• Mini testing the new John Cooper Works GP at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
  • Details are subtle, but Mini says the engine puts out over 300 horsepower.
  • A limited production run of just 3,000 units is expected next year.

Mini is about to release another version of its John Cooper Works GP, the hot rod, a high-performance model of the cute little Anglo-German hatchback. And while performance details are currently scarce, they are evolving in style. They debuted the little pocket rocket at this year's 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.

This news from Mini comes right after their latest announcements regarding 2020 Club member John Cooper and his compatriot.

New Mini John Cooper Works GP: Prototype vs Production

The 24 Hours of Nurburgring happened last weekend and it was, as always, kind of crazy. On the one hand, I'm glad that they still hold real races there. On the other hand, it's like a ticking time bomb; eventually it will be "big" and then the shade will rise again and again and the cry for a ban on racing on one of the great tracks of history (and can even be heard).

With that in mind, you have to admit that debuting your latest hot model at this stage is a pretty cool move. The Mini goes to great lengths to indicate how it is the prototype of the new, extreme version in the lineup. But come on, how far can it be from the final production form? The John Cooper Works GP version will hit the market next year and will only be made in 3,000 units. Mini didn't say, but I'm guessing it's total world production. There is no word on how much America will receive.

Luckily, Mini was rushing to record data before this year's 24-hour race when John Cooper Works GP was testing the Nordschleife as part of its development process. Mini didn't give exact numbers, but said the little guy was already boasting lap times nearly half a minute below the record set by his predecessor.

That's a big chunk of time to break away.

Mini John Cooper Works GP: Prototype tests at the NürburgringMini John Cooper Works GP is completing work at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as part of its development process. Photo: BMW Group.

shots fired

Obviously, this is more than a warning shot that Mini intends to take the hatchback home very soon. And, obviously, this is very good for you and me, the well-meaning but, unfortunately, underfunded gearboxes of the world. New all-time records for Ferrari and Porsche and so on is good, but in theory I could afford a hot Mini long before I could buy a La Ferrari.

Although the Mini Mini Cooper Works GP is lacking in production, it can be compared to other figures. For starters, the little four-cylinder engine under the hood puts out 301 horsepower, which is a lot for such a small engine. They have to compress turbines within an inch of their lives. The air intakes are wide open and the wheels are big but light. There's also a striking roof spoiler that's just as functional as new.

Mini John Cooper Works GP: Prototype tests at the NürburgringThe new Mini John Cooper Works GP is limited to just 3,000 units. Production starts next year. Photo: BMW Group.

Testing continues

Considering how the previous Mini John Cooper Works GP set the benchmark for the company at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (8:23); and Mini says it knocks "half a minute" off of it, we're talking about a hatchback that can skip the infamous Green Hell in less than eight minutes. I'll let this rather stunning figure settle down while I leave you with a parting shot from the engineers: "its testing program is not over yet."

Previous articleHyundai Grandeur Facelift Spied Inside
Next article2020 Honda CR-V: What's New and What's Changed