Latest Mini John Cooper Works GP is a radical-looking concept car
8 September 2017 - autoblog
For this year's Frankfurt auto show, Mini is bringing a wild concept car that revives the GP designation.
Mini has produced two previous models with the GP name, the first introduced in 2006 and the second in 2012. This one, simply called the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept, continues the design themes of those production cars, and takes them to an extreme.
On the outside, the car features gray metallic paint with red accents like the previous models. It also has a big rear wing, one that wraps down around the rear glass. This concept has much more outrageous body work than any previous GP Mini. The front and rear fenders are covered by what would presumably be called bolt-on fender flares, but they're almost like secondary fenders, as they don't just cover the wheel arches. And they have open tops and paths for vents. Besides the wild fender appointments, the front bumper has been redesigned with huge intake vents and a deep spoiler. The rear bumper has a large diffuser and a pair of "rain lights" like what you'll find on a Formula 1 car for races in wet conditions. The wheels' spokes are painted black, while the rims are red with big GP logos.
The inside is just like the outside in pushing the GP idea farther. Like past models, the rear seat has been removed both to reduce weight and provide space for some chassis stiffening equipment. But instead of just a simple brace, the GP Concept has a full roll cage. The roll cage has provisions for a five-point racing harness that, in conjunction with some heavily bolstered racing seats, will keep the occupants snugly and safely in place. The rear seats aren't the only removal for weight reduction either, as almost the entire interior, including headliner and plastic trim, has been gutted. It also takes a cue from lightweight Porsches and exchanges normal door handles for fabric pull straps.
The only exceptions to the extreme weight-loss program are the dashboard and the seats. Those seats are upholstered in cloth and leather in black and white. The white cloth features the number "0059" as do other parts of the car. This number is a reference to the original Mini's introduction in 1959. The dashboard is relatively standard Mini fare, with a big touchscreen in the middle and toggle switches below it. But the conventional instrument cluster has been replaced by another screen.
Mini didn't announce any plans for creating a production GP, but we wouldn't rule out the possibility, since the company has created one for each generation of modern Mini so far. If the GP did make it to market, don't expect it to be as hardcore as this car. It would probably have a full interior and tamer fender extensions. But the lack of a rear seat is likely, as is the big rear wing. Mini also didn't provide engine stats for this concept, but knowing what we do about past GPs, this car, and a hypothetical production model, probably wouldn't have much more power than a regular John Cooper Works car. The last GP only made 10 more horsepower than the JCW model, a total of 218 horsepower. Since the current JCW Mini two-door hatch makes 228 horsepower, we would expect this one to have around 238.