Fastest MINI ever announced

MINI has announced a new version of the MINI John Cooper Works GP special edition, which will go on sale later this year in limited edition form.

Said to be the fastest MINI ever built, production of the new John Cooper Works GP will be limited to 2,000 cars, revealed the brand, as it unveils the car publically at the MINI United festival in France this weekend.

What does the MINI John Cooper Works GP look like?

This is the most extreme MINI yet, more focused and aggressive even than the original MINI JCW GP of 2006. There are larger front and rear aprons, beefier side skirts and a huge rear spoiler.

There are also extensive body graphics that cover the bonnet, side panels and even the roof. A bold 'GP' badge sits on the tailgate, opposite the John Cooper Works logo that also adorns the front grille.

MINI has also clearly been keen to hone the aerodynamics of the car — even going so far as to remove the rear wiper...

How many seats does the MINI John Cooper Works GP have?

The new John Cooper Works GP MINI, like the old one, has only two seats: the rear seats have been removed and presumably replaced with extra body stiffening bars, like the original MINI GP.

As the brand has not released any images of the interior, though, the exact arrangement is still to be confirmed.

How is the MINI John Cooper Works GP the fastest MINI ever built?

No specific engine details or power figures have been quoted for the new ultra-hot MINI, but it is expected to substantially beat the 155kW output of the standard John Cooper Works, with a breathed-on version of the familiar 1.6-litre petrol engine using a fast-reacting twin-scroll turbo.

The original MINI JCW GP boasted 160kW, compared to the 155kW of the standard car, meaning 160kW could reasonably be expected from this model — but could the firm stretch it even further?

How will the MINI John Cooper Works GP handle?

Anticipation is high for the new John Cooper Works GP MINI, given how extensively-tuned the first-generation car was. As before, MINI is promising bespoke and adjustable race suspension, which it claims will deliver "spectacular yet precisely controllable handling"

The car's distinctive aero pack also has functional benefits. The large bespoke rear spoiler works with a new rear diffuser to optimise airflow beneath the car, reducing rear-end lift and creating aerodynamic-influenced stability at speed.

MINI has also fitted a full race-spec braking system, plus bespoke track-biased tyres, to fully maximize the potential of the chassis. It is far more than just a bodykitted special edition: real development work has evidently gone in to make this MINI really special to drive.

MINI and the Nurburgring

MINI took the old Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit to the Nurburgring, where it set a time of 8 minutes 42 seconds. The new car is undergoing final testing there now, and has already lapped the course even more quickly — in 8 minutes 23 seconds.

As MINI says, this puts clear space between itself and "numerous sports cars from loftier perches".

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.