The MINI JCW GP has never been about power. It’s been a lightweight two door hatch track weapon that is meant to cater to those looking for feedback and responsiveness. For the 3rd generation GP, MINI is keeping that formula intact with one major addition: an enormous increase in power.
The JCW GP: Power Figures
Sources in the know have told us that MINI is targeting 280 hp out of a modified 2.0L JCW engine (with torque figures likely approaching 300. That figure coupled with a modest weight reduction will make this far and away the fastest MINI of all time.
Let’s think about that for a moment. The previous JCW GP made do with 208 HP and felt plenty quick. 280 hp not only makes this the fastest MINI ever. It will truly be in another league than previous quick MINIs.
The JCW GP: Suspension and Differential
In the past MINI has been reluctant to offer that much power due to torque steer. According to sources, that opinion has shifted. Engineers are confident that they can limit torque steer with a new and highly advanced torque vectoring system that will be much quicker and more aggressive than DTC currently found in JCWs.
It doesn’t end there. MINI is also working on a mechanical differential as part of this package. The combination will be similar to the MK2 Ford RS in its approach and should allow power to hit the ground aggressively without the car pulling the steering wheel out of your hand.
Similar to the previous JCW GP, this new GP will have a fully adjustable coil-over (likely Ohlins) suspension that will allow for the driver to tailor the car for the track or road.
The JCW GP: Transmissions
It’s unclear at this time if MINI will opt for an automatic (better for the track) or the traditional 6 speed manual (better for driver involvement). Clearly our preference would be for the latter but MINI may face some hurdles in that choice. For one the Asian market doesn’t buy manuals, making the GP a non-starter in places like China. Secondly the European market is quickly looking at manuals in performance cars as antiquated. The BMW M2 for instance has a 70/30 DCT/manual split in markets such as Germany.
Yet we think there’s an opportunity for MINI to own the enthusiast market with this car by offering a manual only. Making that a barrier of entry creates mystique to a car that should have one. It also suits the MINI character.
What is This Thing Going to Look Like?
Not quite like the concept you see here. But we’ve heard that MINI intends on making this GP look more aggressive than anything they’ve ever produced. That will likely mean a much more aggressive front and rear aero package (sans the boxed fenders). Unlike the concept, MINI intends on having a full finished interior (there will not be bare metal) but we don’t expect rear seats.
The JCW GP: Pricing and Release
The good news is that you have time to save. The bad news is that you have a full two years to save. According to our sources the JCW GP will be released in late 2019 as a 2020 model. Options will be limited and the stock configuration will likely include several premium options (such as Nav XL).
Sources have told us that pricing should be near 42.000€. We’re not going to bother translating that into a US market price because EU pricing is a bit more complicated than that. However we would expect the JCW GP to be priced over $45,000 USD.
Like previous GPs, this new car will be limited in production. Worldwide MINI is planning on making 3,000 units.
What about Other GP Variants
It appears that MINI will be keeping the GP name for the two door hatch as they have done in the past. However sources tell us that this might not be the only MINI with a high output engine. More specifically we believe MINI is working on a higher performance JCW Clubman and Countryman that will include some of this technology along with all wheel drive. We’ll have more on that soon.