A limited-edition road car with race track-developed technology, the MINI John Cooper Works GP is the sportiest and fastest production model ever built under the nameplate of this British premium brand. It will make its North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show (Nov 28), and production of just 2,000 units worldwide has begun this autumn. For the US, only 500 will be imported, and will be priced at $39,950 (includes $700 Destination and Handling charge).
The balance between the engine, the suspension and the aerodynamics was fine-tuned during intensive testing on the Nürburgring North Loop (the old grand prix circuit), where the MINI John Cooper Works GP promptly clocked up a best lap time of 8:23 minutes – well ahead of many big-name sports cars from higher-priced segments. With its 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (242km/h), the GP brings an authentic race car feel to everyday driving.
While the horsepower is slightly less than the 2006 GP due to the newer emissions standards, MINI expects fuel economy improvements for the MY2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP compared to its predecessor (2006 MINI GP EPA Estimate: 27 mpg Highway / 20 mpg City). Note: Official EPA fuel economy estimates were not available at the time of this publication.
- The fastest MINI ever built: 211 hp, 0 to 60 mph sprint time 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph
- Extensively equipped with John Cooper Works motor sport technology
- A limited edition – only 2,000 units to be built starting in 201 2; 500 allocated to customers in the U.S.
The 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP is another stunning example of the time-tested principle of taking the natural sporty DNA of the MINI to a new level by combining it with a whole string of features taken straight from the race track. With this elite sporting machine, the John Cooper Works brand, now a sub-brand of MINI, has raised the stakes yet again – the new model has shaved a whole 18 seconds off its predecessor’s best lap time during testing on the Nürburgring North Loop. This new best time reflects continuous advances in engineering, which have been tuned to the highest performance standards by John Cooper Works.
The state-of-the-art powerplant responds instantly to throttle commands. The familiar 1.6 liter, four cylinder engine has been tuned to produce more power with horsepower increasing to 211 and torque registering in at 192 lb-ft, or 207 lb-ft with the overboost function. Maximum power of 211 hp is delivered at 6,000 rpm. It is transferred to the wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, which is precisely matched to the performance characteristics of the engine.
The astonishing torque gives the MINI John Cooper Works GP a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.9 seconds. Top speed is 150 mph. 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 20 millimeters. 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.
Outstanding braking performance is provided by the MINI John Cooper Works GP’s racing-derived sports brake system, featuring six-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes, vented at the front. The front discs are 330 millimeters (13.0 inches) in diameter and 25 millimeters (.98 inches) thick, with 280 x 10 mm (11.02 x .39 inch) discs at the rear. The low-weight 17-inch alloy wheels, again exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works GP, run on high-performance 215/40 R17 sport tires. The signature GP four-spoke alloy wheels, measuring 17 x 7.5 inches, were specially developed for the MINI John Cooper Works GP and are derived from the MINI Challenge race car, and feature lightweight contours on flow-formed rims.
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) sub-function. The EDLC software brakes the wheel on the inside of the turn, and the drive power that would otherwise be lost at this wheel is redirected to the outer wheel, where the contact forces are greater.
The standard specification of the MINI John Cooper Works GP includes black xenon headlights in black shells, foglamps, automatic climate control, alarm, DSC with special GP mode, and a Sport button. The aerodynamic body parts like the large front and rear aprons, striking side sills and model-specific roof spoiler not only add to the eye-catching appearance but also play an important part in controlling air flow. The rear diffuser, together with the underside panels and the roof-edge spoiler, reduce lift forces at the rear axle by 90 percent, for impeccable handling control even under high-speed cornering and when driving at or near the limit.
A 6 percent reduction in drag is reflected in improved fuel economy and a higher top speed. The air flow round the front of the car has been significantly improved with the help of a large spoiler and full aerodynamic shielding of the engine compartment underside. This aerodynamic shield not only reduces drag and front axle lift, but also improves air flow through the engine compartment. Slits in the center of the shield help to expel air from the intercooler. The slits are situated in an area of fast air flow and high vacuum force, so that the air is literally sucked out of the engine compartment, thereby improving the performance of the intercooler.
The exciting race car feel is raised a further notch by an interior ambience which, partly due to the absence of a rear seat bench, is focused entirely on the needs of the driver and “co-driver”. Both will savor the performance of the MINI John Cooper Works GP to the full thanks to Recaro sports seats with special GP stitching.
To further demonstrate the GP’s intentions, a rear brace is added to tie both sides of the rear unibody together for improved stiffness and as a result, improved and more predictable handling. The tubular brace is bright red and offsets the interior incredibly. Silver end caps finish this brace off appropriately. A cargo guard prevents items from sliding forward out of the luggage compartment in sporty driving situations. The John Cooper Works thick-rimmed leather steering wheel and the gearshift knob with chrome ring and red shift diagram help give the driver a more direct feel for the car. Finally, with features like the anthracite roof liner, the piano black interior surfaces and door grips, and the anthracite tachometer and speedometer dials, this interior also helps to improve the driver’s concentration and focus on the road.
Interested customers can now place their order via a special toll-free number that has been established for the GP (1-800-610-5269). The first vehicle deliveries will take place in March 2013.
MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented in the U.S. through a network of 115 MINI passenger car dealers in 38 states. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of six unique vehicles.