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New models - Mini - Hatch - JCW GP

Fastest Mini to cost $56,900

Making tracks: Buyers better be quick if they want one of the 30 Mini JCW GPs, with most of the tiny allocation already sold.

Pricing announced for almost sold-out Mini John Cooper Works GP edition

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Mini logo10 Sep 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

MINI has announced its fastest road car – the John Cooper Works GP – will hit the Australian market in limited numbers early next year priced at $56,900 plus on-road costs.

As we reported last week, only 30 of the pint-sized pocket rockets will be offered Down Under out of a global production run of 2000, with two batches of deliveries arriving at the start and the middle of 2013 respectively.

Set for a global public debut the Paris show on September 27, the GP will command a $6500 over the top-shelf regular Mini JCW – something punters appear quite willing to pay, since almost every unit available has already been snapped up.

Powered by a tweaked 160kW/260Nm version of the standard JCW’s 1.6-litre turbo engine, the track-friendly hatchback 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.

The car has also completed a lap of the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in 8 minutes and 23 seconds, matching the 195kW/350Nm Volkswagen Golf R.

Mini Australia general manager Kai Bruesewitz said demand from the company’s fiercely loyal clientele had been strong, with almost all of the tiny local allocation already spoken for.

“Judging by customer reactions to date the MINI JCW GP is set to become an instant collector’s item,” he said.

While power and torque gains from the boosted engine are small (up 5kW and 10Nm), there are bigger changes elsewhere, including race-style adjustable coilover suspension that can lower the ride height by as much as 20mm.

Mini also removed the hefty rear seats, helping keep dry weight down to 1160kg (down 45kg over the regular JCW).

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

The little 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.

Combined fuel consumption is kept to a claimed 7.1 litres per 100km, courtesy of a lower kerb weight and a six per cent reduction in drag thanks to aerodynamic tweaks.

GP styling cues include black and silver alloy wheels, special Thunder Grey body paint, red highlights on the mirrors, front air dam, bonnet scoop and brake callipers, 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, along with chrome and red highlights, anthracite roof liner and piano black surfaces.

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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