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Hardcore MINI JCW GP powers in with 302bhp

New MINI John Cooper Works GP is most powerful front-wheel-drive MINI ever

The new MINI John Cooper Works GP has been revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show. It’s the fastest front-wheel-drive model ever built by MINI, boasting 302bhp from its tweaked 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. Only 3,000 examples will be built, with 575 destined for the UK market priced at £33,895 each. The first UK cars will be delivered in March 2020.

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To set the MINI JCW GP apart from the standard MINI hatchback, the firm’s engineers have given the bodywork a full racing spec makeover with wheel arch extensions, a new front splitter and a wrap-around style rear spoiler. Wider 18-inch, four-spoke alloy wheels are fitted, and are only available on the GP model.

The fastest hot hatchbacks you can buy

The GP’s extreme bodykit is made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, with the front splitter and rear spoiler giving additional downforce. Larger air vents in the front bumper channel air to the car’s cooling system and brakes.

Only one colour scheme is available, incorporating a ‘Racing Grey’ paint finish for the bodywork, a roof panel in ‘Melting Silver’ and the underside of the rear wing, lower air intake and grille trim all painted in contrasting ‘Chilli Red’. Further cosmetic changes include an array of ‘GP’ logos scattered across the bodywork, gloss black trim, and tinted headlight lenses with Union Jack rear lights. Each car will have its production number visible on the front wing extensions.

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The racing tweaks continue inside with the removal of the rear seats to reduce weight, leaving two sports seats for the driver and a single passenger. The dashboard features 3D-printed trim panels featuring the car’s production number, with a nappa leather sports steering wheel sporting a metal centre-mark at the 12 o’clock position and 3D-printed metal paddle-shifters. The 'Chilli Red' colour contrast continues on the inside, with red seatbelts and a matching rear strut brace.

Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that’s shared with the MINI Clubman JCW. Internal tweaks include stronger pistons and con-rods, plus a strengthened crankshaft. A larger turbocharger, new intercooler and a free-flowing exhaust system are all new.

The result of the changes is a power output of 302bhp, all of which goes to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A mechanical limited-slip differential is fitted, helping to improve traction and give the GP a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 164mph.

Chassis revisions for the MINI JCW GP include a recalibrated power steering rack, uprated shocks and springs, stiffer suspension mounting bushes and additional chassis bracing. This setup lowers the GP’s ride height by 10mm compared to the standard MINI JCW. Braking power has also been increased, with larger, four-piston front brake calipers fitted.

Want to know more about the rivals to the MINI John Cooper Works? Read our picks for the best hot hatchbacks you can buy.

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