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Dissecting the Next JCW GP

We’ve known it was coming for awhile. We had even predicted exactly when we’d see it’s debut and eventual launch. But it doesn’t diminish our excitement in seeing it close to production ready condition. But what are we seeing and what should we expect when it’s launched at MINI United in early May?

Read on for the details.

Exterior

Conceptually GP2 will follow the formula that proved so successful with the first GP. That means slightly more aggressive bodykit that the standard JCW version and a MINI Challenge inspired rear wing outside made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic as before. We will also see unique 18″ wheels and a lowered stance thanks to the standard JCW suspension. The biggest addition to the exterior over the first GP will be a MINI Challenge derived functional diffuser that reduces lift over the rear axle of the car.

While it’s not confirmed we expect this GP, like the old, will be available in one color with red accents.

Interior

Inside things will be simple. Like the first GP we will see no rear seat. In its place will be a cross-bar (perhaps functional this time) with a carpeted floor covering that replaces the rear seats. For seating expect Recaro seats (finally available in the US) and unique trim and badging on the dash.

Debut & Production

While the the previous GP was shipped unfinished and hand assembled in Italy by Bertone, we expect MINI to go a different route with the GP. This could allow for the GP to be more uniquely configured as compared to the one spec for all approach of the original.

The GP will debut at MINI United this May and could even make its way to the US for MTTS. Officially the car will make it’s final production debut at the Paris Motor Show this September with production commencing around the same time. Expect the first delivering around the October timeframe.

Written By: Gabe

  • David

    Any idea if this version of the GP will be made available to the Canadian market?

    • Anonymous

       If they do, expect it to be insanely priced well into the same price range of some very capable sports cars.

  • Anonymous

    Watched a vid over at Motoring Library on Wednesday, it has since disappeared. It showed more of the front. Red mirror caps are also a part. I see why Ian Cull sold his 1st gen GP now…;-)

    • Ian C.

      Nothing to do with GP2!

      • Frank Granados

        Are you nuts Ian?  Did you really sell it?

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t appear to designed to appeal to me which is fine. It will be too expensive, I don’t like the spoiler… I am indifferent on the rear diffuser and the lack of rear seat is just not practical for me.

    Judging by the initial photos, MINI are not doing enough to differentiate this car from my factory JCW hatch. I wonder what changes will be planned for under the hood to justify it’s price.

    • Anonymous

      This car will have functional aero- wind tunnel designed and that in and of itself is more than the JCW. This will have a better suspension and improvements for performance that are actually there. The JCW is nothing more than a few croutons and blue cheese added to a salad- maybe with those onion things as a side. The GP is the M of MINI, except MINI has only made one limited version; hoping that changes soon. 

      • JonPD

         Agreed that may GP should become MINI’s ///M since the JCW brand has no ///M feel to it at all.

      • Anonymous

        According to MotoringFile, the JCW Aero is already wind tunner tested and functional at higher speeds. The suspension will just be the JCW Suspension available for most MINIs. The factory JCW enginge is already based on the Challenge car. How will the GP be that much different?

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          Both tested in the wind tunnel doesn’t make them the same. Both based on the same engine doesn’t make them the same. Will it be “that much” different?

          No.

          Like everything JCW, it will be that little bit more. Back in 2006, you could buy a Cooper S JCW, in dark gray, with the JCW suspension, brakes, etc.,

          …but it wasn’t a GP.

          The ’06 GP had a few more horsepower than the stock JCW, and the suspension (like all JCW suspensions) was tuned to that car and accounted for its lack of rear seats. It had truly exclusive wheels and paint on it. But it wasn’t a reinvention of the hardtop. Neither will this be.

        • that.guy

          “Back in 2006, you could buy a Cooper S JCW, in dark gray, with the JCW suspension, brakes, etc., …but it wasn’t a GP.” In fact, with a few inexpensive mods that 2006 Cooper S was better than a GP.  Faster around a track; double the seating capacity; much more tasteful styling.  The GP could have been a great car.  Let’s hope this one is.    

        • Anonymous

          I can only say having driven 2 different ’06 GP’s, one  across the country, that it seemed far superior to any MINI at that time S or JCW’s, I own an ’04 S. So not sure why you think what you stated?

        • that.guy

          Swapped cars with a GP owner at a track day once.  I had been pressuring point-bys from him and another GP in my 04 JCW+ and he wanted to check out my car.  I was also curious about his.  My JCW had: – Some small suspension tweaks on top of JCW suspension (Koni yellows, front spacers, big rear bar, poly front CA bushings) and light wheels – Steel brake lines and aftermarket pads on JCW brakes – ~200whp with an ECU tune and a few basic mods, including a GP intercooler

          We both agreed mine was quicker and more fun around the track.  But no doubt you could get the GP to the same level with mods.  But even then you would still not have rear seats. Styling is totally subjective. I’ve always leaned more to the “stealth” end of the spectrum, as opposed to “boy racer.”  If you’re into “boy racer,” then the GP definitely wins.

        • JonPD

           The “boy racer” look is broadly speaking more actual aerodynamics than you think. I have had the chance to drive a lot of various MINI’s and several of these at the top end. Even a tuned MINI still starts to float at high speed as the air plows under the car. The GP becomes more settled and locked onto the road at speed. The spoiler on the rear window and flat bottom both work together to create one of the best high speed small cars out there imo. I have driven tuned MINIs that are quicker than the GP however I think that as a complete package it was a great car. Keep your 04 JCW+ hidden around a tuned GP.

        • Anonymous

          Like Gabe wrote above- it will have a FUNCTIONAL rear diffuser and Wing, two items that apply downforce to the rear of the car; JCW has that?

          The Challenge car is based on the base engine does that make them the same?

          The GP with touches here and there will be a much better performing car on the track- like the ’06 GP it will be more raw.

          MINI and BMW use different springs for different cars based on different option packages so there is no way the GP will feature the base JCW suspension.

        • Anonymous

           You are really taking this seriously, eh?

          I never said the JCW has the same rear wing or diffuser. The JCW Aero IS supposed to be functional – maybe just not as much like the GP.

          There are already different springs for the JCW suspension based on equiped options (weight)… so the GP will have JCW suspension with different springs because of the difference in weight. Big deal? No. Good that MINI is doing this? Yes.

          So far I don’t see justification to purchase this car over a JCW unless you want bragging rights or you actually plan to race it. And if you do plan to spend that much $$ on racing, get a RWD car. I thought that the previous GP was fugly – we’ll see what I think of the R56 version.

          PS: I own a 2012 JCW and have nothing against MINI, FWD or RWD cars! :-)

  • Jerry

    Just put in a bigger engine and be done with it.

  • HERR26

    The GP uses the same recipe before but it is not just a fairy cake with decorative icing. The new GP reflects the MINI challenge car for the road and key development work has gone into the engine , steering , chassis and aerodynamics to give this MINI not only a unique characteristic , but a well-deserved send-off.   This will not be an “Average” MINI.  It will be relatively expensive but not at Audi A1 Quattro prices.   The idea follows the same philosophy as the first car , there will be a unique color exclusive to the GP. As will wheels and trim, but there is a little extra something which gives the car some extra resolvement.

    As before it will be a 2 Seat only , and limited, The success of the GP could either pave way for a new sub-performance GP brand within MINI or a further  progressive GP Concept using the MINI Coupe.  

    • Bob Hayhurst

      I like the idea of additional work having gone into engine, chassis and steering; these are the items that will truly distinquish it from any other MINI, JCW or otherwise.

      Thanks Herr26 for your insight and information.  I particuarly enjoyed the “…a little extra something which gives the car some extra resolvement.” comment. There’s nothing like a good mystery to stir things up… :)

    • Frank Granados

      I don’t think the R53 GP was a “Fairy cake with decorative icing”.

      GP2 still has some very big shoes to fill in. To date no other performance oriented MINI has matched the perfect package MINI achieved with the GP1 back in 2006.

    • JonPD

      Wonder if the number of ///M cars I have embarrassed on the track with my GP would  like to know that their car was spanked by “fairy cake with decorative icing”!

      The original GP had a upgraded motor (GP only), JCW suspension (only MINI to come with it to date), unique functional aerodynamics (including the flat bottom panels brought into the R56 base cars), I can also assure you that the R53 GP is a unique character in the MINI brand to date.

      I am interested in seeing the R56 based GP for sure and have money down on one already. My hope is that we will see GP come to the brand basically as ///M is to BMW. Though I am likely to hold off on a R56 based GP if its likely we will see a R58 GP as to me its still the most obvious choice for the sports oriented MINI enthusiast. Just hope it comes with more oomph than the tiny gain the R56 is getting to HP and torque over the stock JCW.

      • that.guy

        “The original GP had a upgraded motor (GP only)”

        The only thing different about the GP motor was the intercooler.  Otherwise identical to a JCW engine.  With slightly modified ECU software it made maybe 10 more peak hp.  Good for “fairy cake” marketing copy but nearly imperceptible from behind the wheel.

        • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

          Having driven several of them and sometimes back to back with 2006 JCWs the difference is pretty easy to perceive (stock to stock).

          via mobile

        • that.guy

          20% more hp would have been a lot easier to perceive than barely 5%.  Let’s just say BMW did the bare minimum in order to claim the GP had more hp. Just like swapping a couple of steel components for aluminum to claim an “improved” suspension.

        • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

          It’s weight distribution (more in the front) and stronger mid-range that gave the car a distinctly different feel as stock.

        • that.guy

          Ok, so the GP’s power gain is imperceptible but shifting even more weight to the front tires gives it a “distinctly different feel”.  Not the kind of difference most folks are looking for.  

        • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

          Sounds like an opinion of someone who hasn’t had seat time in both back to back on the track. Guess you’ll never know.

          via mobile

        • that.guy

          In other words, “Nyah, nyah.  Nyah nyah”.  You are a mean spirited person, Gabriel Bridger.  

        • JonPD

          Trust me only a person in a coma could not tell the difference between a 2006 JCW kit car and the GP . There is a world of a difference in the character of the motor and the way it responds. the entire GP was light years ahead of the kit JCW as a total package. Subtle changes added up to a big real work seat of the pants experience.

  • Jerry

    I think putting in a bigger engine would make it less expensive overall, because there would be less need for electronic and design trickery to make it go fast. All-wheel drive would be nice too. But boy oh boy, would that be expensive. 

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      So you’re thinking a carburetor then? ;-)

      • Jerry

        Oh yeah….with a push rod engine, twin carbs……

    • Mark Smith

      Why does everyone think that a larger powerplant solves all. If you use what we already have that will make this car less expensive. Imagine the retooling and special assembly line needed just to add what no other MINI uses? It doesn’t make sense.

    • Anonymous

      Sure and bigger engines are better for emissions and cheaper to register in locations that look at engine displacement for tax purposes. The 1.6l Prince is good for over 400hp and it can do it reliably. 

    • Anonymous

       Not going to happen. Manufacturers are going for direct injection with turbos to lower weight, increase emissions. No way they would put a larger engine in the GP – IMO.

  • HERR26

    “Fairy Cake with decorative icing” was aimed at would be competition – VW Ladyboybug R and Audi A1.  Cars that project the best of the best but proved to have no substance.  

    • JonPD

      Thanks for the clarification thought I must have been reading something wrong on your comment, glad it was the case.

       

    • Versus

      Them’s fighting words! I am excited and hopeful that the brand will back them up. Really intrigued by the talk of a possible r58 GP, not to dismiss an r56 GP however.

      • Anonymous

         I am also a little surprised they went with the R56 GP variant first… the R58 is already missing the rear seat and arguably is better on a track.

        To me it would make more sense to do a Coupe and Roaster GP first. That could be really awesome.

  • MysteryMotoringAdvisor

    This is dropping this December for a February delivery.

  • MysteryMotoringAdvisor

    This is dropping this December for a February delivery.

  • that.guy

    “Like the first GP we will see no rear seat.”

    too bad

  • R56Style

    I think the GP shouldn’t be customizable.. cause it’s a limited edition and it has to be unique.. IMHO!

    • Anonymous

      Hope they make it customizable, that would signify that MINI may be taking a step towards a true Performance Sub-brand. JCW has not yet become the needed BMW M for MINI (in many enthusiasts eyes). It is no STi or even as bold as Abarth with Fiat, it is a glorified sports package and nothing more…. GP could become something more.

      • JonPD

         100% spot on Michael!


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