The new MINI John Cooper Works GP has been revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show and is the brand’s fastest model ever approved for road use, accelerating from zero to 62mph in just 5.2 seconds.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP offers unrivalled performance and dynamics, with the most powerful engine MINI has ever used, finely tuned suspension technology and a lightweight body optimised with torsional stiffness and aerodynamics.
Following the success of the two previous MINI GP model generations, it will be built in Plant Oxford in a limited run of 3,000 vehicles globally, 575 of which are for UK customers.
Impressive source of power: 4-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.
The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine is designed for maximum performance with a healthy dose of motor racing expertise. It features the latest generation of MINI TwinPower Turbo technology as well as precisely modified details that set it apart from the engine of the MINI John Cooper Works. Modifications include a reinforced crankshaft with enlarged main bearing diameter, specific pistons, bushless connecting rods and a new torsional vibration damper with optimised cooling.
In addition, the extreme performance of the engine is achieved with a newly developed turbocharger. It is integrated into the exhaust manifold and fitted with a divert-air valve that helps optimise its response. The compression ratio of the engine in the MINI John Cooper Works has been reduced from 10.2 to 9.5 in line with the increased boost pressure provided by the system. The intake air duct has also been newly developed. Enlarged inlet and flow cross-sections and the increased capacity of the noise damper ensure maximum de-throttling.
The latest generation of petrol direct injection helps with spontaneous power development. Its new multi-hole injectors, arranged centrally between the valves, are able to cope with an increased flow rate, transporting the fuel into the combustion chambers at an injection pressure of up to 350 bar. The fine atomisation enables precise metering of the fuel and, in addition to optimised efficiency, also results in particularly clean combustion. MINI TwinPower Turbo technology also includes fully variable valve control based on VALVETRONIC, as patented by the BMW Group, and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust sides (double VANOS).
The new MINI John Cooper Works GP has an engine oil sump with increased volume and distinctive geometry, ensuring a reliable oil supply at all times, even during intense driving with high levels of acceleration.
Spontaneous power delivery, unbridled forward thrust.
The 4-cylinder engine develops its maximum torque of 450 Nm at a speed of 1750 rpm, maintaining this torque up into the 4500 rpm range. The maximum output of 225 kW/306 hp is available between 5000 and 6250 rpm. The new MINI John Cooper Works GP sprints from a standing start to 62mph in just 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 164mph, with no artificial limit.
Model-specific exhaust system generates a powerful sound.
The spontaneous development of power and the unbridled revving of the engine are emphasised by the sound production of the exhaust system, developed specifically for the model. With more relaxed driving at lower speeds, the car produces a restrained, sonorous sound. Under full load, spirited power development is supported by the low exhaust back pressure and accompanied by a sound inspired by motor racing. This acoustic accentuation of the car’s sporty character further enhances the performance experience for both driver and passenger.
The straight pipe ducting of the exhaust system leads into a particularly large rear silencer with a specific interior design. From there, two tailpipes with matte brushed stainless steel trim and a diameter of 90 millimetres each branch off centrally into the rear apron. One of the features which optimises the exhaust system’s emission response is a petrol-engine particulate filter. Exhaust gas purification in the new MINI John Cooper Works GP complies with the Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard.
Independent cooling concept developed based on racing expertise.
The performance characteristics of the engine pave the way for outstanding performance which can be experienced both on the road and on the race track. The temperature management requirements are met by a cooling concept developed especially for the new MINI John Cooper Works GP, drawing on racing expertise. Two external coolant coolers for the high-temperature circuit, an expansion tank with increased volume, a specially designed coolant module storage system and an electric fan with increased output ensure that the engine maintains its optimum operating temperature at all times – even under high pressure.
The crankcase cooling system can be temporarily shut off by means of a new split-cooling valve to optimise the engine's warm-up response. In addition, the transmission also has a separate cooling circuit.
New 8-speed Steptronic transmission with mechanical differential lock.
The high-performance engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP is positioned transversely at the front in accordance with the brand’s hallmark principle. Adapted motor racing technology is also used to transfer the engine’s outstanding drive power to the front wheels. The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is fitted with a model-specific 8-speed Steptronic transmission as standard – complete with integrated differential lock and matched to the engine’s performance characteristics and high torque. The transmission is operated via an electronic gear selector switch with manual intervention in gear selection possible using the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The tuning of the transmission is precisely geared towards maximum performance, giving the new MINI John Cooper Works GP its own unique properties. This is reflected in shift characteristics for example with sharper brake downshifts and direct multiple downshifts during forceful acceleration. Additionally, increased engine speed level, direct feedback on shift commands and a further increase in shift dynamics are also noticeable in automatic sports mode (DS transmission mode).
The mechanical differential lock integrated in the transmission ensures that the drive torque is distributed between the right and left front wheels to promote traction during particularly dynamic cornering. It is networked with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and acts as a transverse lock to reduce the speed difference between the front wheels. Under load demand, it is possible to generate a locking effect of up to 31 per cent. The mechanical lock counteracts any loss of traction, both in the case of differing friction coefficients and where there is a difference in speed between the right and left drive wheels. For this purpose, it directs a higher proportion of the drive torque to the wheel, using the better grip of the wheel that is turning more slowly, ensuring that any tendency to understeer or oversteer is prevented early on. This makes for particularly agile steering and enables the MINI John Cooper Works GP to accelerate even more dynamically out of corners.
Tight engine mounting, body structure and suspension connection with a high degree of rigidity.
The connection of the engine, transmission and suspension along with a rigid body structure ensure a spontaneous and precise response to steering manoeuvres and accelerator pedal movements. In the underbody area, the tunnel bridge has been replaced by a solid support for the modified rear axle. The rectangular strut frame provides ideal conditions for a suspension set-up to provide the highest levels of lateral acceleration. At the front end, the suspension connection is optimised by a strut brace.
Model-specific suspension set-up, DSC with GP mode.
With model-specific kinematics and elastokinematics, the suspension technology of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP opens up a whole new dimension of the characteristic go-kart feeling. During an intensive testing programme on the Nürburgring Nordschleife and other race tracks, it was precisely tuned to the car’s extremely high engine output and performance credentials. The single-joint spring strut for the front wheels and the multilink rear axle were also optimised for stiffness.
In order to increase agility, the track widths are increased and the body is lowered by 10 millimetres compared to the MINI 3-door Hatch John Cooper Works. Specially tuned springs are just as much a part of the suspension as the adapted auxiliary springs, dampers and stabilisers. Newly designed swivel bearings enable increased camber levels on the front wheels. Together with the increased camber levels of the rear wheels, this increases the potential for transmitting lateral forces during dynamic cornering. Stabiliser bearings on the front and rear axles with particularly high preload optimise roll support during spontaneous steering movements.
In addition to its connection, the suspension design also features extensive measures to increase rigidity. For example, the precise handling characteristics of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP are enhanced by stiffer rubber bearings in the support bearings of the front and rear axles. The four wishbones on the rear axle are fitted on the outside with clearance-free metal ball sleeve joints instead of rubber mounts, while on the inside there are highly rigid rubber mounts. The strut in the engine compartment is bolted directly to the support bearings of the front axle.
The standard functions of the electromechanical power steering include speed-related steering support for maximum precision when cornering at speed and for comfortable manoeuvring at low speeds. As an alternative to the standard setting, the DSC also offers a GP mode that can be activated using a toggle switch. This setting raises the thresholds for stabilising interventions on the part of the braking system and engine control system. In combination with the mechanical differential lock, this provides even more handling support. In addition, the toggle switch for controlling the driving stability system can also be used to access DSC off mode.
Sports brake system and lightweight forged wheels in exclusive format.
The sports brake system in the new MINI John Cooper Works GP ensures consistently high deceleration performance, even when subject to intensive use. It comprises 4-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels and single-piston floating-caliper brakes on the rear wheels. The sports brake system is characterised by high stability and a direct, clearly defined pedal feel. The front calipers are made of aluminium and combined with 360 × 30 mm ventilated discs. They are finished in Chili Red and bear the John Cooper Works logo.
The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is fitted as standard with 18-inch lightweight forged wheels. The light alloy wheels in 8.0 J × 18 format weigh less than 9kg and are fitted with specially developed high-performance tyres. The hub caps on the exclusive light alloy wheels bear the GP logo.
Unmistakable design, optimised aerodynamic properties.
The modified body primarily optimises the car’s aerodynamic balance and the targeted supply of cooling air to the drive units and brake system. The large roof spoiler with double wing contours, the design of the front apron surround known as the Blackband and the front spoiler lip of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP form a precisely coordinated package designed to reduce lift. As a result, lift values on the front and rear axles are significantly reduced as compared to the MINI 3-door Hatch John Cooper Works.
In addition, the front apron has particularly large air intakes. The roof spoiler, which extends far beyond the side line, has a key role to play in optimising driving dynamics. With its reversed wing profile, it generates maximum downforce with the lowest possible aerodynamic drag in order to press the vehicle onto the road at high speeds.
Wheel-arch trim made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic.
The visually unmistakable features that are important in terms of the car’s aerodynamic properties include the large, flared wheel-arch trims of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP. They make it possible to combine the use of large track widths and wide wheels with optimised air ducting in the side section of the vehicle.
The wheel-arch panels are manufactured by a special process and with a material combination used for the first time by the BMW Group, consisting of a thermoplastic substructure and an outer shell made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Intelligent lightweight construction meets the sustainable use of resources as the raw material for the outer shells, which are made of a particularly lightweight CFRP fleece, is a refined material recycled from the production of the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.
In addition, the wheel-arch covers with their hexagonally sewn CFRP structure, double matte finish and consecutive numbering give each of the 3,000 vehicles produced a unique visual highlight. The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is the BMW Group's first production vehicle to feature an exposed matte CFRP coating. The individual numbering with the numbers “0001” to “3000” is applied to the surfaces of the front wheel arch panels by means of a newly-developed paint transfer process.
Sporty design accentuations.
The exterior has an exclusive finish in metallic Racing Grey and the roof and exterior mirror caps are finished in the contrasting colour of metallic Melting Silver. Like the front apron, the rear apron with integrated rear fog lamps has a distinctive shape. A cross-member on the hexagonal radiator grille, the inserts in the lower air intake and the inside of the roof spoiler are finished in high-gloss Chili Red. Meanwhile the GP logos on the front and rear, the outer sides of the roof spoiler and the door sill finishers, as well as the foils above the side skirts, are finished with a stylised “GP” in Rosso Red metallic matte.
Contrast is provided by the black finish of the headlamp surrounds, central radiator grille and rear lights, fuel filler flap and door handles, as well as the inlay on the bonnet and MINI logo at the front and rear of the vehicle. The black inlays on the headlamps and the rear lights have also been darkened.
Sports car cockpit with two seats and reduced acoustic insulation.
Two seats and reduced acoustic insulation for the purpose of weight optimisation ensure the interior of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP reflects its sports car characteristics. The standard equipment includes John Cooper Works sports seats in Dinamica/leather combination with silver side edges, red accented seams, a GP badge underneath the integrated headrests and red belt straps. Using 3D printing, the interior trim on the passenger side shows the car’s individual number.
The John Cooper Works leather steering wheel is made of soft nappa leather and features a metal centre marking the 12 o'clock position, created using additive manufacturing. The shift paddles on the steering wheel are 3D-printed in metal and in addition to the GP logo, a characteristic honeycomb structure can be seen on the paddle surfaces. Colour accents in the otherwise dark cockpit are provided by the red GP logos on the floor mats, matching double stripes on the gear selector and the Chili Red painted aluminium cross-brace behind the seats, which also serves as a barrier to prevent luggage slipping forward in the event of sudden braking.
Digital instrument cluster and central instrument with model-specific displays.
The standard trim includes a new digital instrument cluster on the steering column, showing the road speed both numerically and on a scale. The display includes temporary feedback and permanent display after activation of GP mode. A GP logo is shown at the top of the screen and the graphic animation before vehicle start also shows a model-specific image including the GP logo. The Touring Pack is available exclusively for the new MINI John Cooper Works GP and includes duel zone air-conditioning, heated front seats and Navigation Plus - which includes Satellite Navigation and wireless charging.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP is available to pre-order now priced from £33,895 RRP with first customer deliveries in March 2020.