Mini has unveiled its John Cooper Works GP concept that will enter production in 2019 as the fastest, most performance oriented version of the hatchback. The car will make its public debut at the forthcoming Frankfurt motor show. The first-and second-generation Minis were offered a JCW GP model near the end of the standard models’ lifecycle. While the third-gen car is expected to follow in their footsteps, Mini said it could “not confirm whether a series-production model of the GP will be launched in the future. This concept is a design study.” Encouraged by Mini’s wins at the Monte Carlo Rally 50 years ago, the concept is meant to embody “dynamic flair and the ultimate in driving fun”. “The John Cooper Works GP is an important part of the Mini brand,” he said. “It has worked well for us in the past and I don’t see why it wouldn’t again in the future.”
The large sections of the concept’s radical styling are unlikely to be carried over to the production model, especially the large front and back aprons, side skirts and the prominent roof spoiler. It also uses lightweight materials including carbon fiber that Mini claims optimizes the power-to-weight ratio. The JCW GP concept gets 19-inch alloys and LED tail-lights that display half of the Union Jack, a nod to the car’s British origins. In the cabin, the concept sports a roll cage, low-mounted bucket seats and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The most recent JCW GP that had launched in the UK in 2012 used a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre, turbocharged petrol engine that produced 218hp, an 8hp increase over the standard JCW at that time. It was capable of 0-100kph in a claimed 6.3sec. The present standard JCW is powered by a 230hp, four-pot, 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine and also does the 0-100kph sprint in 6.3sec so expect improvements in both power and speed for the third-generation JCW GP.