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Paris show: World’s fastest Mini

Speed machine: The production Mini John Cooper Works GP edition will appear for the first time at the Paris motor show on September 27, just months before it hits Australian shores.

Australia to get 30 examples of fastest Mini yet, the JCW GP, from early 2013


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6 Sep 2012

THE fastest production Mini yet built will soon be on its way to Australia, with 30 examples of the red hot John Cooper Works GP edition locked in for local showrooms from early 2013.

The GP edition is powered by a stroked 160kW/260Nm version of the standard JCW’s 1.6-litre turbo engine and features a stripped-out two-seat interior, adjustable suspension and bigger brakes than regular hot Mini models.

Mini claims the GP can dash from zero to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds (down 0.2s from the normal JCW) on its way to a top speed of 242km/h.

Earlier this year the car completed a lap of the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in 8 minutes and 23 seconds, matching the 195kW/350Nm Volkswagen Golf R and beating the original 2006 Mini GP by almost 19 seconds.

Just 2000 of the special edition Mini hatches will be built for global consumption following the world public debut at the Paris motor show on September 27.

Mini Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker today told GoAuto that the company had secured a larger than expected allocation of the GP, reflecting the traditionally strong sales of regular JCW variants Down Under.

Around 10 examples will arrive in the New Year with the rest to follow by July, but prospective buyers had better hurry considering almost all 30 are said to have been sold out sight-unseen.

Mr Croaker said a few examples were still available, and GoAuto understands local pricing will be announced next week, with local examples expected to fetch at least a $10,000 premium over the regular $50,400 JCW hatch.

While power and torque gains from the boosted engine are modest (up 5kW and 10Nm), Mini has made more substantial changes to the car underneath, fitting race-style adjustable coilover suspension that can lower the ride height by as much as 20mm.

The lightweight 17-inch four-spoke alloy wheels are shod with wider 215/40 sports tyres with more camber than the regular JCW, while behind them are six-piston disc brakes (330mm front and 280mm rear).

The punchy engine produces the maximum 160kW at 6000rpm, while peak torque of 260Nm arrives at a low 1750rpm. The standard overboost function ups the ante to 280Nm for short bursts when accelerating.

Mini claims combined fuel consumption is kept to just 7.1 litres per 100km, courtesy of a lower kerb weight (principally due to the absence of a rear bench seat) and a six per cent reduction in drag courtesy of an array of aerodynamic tweaks.

Aggressive styling cues exclusive to the GP include black and silver alloy wheels, special Thunder Grey body paint, red highlights on the mirrors, front air dam, bonnet scoop and brake calipers, a new roof spoiler and aggressive side skirts and front/rear diffusers.

Inside the cabin are a pair of Recaro race seats with special GP stitching, chrome and red highlights, anthracite roof liner and piano black surfaces. Mini also removed the hefty rear seats, helping keep dry weight down to 1160kg (down 45kg over the regular JCW).

The Mini GP will be joined in local showrooms around the same time by the John Cooper Works Countryman, a hot version of the car-maker’s quirky small SUV powered by the same 160kW/260Nm engine.

This model will be a regular member of the Mini range, unlike the special edition GP hatch, and will likely sit atop the Australian Mini range when it emerges here.

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