The Official MotoringFile JCW GP Q&A

Today is GP day here in the US as the car is officially on-sale via a phone reservation system. However for most the remains a bit of a mystery. It’s toured the US (in faux GP form mind you) and the final car was only just driven by journalists (including us) last week. Unfortunately that means much of the knowledge of the car is locked up in our review and frankly in my head as I’m one of the few people on the planet that has had a chance to drive the car. So here’s your chance to ask any questions that didn’t get answered in previously published review on MF (which you can find here).

How does it work? Just hit us up with questions in the comment section and either Nathaniel or myself (mostly the latter) will answer throughout the weekend. The we’ll bring the best up to the level of the post itself so this will eventually act almost as a GP FAQ of sorts.

Related Reviews:


  • Karl

    Cruise? Sirius? And, does the Boost stereo sound acceptable. I’m annoyed they didn’t put the H/K in there – I would have already ordered it.

    • Cruise = yes. Sat radio = no. Yes the Boost radio is acceptable. If you ask MINI this car isn’t about things like H/K.

      • Karl

        The reason I asked, is because my MA gave me the following info:

        Hi Karl,

        It’ll have Sirius but the steering wheel looks to be void of controls. You would answer a call from the stereo. I’ll email the rep though since the article doesn’t say specifically that it won’t have the cruise and stereo buttons.

        Here is an excerpt from the dealer bulletin:

        “All US GPs will have 534 Automatic climate control and 655 Sirius satellite radio standard. In addition, SA302 (Alarm) is also included. The radio will be the standard Boost CD system with Bluetooth (MINI Connected is blocked for the GP.) “

        • So looks like Sat Radio changed. Great. My understanding is that the US would have the MFSW.

      • How about HD radio? I can live without SAT as I don’t even subscribe to Sirius or XM.

      • cct1

        That’s a little contradictory–they put in an upscale interior, but no satellite radio…Kind of defeats the purpose, it’s a creature comfort, just like a nice interior. I like the car, but I’d like to see it even more uncompromised, I’d take a lighter, more spartan, and cheaper interior; if it’s meant for the track, give me function over form. If it’s not, give me satellite radio!

        • cct1

          Lol missed the comment on the bottom–IMHO satellite radio makes sense in this car.

        • Well I didn’t design the car but I believe the mentality is to make it look and feel great without adding weight of larger speakers and subs.

      • Mark Smith

        Satellite Radio can be software retrofitted in any 2013 MINI in the U.S. so no big deal there. Looks like a good article post Gabe?

  • les

    Will the hot girl next door think I’m more cool, or more of a dork if I get a GP2?

    • Take a couple of the stickers off and you stand a better chance.

      • Ike

        I like the stickers. Dontchya know there’s a few HP built into each one?

    • She’ll think you’re a dork, but it’ll have nothing to do with the car. 😉

      • les

        Great responses guys! Way to keep it cool.

  • drewbrese

    When does the phone line open for those who did not previously buy a GP?

    • Today. 800-610-5269

      • drewbrese

        My bank account will be lighter soon.

  • drewbrese

    Do the interior additions look high class? Photos and videos only do so much, does it feel almost on par with the Goodwood, within reason of course.

    • The interior was one of the biggest surprises to me to be honest. The combination of leather, alcantara and red stitching creates an ambiance that’s miles ahead of the previous GP.

      • JonPD

        Totally 100% agree on that.

      • John McLauchlan

        Ditto, The interior is one of the strongest selling points on the GP2 from a cosmetic perspective.

  • Not even cruise control? I pass….

  • Jim Watson

    What about the back glass why isnt the brake light in the same location as the original GP and why is there still a bulge where the wiper motor in the regular Minis os located

    • John McLauchlan

      I would expect this is for cost savings. Creating one-off parts for a limited production run gets expensive, and the GP2 already has a lot of those where it counts the most.

  • Bob Hayhurst

    Any details on the special delivery option? The folks I talked to could only say it would be in late February or early March with no location decided yet. I don’t remember the details from the ’06 GP release or where it was but do you recall if it was described as a special delivery option? As I expect to drive this car for part of the winter; will the standard MINI challege wheels fit? Reason I ask is that those front brake calipers are huge and I want to fit another set of tires/wheels for the winter and save the semi hideous wheels for the next owner. 🙂

    • John McLauchlan

      Bob, I believe the Gloss Black R112 Challenge wheels are the alternative offered by MINI, so they should fit. This was also covered recently on WRR, and are listed in the US ordering guide.

    • John

      GP2 wheels are 17″. You will be okay, just make sure you don’t go for the $100 challenge wheel option….that means you DON’T get the special GP rims. Just buy an extra set.

  • Ike

    I thought the GP WAS going to have the steering wheel controls… Did they take that out?

    • Gabe will need to confirm, but the MFSW is standard on all USA-spec MINIs, and with it, cruise and stereo controls. So I’d be surprised if it was actually absent on the GP2.

      • Ike

        Super important that it has it – I really like the controls from there.

  • Ike

    Is the rear red bar easily removable without damaging the bar or the car (so that I can replace it whenever I want). I’m thinking in case I need to make room for 2 extra people.

    • Easy is a relative term, and I cannot speak to its specific attachment, but I’d wager it’d involve (at most) removing a plastic cover or two and then removing a few nuts or bolts. Given that it’s not structural — not actually providing cross-car stiffening to the rear suspension — it’s not going to be welded into the frame rails or anything like that. The only real risk, I’d guess, would be an unfinished, unsightly appearance where it used to attach.

  • Ike

    Just wanted to thank you guys for doing this – it’s awesome and much better info than what dealers have. Really really great stuff.

    • Mark Smith

      Thats because the dealers have not had the opportunity to have any seat time and first hand experience like the press has. Our info is only as good as what we can read or be informed of. Its not their fault. I am thankful to have been with MINI for almost 8 years and was around to experience most of the enthusiast oriented models and options MIINI has offered over the years. Even without this experience I think any car enthusiast/ Petrol Head can see the potential of this car forst hand just from the sum of its parts.

      • Ike

        Mark, I agree, and I’m not faulting the dealers. My point is to praise motoringfile as it is the absolute best resource for info on the GP for enthusiasts that don’t have direct access to Mini.

        • Ike I definitely hear and agree with you. I’ll tell you though you would be surprised at some of the speculative info that some Motoring Advisors not in the know are telling people out there. I had a good client of mine with an almost endless checkbook (No Joke) that wanted one of these and had to have one. I informed him that we had already taken a deposit for one and I did not yet have info as to how to get another one. I offered to call a couple of dealers we were friendly with to see if they had sold theirs and if not go the extra mile and refer him to that dealer as there was no guarantee that I would be able to get him one. He took it upon himself to contact a Dealer himself (Not the same one) and the MA he spoke to informed him that the GP was made solely because R56 production was ending which made the client think “I don’t want a souped up version of the “OLD” car. I would never buy a car like that.” This MA killed any chances of this client every being interested in a GP due to his lack of knowledge about it in general. Sad however I really wish people wouldn’t put their feet in there mouth while speaking whoever that MA is. I was trying to convince him to wait until great info and write ups like what MotoringFile has provided for him to be able to see for him to know that he would be buying something extra special however the MA at the other dealer absolutely killed it. Its an absolute shame. Thank you Gabe and crew for letting the many cats out of the bag as you do all of the time. It is much appreciated!!!

  • Chris

    Hi guys, great video and review, thanks. Any info on how easy / DIY it is to adjust the ride height / compression / rebound?

    • I’m told it’s easy but MINI has no plans to provide instructions 😉

  • piper

    The stickers are gross and are a major detractor. Get rid of ’em asap! I suppose they had to add cheap decal embellishment to reinforce and designate its GP identity since the design cues themeselves fail to give the model any significant distinction.

    • Kurtster

      Piper, please send me your GP stripes (stickers are something you put on a locker). They’ll make my JCW Coupe stand out among others.

  • is the rebound and compression of the coilover suspension adjustable?

  • to your best knowledge after driven the car what brake pad compound do you feel the new gp has? regular street?aggressive street?or race compound?

    • It has street pads. I would swap out the pads if I was tracking the car for more than 5-10 laps at a time.

  • is the rear wing element angle of attack adjustable?

    • No MINI designed it to be in the optimal position to reduce lift by 90% yet the car in total has 6% less drag.

  • rpowers47

    Change the name of this site from Motoring file to JCW GP OVERKILL

  • I listened to Episode 445 and you guys talked about if the JCW was running the KUMHOS in the wet when it took people out in them for the promo video

    The answer is YES

    I was invited by MINI UK to go to the event (It was called ‘MINI TO THE MAX’)

    Sadly i wasn’t filmed in my hot laps : D

    But i did make a videos and take my JCW on the track at the Goodwood Circuit


  • brt356

    Apologies if this is a dumb question, but what does it mean in the official specs that the “Mini Connect is blocked”. Do you know if this is a firmware switch that has been deactivated or is there an actual transmitter/receiver piece of hardware that isn’t included?

    Obvious reason for asking -I wonder if the missing part(s) could be re-installed? I like how Mini/BMW has configured the car, and I while I am sure the car sounds will be plenty music when I drive, occasionally it would be nice if I could link to Pandora for those spirited country road outings! Thanks

    • Kurtster

      I asked this question early on and everyone I heard from told me it’s impossible to add (or at least so costly/difficult that nobody has done it) including my local MIINI garage (Greasy’s in Worcester, MA). It’s one of the reasons I moved my GP deposit to a JCW Coupe. Some people also told me if I thought it should have Mini Connected then I don’t understand what the GP is made for. No, I get what the car’s all about but that doesn’t change that I think MINI Connected is a modern car feature that’s way more useful than the CD player and alarm system they put in it.

    • MINIBro

      You can trick any of the head units from R5X and R6X to play Pandora or other music related apps very easily. Activate the app prior to plugging in your phone. Once active and sound coming out of your iPhone plug it into the cable that MINI provides for you and then activate the “iPod” mode on your radio. You should hear sound coming out of your MINI’s speakers a moment later. The key detail to know is you CANNOT control the functionality of the particular app from the head unit. You have to use the phone itself.

  • geo

    How does the GPII Thunder Grey paint thickness compare to that on a stock R56? The 2006 GP achieved some weight savings with a thinner coat of the Thunder Blue paint.

    • Bob Hayhurst

      Oh come on…

  • Finz Up

    You have got to be kidding. The fastest MINI ever, 1 of 500, and you are bitching about what it does not have. You are just stupid. It is going to be awesome. I ordered mine..

  • Finz Up

    You have got to be kidding. The fastest MINI ever, one of 500, and you are bitching about what it does not have. You are just stupid. I ordered mine..