New 300bhp MINI John Cooper Works GP spied at the Nurburgring

Hardcore MINI JCW GP III will make its debut later this year, with an aggressive aero package and Golf R-rivalling performance

MINI’s latest John Cooper Works GP has been caught on camera undergoing its handling assessment at the Nurburgring, marking our first sighting of a prototype in motion. We anticipate the firm’s latest Golf R-rivalling hot hatchback will make its debut towards the end of this year, with sales starting in 2020.

Based on these images, the John Cooper Works GP III will be a cut above the standard John Cooper Works-tuned Cooper S. This mule features far more aggressive bodywork, with a new splitter, a reworked diffuser, a huge rear wing and a set of wildly-flared wheel arches, necessary to accommodate the car’s wider front and rear track.

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The square shape of the wheel arches is a touch lifted directly from the MINI GP Concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. Like the previous mule, this latest prototype rides on a set of five-spoke alloy wheels, but teaser images issued by MINI reveal that the production version will get the GP’s trademark four-spoke alloys.

Like previous GP models, the JCW GP III will be built in a limited production run, with only 3,000 units available for sale worldwide. It’ll feature a range of chassis upgrades over the current range-topper, the John Cooper Works, including a reworked suspension setup, bigger brakes and a new differential.

MINI has also confirmed that it’ll be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with “more than 300bhp.” The engine will likely be a highly-tuned version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit from the standard MINI JCW, outfitted with a larger turbocharger, a new intercooler system and a reworked exhaust.

The showroom model probably won’t go to the same weight-saving extremes as the MINI GP Concept, but it is expected to shed a few kilogrammes over the standard John Cooper Works. The rear seat will likely be removed, along with a considerable amount of sound deadening.

Are you keen to see the new MINI John Cooper Works GP on the road? Let us know in the comments below…