By on May 13, 2012


Has Mini’s over-propagation of vehicles gotten so bad that we’re actually cheering when a new special isn’t a silly two-seater or pseudo-crossover? The Mini John Cooper Works GP may be overpriced, but at least it’s got its heart in the right place.

It could do without the gauche aerokit, graphics and pizza-cutter wheels but the “race spec” suspension will only add to the Mini Cooper S JCW’s already fantastic chassis. Upgraded brakes, extra power (the new car will surely make more than the 214 horsepower than the last GP edition did) help enhance performance, and the GP also loses its back seat in the name of weight reduction.

Only 2,000 GP editions will be made, with sales going on across the globe. Expect prices to be astronomical for what this car is. But it will probably be a hoot to drive all the same.

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24 Comments on “Mini John Cooper Works GP Absolves The Sins Of Brand Dilution...”

  • avatar

    JCW chassis is fantastic? Have you driven one? I did and it’s rubbish. Lowly Cooper S is much, much better.

    • 0 avatar

      Just curious as to what defines rubbish when your refering to the ride?

      • 0 avatar

        Which makes it any different from other run-flat MINIs how? :p

      • 0 avatar

        I’m pretty sure this Mini’s going to come with V700 compound Kumho’s, judging from not only the demo car at Mini United but the description, and I don’t think they’re going to be run-flats in this case. The JCW technically wouldn’t “ride” as well as a base Cooper S, but if you’re buying one, that’s clearly not what you’re looking for, and even moreso in the case of the GP. Quit yo’ whining.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        Run flats are something of a Mini signature, after all they were the first cars to have them.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s unable to cope with the extra power of JCW. It lost all the ballance and delicacy of the smaller car, turning itself into the understeering, squealing pig. It kinda works on the track, but it’s useless on the road. Or, to be exact, not useless, but much worse than the cheaper Cooper S model.

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    More shiny things for the gullible.

  • avatar

    Did they let Jean Paul Gaultier design this?

    I’m starting to see why people like that poky Scion/BRZ/86 thing if the alternative is something hideous like this.

  • avatar
    John R

    I’ll just leave this obligatory comment on how Lan-Evos and STIs are better value here.

  • avatar

    Mini: all the brand dilution, none of the pure cars to justify it lmao.

    • 0 avatar

      “Mini: all the brand dilution, none of the pure cars to justify it lmao.”

      What brand dilution? Almost since the beginning they’ve built small cars and small crossovers (the Moke) based on those cars. What’s really changed in over 50 years? If they get a version of the 6 Series or the X5, then maybe you’d have a point. But, so far that’s not the case.

      • 0 avatar

        What’s really changed in over 50 years? Well the fact that something that big is actually called a MINI.

        See the following picture to see just how much it has changed.×316.gif

        MINI today is really just a marketing tribute to Issigonis’s genius.

      • 0 avatar


        By that metric, nothing as big as today’s 3 series should be called a 3. Nothing as big as the new 911 a 911 etc., etc. Heck, nothing as big as a contemporary F150 should be called a half-ton.

        Relative to other cars, the Mini is still pretty mini.

        As well, the current one does feature the main traits that enabled the original to be functional at it’s diminutive size; transverse engine, fwd and wheels all the way out at the corners.

  • avatar

    Mini Coopers are long past their expiration date.

  • avatar

    Any wheel with less than five spokes needs to die, unless it’s on a 1980s Saab SPG.

    • 0 avatar

      Ha! I was thinking just the opposite the other day. When did wheel with 12 or 20 spokes become a “thing”? I especially hate wheels with wiggly and zigzag spokes. They need to die a fast death.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree – I hate frilly wheels as well. They’ve been around a long time, though – many 1980s and 1990s cars, especially GM and Chrysler products, had “lacy” wheels. I couldn’t tell if those were supposed to be an imitation of BBS wheels or if they were supposed to be “nostalgic” and appeal to wire wheel fans. Either way, they were trying too hard.

        Unfortunately, the “ZOMG the more spokes the better!” trend never really died out.

  • avatar

    They sure do understand economy of scale.

  • avatar

    I would much rather own the 2006 GP than this one, no matter how much more power this one makes. This gen MINI just doesn’t match the first gen MINI in the “perfection” of the exterior design.

  • avatar

    I drove around Mini Cooper quite often.

    I wonder why people are so hyped about the mini… it doesnt provide thrills like CRX does nor does it provide comfortable ride or practicality as a car of that price point.

    For me a Golf GTI gets much better balance between sport, comfort and practicality.

    Bah… I’ll take a diesel SUV made by Toyota over it! ( Mini cooper )

    • 0 avatar

      A well set up Mini is fast on tight, narrow, roads; in a way no Golf can ever be. And in ways that cannot be captured by racing around some 20 foot wide Nurburgring. It’s as close to a fwd Elise as you can get. Or possible even as close to an Elise as you can get while retaining some measure of day to day practicality. Nothing adds more to the “fun to drive” metric on narrow roads than having room for some lateral movement while still staying in your lane.

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