We love Jalopnik. Since our friend Mike Spinelli founded it we’ve been fans of its off-beat look at the automotive world and the challenging of norms that so many of the magazines defined for decades. However sometimes things go wrong and an article or review seems a bit sub-standard. And then sometimes things go very wrong. Case in point Jalopnik’s review of the 2020 JCW GP.

The inaccuracies come quick and are plentiful. Let’s start with the first sentence:

In 2006, Mini decided to supercharge its reborn hatchback and connect it to a manual transmission, making one of the most entertaining production cars ever made.

Well that’s completely wrong. The supercharged MINI (the Cooper S) debuted in the spring of 2002 (available only with a manual). That car was then replaced in late 2006 (2007 model year) with a turbocharged four cylinder.


Beyond that the article is littered with inaccuracies that add up to an article that seems to bend fact to reach some sort of vague conclusion. For instance:

The (GP1’s) front axle tries to get away from you like a pair of big dogs on a short leash chasing a very entertaining squirrel. 

Well not really. As anyone who’s driven the GP1 would know, there’s not a ton of torque down low. In fact the car doesn’t really come to life until after 3,500 RPMs.

The article isn’t all bad but the narrative is meandering at times and doesn’t get back to the point made it the title with any satisfaction: the GP takes itself way too seriously. I waited and waited for that punchline and simply never found it.

The article ends on:

It’s a fast car, but unlike the original, not much more beyond the drama of the cosmetics. The car as it stands is a perfect track-day slayer for somebody who isn’t extremely tall, loves cornering, can respect a big wing, has money, or already owned a previous-gen GP. With that, there should definitely be 3,000 people to sell it to.

The tall comment is a bit bizarre. I’m 6’2″ and have plenty of headroom – especially without the sunroof. And the drama? Having ridden on the track with the GP I can attest to it providing plenty of drama in the right hands. So the conclusion? Not conclusive.

You can read our first track experience here and we’ll have our own road review this fall. In the meantime you can read Jalopnik’s review here.