the basic configuration, with a limited slip differential in place to help manage power delivery to the front rubber.
The 220kW+ MINI John Cooper Works GP will be produced in limited numbers, with just 3,000 units being produced.
While all we have for now are 3 teaser images of the 2020 JCW GP, it seems to draw heavily from the 2017 JCW GP Concept, pictured below.