306 hp MINI John Cooper Works GP Arrives In Malaysia

All 10 units sold here would presumably go to MINI-loving track day enthusiasts. 

Alongside the eco-friendly zero emissions all electric Mini Electric launched today, MINI Malaysia has also brought out something from the other end of the environmental spectrum in the form of the MINI John Cooper Works GP. The fastest, baddest (and presumably most polluting) MINI Cooper of them all. 

The headline figures of this ultimate MINI hot hatch would undoubtably be the 306 hp and 450 Nm of torque generated from the highly tweaked MINI TwinPower Turbo four cylinder engine. Mated to an eight speed Steptronic automatic transmission and driving the front wheels through a mechanically locking differential, this mighty fast MINI is able to rocket to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and continues all the way to 265 km/h. 

To add to that, this MINI has reputedly lapped the Nurburgring in just under 8 minutes. A time that puts the JCW GP in the company of the BMW M5 and a Ferrari F430. This impressive feat was probably made possible by the sheer number of performance parts added to this three door hatchback. 

Apart from performance tweaks to the engine and transmission, the MINI JCW GP sits lower and wider than the regular hot JCW. The GP also features a completely reworked suspension system that is now more track-focused (read: back-creakingly hard) in addition to having undergone a strict dieting regime. 

In an attempt at weight shedding, gone are the rear seats in the MINI JCW GP, making this race-ready MINI a strict two-seater. Lightweight 18 inch forged wheels are standard too on the GP in an effort to shave 9 kilograms of the kerb weight. 

The bespoke GP wheels however serve also an aesthetic purpose to differentiate the GP from the regular MINIs. Aside from that however, the GP also features red and black accents on various external trim parts, not to mention the slew of GP badges littered all around this tiny 3 door hatchback. 

To add to that, the MINI JCW GP is only available in Racing Grey metallic, with contrasting silver roof and external mirror caps. So it will probably be hard to not recognise this MINI GP for any other MINI on the road today. 

Stepping inside this track-focused MINI, it is much the same as in any other MINI. Discounting the aluminium cross brace in place of rear seats, the only other standout differentiating details come in the form of a 3D printed passenger side dash covering with the GP’s signature honeycomb pattern and the red seat belts. 

There are other more subtle interior changes over the standard MINI, like the 3D printed steering wheel with a metal piece at the top of the wheel and the various contrasting stitching everywhere. However, it is still very much a MINI interior with the same 8.8 inch central infotainment display that only supports Apple CarPlay and the new 5.5 inch digital instrument cluster. 

Priced at RM 377,491 after the sales tax incentive (from RM 388,888), this MINI John Cooper Works GP will probably only appeal to the track-day MINI fanatics. 

For that steep price though, it is worth pointing out that the Honda Civic Type R holds the Nurburgring lap record for a front wheel drive car at 7 minutes 43 seconds, and it can seat 4 people in addition to costing RM 50k less. 

Available to order today from authorised MINI dealerships nationwide, the MINI JCW GP is only limited to 3000 units worldwide, with only 10 units in Malaysia. So owners of this track-worthy MINI will certainly be in an exclusive club. 

More information can be found in the press release below: 

MINI, the most sophisticated compact premium automotive brand in Malaysia celebrated its birthday, introducing the New MINI John Cooper Works GP, the most powerful MINI GP ever built for a track-worthy go-kart feeling.

“In MINI’s 60 years of gracing both the racetrack and the streets, we continue to be revelled for our legendary racing success that took the industry by storm in 2006. Today, 14 years on, designers and engineers at MINI are paying tribute to the first MINI John Cooper Works GP once again with the successor – the fastest and most powerful MINI GP ever built. With only 10 units made available for MINIacs in Malaysia, we look forward to the New MINI John Cooper Works GP setting new benchmarks for performance in the premium compact car segment,” said Harald Hoelzl, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.

The exclusive character of the New MINI John Cooper Works GP is uncompromisingly geared towards extreme driving pleasure. This is expressed in both the engine and the performance characteristics. An intense, purist race feeling is conveyed by what is by far the most powerful engine ever used in the compact premium car, suspension technology that is fine-tuned based on John Cooper Work’s comprehensive racing expertise and a body that is optimised in terms of lightweight construction, torsional stiffness and aerodynamics. 

The New MINI John Cooper Works GP spearheads the MINI and John Cooper Works model range with a massive 306hp and 450Nm of maximum torque, pushing its racing genes to the extreme. With limited units available, this extraordinary two-seater comes with the most exclusive design feature and the most impressive technical package.

Embracing the MINI racing genes with a purist approach.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is available exclusively in Racing Grey metallic, with the roof and exterior mirror caps finished in the contrasting Melting Silver metallic. The hexagonal radiator grille, the inserts in the lower air intake and the inside of the roof spoiler finished in high-gloss Chili Red leaves an aggressive impression for the MINI John Cooper Works GP. This is accentuated by the GP insignia stylised in Rosso Red metallic matte on the front and rear, the outer sides of the roof spoiler, foils above the side skirts and the door sill finishers.

This is contrasted by the black finish of the headlight and rear light surround, the central radiator grille, the door handles, the fuel filler flap, the inlay on the bonnet and the MINI logo at the front and rear of the vehicle. Likewise, the black inlays on the headlamps and the darkened Union Jack rear light units emphasise the uncompromising sporty flair of the New MINI John Cooper Works GP. 

The New MINI John Cooper Works GP is fitted as standard with 18-inch lightweight forged wheels that weigh less than nine kilogrammes. The hub caps on the exclusive wheels bear the GP logo. The vehicle’s aerodynamic properties also include the large and strikingly flared wheel arch trims, manufactured through a special process and with a material combination used for the first time by the BMW Group. This consist of a thermoplastic substructure and an outer shell made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The New MINI John Cooper Works GP is the BMW Group’s first production vehicle to feature an exposed matte CFRP coating. The individual numbering with the numbers “0001” to “3000” is applied to the surfaces of the front wheel arch panels by means of a newly developed paint transfer process.

Inside, the New MINI John Cooper Works GP is equipped with John Cooper Works sports seats in Leather Dinamica with silver side edges, red accentuation seams, a GP badge underneath the integrated headrests and red belt straps. The interior trim on the passenger side bears the numbering of the respective vehicles, produced individually for each one of the 3,000 units using 3D printing. The 3D printing process also developed the features on the model-specific John Cooper Works Leather Steering Wheel including the metal centre marking for the 12 o’clock position, as well as the shift paddles. In addition to the GP logo, a characteristic honeycomb structure can be seen on the paddle surfaces. 

Colour accentuations are provided by the red GP logos on the floor mats, matching double stripes on the gear selector and the Chili Red painted aluminium cross-brace behind the seats. This serves as a shield to prevent luggage items from slipping forward in the event of sudden braking. 

Impressive source of power.

The New MINI John Cooper Works GP comes with the most powerful engine ever fitted to a series-produced MINI 3-Door. The powerful two-litre, four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo, paired with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission with mechanical differential lock produces 306 hp and a peak torque of 450 Nm. This powerful car is capable of making the century sprint in just 5.2 seconds, and has a maximum speed of 265km/h. With a time of less than eight minutes at the Nürburgring, the New MINI John Cooper Works GP is significantly faster than its predecessor.

Model-specific modifications to the engine include a reinforced crankshaft with enlarged main bearing diameter, specific pistons, bushless connecting rods and a new torsional vibration damper with optimised cooling. The extreme performance is also achieved by a newly developed turbocharger integrated into the exhaust manifold and fitted with a divert-air valve that helps optimise response. The intake air duct has also been newly developed. Enlarged inlet and flow cross-sections and the increased volume of the noise damper ensure maximum dethrottling.

The latest generation of petrol direct injection is also conducive to spontaneous power development. The new multi-hole injectors, arranged centrally between the valves, can cope with an increased flow rate, transporting the fuel into the combustion chambers at an injection pressure of up to 350 bar. The MINI TwinPower Turbo technology also includes VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing.

The New MINI John Cooper Works GP features a model-specific engine oil sump with increased volume and distinctive geometry. This ensures a reliable oil supply at all times, even during extremely sporty driving involving high levels of longitudinal and lateral acceleration.

Meanwhile, the latest generation of the transmission features increased internal efficiency and an extended spread. The torque converter clutch, which is closed immediately after set-off, ensures a direct engine link and a spontaneous driving feel. A new transmission control system enables a particularly sporty shifting strategy, with sharper brake downshifts and direct multiple downshifts during forceful acceleration.

Increased engine speed level, direct feedback on shift commands and a further increase in shift dynamics are also noticeable in automatic sports mode (DS transmission mode). The acoustic comfort is optimised by a newly developed torsion damper. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission is operated via a model-specific electronic gear selector switch. Manual intervention in gear selection is also possible using the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Model-specific suspension set-up, DSC with GP Mode.

In the course of an intensive testing programme on the Nürburgring Nordschleife and other racetracks, the New MINI John Cooper Works GP was precisely tuned to the car’s extremely high engine output. The model-specific versions of the single-joint sprint strut for the front wheels and the multilink rear axle were also optimised with regards to component stiffness. The track widths were increased, and the body lowered by 10 millimetres compared to the MINI John Cooper Works to increase agility.

The suspension also features specially tuned suspension springs and adapted auxiliary springs, dampers and stabilisers. Newly designed swivel bearings enable increased camber levels on the front and rear wheels to increase the potential for transmitting lateral forces during dynamic cornering. Stabiliser bearings on the front and rear axles with particularly high preload optimise roll support during spontaneous steering movements.

The precise handling characteristics of the New MINI John Cooper Works GP are enhanced by stiffer rubber bearings in the support bearings of the front and rear axles. The four wishbones on the rear axle are fitted on the outside with clearance-free metal ball sleeve joints instead of rubber mounts, while on the inside there are highly rigid rubber mounts. The strut in the engine compartment is bolted directly to the support bearings of the front axle.

Advanced infotainment systems.

The MINI Visual Boost comes as a standard with Navigation System in the New MINI John Cooper Works GP, displaying model-specific information on the 8.8-inch screen in the central instrument panel. The standard trim also includes a black panel digital instrument cluster on the steering column. The high-resolution 5-inch colour screen shows the road speed both numerically and on a scale, as well as model-specific display including temporary feedback and permanent display after activation of the GP mode. 

This MINI Visual Boost can be operated via the intuitive touchscreen, the MINI controller or the Voice Control. Owners can also connect their iPhone wirelessly to the vehicle and use the MINI Visual Boost to access numerous features on the phone with Apple CarPlay. Wireless Charging is also available to ensure mobile phones are always charged. The New MINI John Cooper Works GP is also equipped with MINI Connected that features Intelligent Emergency Call, MINI TeleServices and Remote Services.

The New MINI John Cooper Works GP is available exclusively in Racing Grey metallic and in limited units at selected authorised MINI dealerships nationwide. Booking of the most powerful MINI will be available from 26th August 2020.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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