At this year’s New York Auto Show, MINI’s Dr Kay Segler said that the company is working on the MINI GP II and that it will be launched in May at the Mini United 2012 in La Castellet. Just like the previous model, the new MINI GP II will be powered by a more powerful version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine found on the Cooper S, which delivers 184 hp.
According to Autocar, the new MINI GP will carry around 220 hp. Regarding the design, the MINI GP II will feature bespoke front and rear bumpers, a new rear air diffuser as well as a rear tailgate spoiler. For better handling, the new car will also have a lower ride height.
Just like the previous version, it is expected that the new GP will be produced in a limited edition of just 2000 units. For those who don’t know, the first MINI John Cooper Works GP caused a stir back in 2005 when it was launched as the fastest and most powerful MINI at that time. There are no details if the new MINI GP will have two or four seats, but the original had a stripped-out rear with an exposed strut brace.
The MINI has a long history when it comes to racing, going back at least half a century. This was when celebrated sports car designed John Cooper came out with an edition of the classic Mini, a version that would later be recognized as a vehicle that was fun to drive. This same model in fact also managed to bring out a rather successful result when it came to racing, winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times.
Through the various products and the different models released by John Cooper Works, this particular tradition has been continued in many of the present day MINIs. Considering their close ties when it comes to manufacturing premium small cars that are British-made, they continue to exemplify motor sport engineering of the highest class. It needs to be mentioned though that John Cooper Works is considered as a sub-brand of MINI.
Its best so far has been the 2006 MINI Cooper S and made possible with the John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit. With only 2,000 units made, this limited edition eventually made its way to becoming a sought-after collector’s item.
That said, the MINI John Cooper Works GP is a truly excellent example of what happens when the sporty design language of the MINI is combined with new features from racing cars; thus taking it to new heights. Indeed, the stakes have been more than raised once again given that this newest offering has a lap time that is faster by 18 seconds compared to the previous model.
The increase in the speed is but a reflection of the many advances being made in engineering, all of which have been tuned by John Cooper Works to show the highest of standards. Being equipped with the four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine, the MINI John Cooper Works GP is able to get that responsive power in addition to having good revving ability.
This is all owing to the use of a high advanced engineering package and combined with a wide range of technology transfers source for motor sport. Examples include the bearing mounts and cylinder blocks made of aluminum and exhaust valves filled with sodium. Included as well are cylinder heads that are tougher, crankshafts whose weights have been lowered and reinforced pistons.
Additionally, the twin-scroll turbocharging allows for a high boost pressure with the direct petrol injection ensuring control of fuel supply is more precise than ever. The MINI John Cooper Works GP also has the fully variable valve control, which is inspired by the VALVETRONIC technology of BMW Group, and ensures responsiveness of the engine and efficiency are optimized.