I had time to visit the L.A. Auto Show last week and see the latest offering from MINI. While this year’s spotlight was divided between the MINI Electric (yawn) and the new John Cooper Works GP, it was clear from the attention the GP was receiving that it was this year’s star on the MINI stage.
So here’s what we know about the 2020 MINI GP — it’s fast. Thanks to 301 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, the GP will take you from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, and an unrestricted top speed of 165 mph. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine comes equipped with a larger volume air intake, free-flowing exhaust, and upgraded oil and cooling system.
The chassis is reinforced and suspension is tightened with stiffer bushings and a strut bar on the front towers. The GP front brakes are four-piston calipers on 14.1-inch rotors.
The GP is only available with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission with paddle shifters. Sorry, no manual gearbox on the GP.
Like the two previous GP models, the 2020 GP is a two-seater. The red bar behind the seats is meant to keep cargo from flying forward. It comes in one color, Racing Grey metallic with silver, red, and black trim.
Two things that give the GP a distinctive look is the aggressive-looking rear spoiler, and the odd-looking carbon fiber fender flares that supposedly have an aerodynamic benefit. To me they just look like they’ll make washing the GP a nightmare of a job.
MINI is only producing 3,000 GPs worldwide, so it’s safe to assume anyone lucky enough to buy a GP will be paying a premium well above the $44,900 sticker price.