Mini would like you to anticipate it’s adored the best of its third-generation Hardtop models for aftermost with this 2021 John Cooper Works GP. Limited to aloof 3,000 units worldwide, the performance-focused GP sends the third-generation Mini Hardtop out in style, with advancing bodywork, a added able agent and a reworked abeyance authoritative it the best almighty road-going Mini to date. Yet it’s not absolutely activity out with a bang.
2021 Mini Clubman
The aboriginal affair you can’t advice but apprehension about the limited-edition Mini GP are its added exoteric touches. The avant-garde apron, lip addle-brain and honking double-decker rear addition are absolute to the GP. They’re all functional, too, accouterment added downforce over the accepted John Cooper Works Hardtop. The carbon-fiber-reinforced artificial caster accomplished panels antic anniversary car’s assembly cardinal are additionally added than aloof for aesthetics, accoutrement the added clue and optimizing airflow about the sides.
Combine all that with a Racing Gray Metallic acrylic job, allegory Melting Silver Metallic roof and Chili Red accents, and the GP absolutely looks like a hi-po Mini should. Sure, the rear addition and ancillary panels may be blatant to some, but you can get abroad with a brace of over-the-top blow beheld pieces on a Mini. And remember, it’s all functional.
The hardcore affair continues inside. Like antecedent Mini GPs, the rear seats are gone, to save weight. There’s a red aluminum cross-brace abaft the leather- and microfiber-trimmed action seats. After the aback seats, there’s 33.4 cubic anxiety of burden space, acceptable for account grocery trips — or a clue box, jack and additional annoy for biking out to accessible clue days. Added berth changes accommodate a numbered birr trim panel, GP-specific agenda apparatus array cartoon and a Nappa-leather-wrapped council caster with abundant 3D-printed metal about-face paddles.
If you’re acquisitive for endless of infotainment and avant-garde assurance technology, the GP isn’t for you. The Mini Connected infotainment arrangement runs on an 8.8-inch touchscreen with aeronautics with real-time cartage info, a six-speaker audio setup, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. The centermost awning isn’t the best acknowledging to inputs, though, generally acute a brace of curtains for commands to register.
Power credibility for charging phones, however, are abounding for a two-seater, with a USB-A, USB-C, 12-volt outlets and a wireless charging pad on offer. As for assurance tech, there’s the federally allowable advancement camera and that’s it.
2021 Mini Clubman
The GP’s technology duke includes the Mini Connected infotainment system, but not abundant in avant-garde assurance tech.
While the approved JCW Hardtop’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 pumps out 228 application and 236 pound-feet of torque, the GP gets the 2.0-liter powerplant begin in the JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman. This bigger agent has upgraded pistons, abutting rods, crankshaft and added addition for a absolute of 301 hp and 331 pound-feet of torque. With the eight-speed automated transmission, the GP will hit 60 mph in 5 seconds, besting the 5.9-second run of a abject JCW Hardtop.
Oh, and you apprehend that right: The GP has an automated transmission. Unlike its predecessors, the latest GP doesn’t avenue ability to its avant-garde auto through a chiral transmission, and one isn’t available, either. To active purists — not to acknowledgment the 46% of Mini JCW Hardtop barter who acquirement manuals — the bribery box is a colossal letdown, but all-important from a business standpoint. Mini didn’t accept a chiral chiral in its genitalia bin able of administration the achievement of this engine, and the amount in developing and certifying one for a limited-production run wouldn’t fly with the bean-counters.
So, for a GP to appear with this engine, it had to be commutual with an Aisin-sourced automatic. To Mini’s credit, the aggregation did a admirable job giving it sportier about-face programming — article I accepted while blitzing about GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Activating Action approach and abrogation the chiral in absolutely automated approach has the gearbox captivation assimilate apparatus all the way to redline afore ripping off smooth, quick upshifts. These aren’t dual-clutch-quick gear-changes, but absolutely acceptable for a torque-converter automatic. Chiral approach appearance acknowledging upshifts through the paddles, with aloof a millisecond adjournment aback downshifting.
A turbo I4 with 301 horses is good, but it’s alone accessible with an automated transmission.
2021 Mini Clubman
The agent is strong, carrying constant cull throughout the rev ambit with aiguille torque accessible amid 1,750 and 4,000 rpm. The GP rapidly pulls out of corners and barrels bottomward straights. Cracking 125 mph bottomward GingerMan’s aback beeline is easy, and feels super-fast in this little car. The one complaint I accept about the agent is the bankrupt note, which has a high-pitch bombinate at wide-open-throttle. It’s not annoying, but artlessly not ear-pleasing.
As always, ability is annihilation after ascendancy and the Mini GP has a appealing abuse acceptable handle on dynamics. Added underbody animating and a avant-garde strut belfry bar anneal the chassis, while the abeyance appearance a 1.4-inch avant-garde and 0.9-inch rear added track, uprated springs, dampers, antiroll bars, added caster camber and a 0.4-inch lower ride height. The accomplished amalgamation rides on slick-looking 18-inch artificial auto captivated with Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z tires.
All that sounds like a compound for anarchism about a track, but the Mini’s Hankook tires prove to be a attached factor. Turn-in is hardly aerial and through bit-by-bit corners understeer rears its animal arch as the avant-garde tires bark attempting to adhere on for baby life. For slower, aciculate complexes, accepting the rear to circle can be done if you abandon it in hard, which is promising. After three abbreviate sessions about GingerMan, the signs of rollover on the avant-garde tires are evident, and a looming 150-mile acknowledgment cruise aback to busline Detroit agency I’m affected to booty it accessible about the 2.2-mile alley course.
With bigger tires, the GP will be alike bigger about GingerMan Raceway.
That’s a shame, too. The GP’s council is adequately absolute and candid alike with these tires. Side-to-side weight transfers are good, adherence ascendancy affability is accomplished and the brakes break able with pedal biking alone accepting a blow best at the end of a day of lapping. If adapted with tires with added able-bodied sidewalls, there’s little agnosticism that the GP will flash abundant brighter about a clue and apparently excel on an autocross course.
2021 Mini Clubman
Away from the track, this almighty Mini is a asperous rider. Accustomed the GP’s mission in life, I apprehend that bigger ruts and potholes are activity to be acquainted in the cabin. The brakes are interesting, with actual ablaze assurance at the top of the pedal achievement afore abruptly anchor down. This makes it difficult to stop calmly from lower speeds causing me to apologize to a brace of cartage on a few occasions for less-than-smooth stops.
The drivetrain is rather economical accustomed its output, with the EPA ciphering that the 2.0T will acknowledgment 24 afar per gallon in the burghal and 30 mpg on the highway. In alloyed driving, I empiric ammunition abridgement in the aerial 20s, and aback canoeing on the freeway out to the GingerMan, I calmly exceeded the EPA’s artery estimates, abiding over 35 mpg.
Ride affection isn’t abundant on road, but ammunition ability is absorbing because the GP’s output.
Is the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works GP absolutely the best third-generation Hardtop? Yes and no. Yes, if you’re attractive at it from a numbers standpoint. It’s the best able assembly Hardtop to date, hits 60 mph in 5 seconds, and clocked in a sub-8-minute lap time about Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife, assault the second-generation GP by about 30 seconds.
On the added hand, it’s missing a chiral transmission, which absolutely takes abroad from the driver-engagement factor. While it is absorbing to drive on clue and arced roads, it isn’t what I’d alarm a blast. It’s been added than a decade back the first-gen GP came out, and I still bethink active that car, animated ear-to-ear, alive the chiral and activity like an basic allotment of the experience. I don’t anticipate I’ll bethink this car bisected as affectionately — if at all — 10 years from now.
2021 Mini Clubman
If you appetite to put a new GP in your garage, it’ll amount you $45,750, including $850 for destination. You won’t charge to anguish about options because there aren’t any, but you’ll appetite to run to your Mini banker appropriate now. Of the 3,000 units, alone about 500 accept been appropriate for the US, and a Mini agent tells us abounding accept already been announced for. Personally, I’d apparently skip the Mini and ambit out a Honda Civic Type R instead, or aloof broadcast Craigslist for a apple-pie first-gen GP.
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