That the limited-edition 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP will crush speed limits, traction and certain notions of speed was a given but nothing prepared us for the fact that the carbon-clad hatch will also end up breaking hearts as it completely loses the manual transmission.
That’s right, not because your partner will leave you but the 306hp Mini is now strictly an eight-speed automatic affair only.
All those 306 ponies are sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic that Mini claim was developed specifically for the JCW GP. There’s a dedicated oil-cooler to keep temps in check and a mechanical limited-slip differential with a 31 per cent locking action.
Mini didn’t disclose the reasoning for the heart break but we suspect the immense torque from the engine would have eaten up the existing manual box.
What’s behind the monstrous torque you might wonder? Well, it’s the direct-injected 2.0-liter unit from BMW’s TwinPower family with double Vanos variable valve timing. It churns out 450Nm of torque to go with the 306hp. Mini beefed up the engine with a reinforced crankshaft, bushless connecting rods, bespoke pistons and optimised the cooling. All in, it’ll do 264kph.
Stopping from ludicrous speeds are the duties of four-piston brakes up front and a single-piston setup in the rear. They hide behind 18-inch forged wheels wrapped in Hankook tyres developed just for the JCW GP. Those wheels and rubbers in turn sit under some massive fender flares constructed from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. Aero is aided by the aggressive front lip and rear wing that reduce lift and increase downforce.
Suspension is all new. The dampers, springs and anti-roll bars are all revamped. Ride height drops by 10mm against the regular garden-variety Mini JCW.
Inside, it’s the familiar JCM sports seats but in keeping with tradition, the rear seats were binned. In its place sits an aluminium brace in bright red right behind the front seats. The GP also gets a specific steering wheel with 3D-printed paddle shifters and a digital instrument cluster.
Limited to just 3,000 units, the JCW GP will come with its build sequence number on the front left fender flare.