BMW’s Mini division is about to unleash its ultimate hot hatchback. The winged, blacked-out Mini John Cooper Works GP concept that first appeared at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will finally go into production in 2020 as a limited-edition model, the automaker confirmed in a statement. Based on what we’ve seen of the John Cooper Works GP so far, it should be well worth the wait.
It takes only a quick glance at the show car (pictured below) to tell it isn’t an ordinary Cooper hatchback. This one looks like it has amassed thousands of experience points and evolved, Pokémon-style. The basic body is reminiscent of the Cooper we know and love, but it wears one of the most aggressive body kits we’ve ever seen on England’s favorite city car. The front end receives a deeper front bumper with three air dams, while designers added fender flares with built-in ducts to channel cooling air to the brakes. The hood scoop hints that something powerful lurks between the front wheels.
The back end is even more extreme than the front. The fender flares match the ones on the front in terms of width, but they extend into fins that would put any car short of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado to shame. The back end of the roof panel wears a spoiler the size of a bench in Central Park, while Union Jack tail lamps and a massive emblem on the trunk lid add a finishing touch to the look. It’s proud of its roots, and it’s ready to rumble.
We won’t know exactly which parts of the concept will make the transition to production until Mini unveils the model. However, the company released three teaser shots that confirm the roof-mounted wing will reach showrooms, and the widespread use of carbon fiber will keep weight in check. Power will come from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned to send over 300 horsepower to the front wheels via what will most likely be an automatic transmission. The turbo four will make the JCW GP the fastest and most powerful street-legal car Mini has ever produced.
Launched in 2006 and 2012, respectively, the two previous John Cooper Works GP-badged models were each a massive hit among enthusiasts. The next installment in the series will be no exception, and we’re sure it will sell out fast. Production will be limited to 3,000 examples worldwide.
While the John Cooper Works GP shows Mini hasn’t given up on old-school performance, the automaker also plans to launch its first all-electric model in 2019.
Updated on February 13, 2019: Added information about the regular production model.
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