Two-seat hatchbacks have existed for a long time. Just search at the old Group B homologation specials like the Lancia Delta S4 or Renault 5 Turbo 2, or nutty creations dreamt up engineers wandering if you can shove a V6 is the center of a Clio. Still anytime a carmaker launches a lightweight track-model of a design in the beginning intended for commuting and procuring journeys, there’s usually a collective sigh even though many question: “what’s the level?”
Granted, on paper at minimum, the entire two-seater thought does not make a huge amount of perception. They’re not almost as modern as a goal-designed sports activities automobile and lots of of them keep their foundation car’s front-wheel drive format. But the reality is vastly distinct, with sizzling hatch heroes like the Renault Megane R26.R and Volkswagen Golfing GTI Clubsport S proving that some of the ideal driving ordeals appear in common deals.
A single of the 1st to provide with each other the structure with properly sharp handling was the original Mini John Cooper Performs GP. By natural means, it experienced a persons scratching their heads when it arrived on the scene in 2006, with the rear seats swapped out for a strut brace and a bit of netting to preserve the contents of your searching from becoming unleashed all around the cabin.
But the figures discuss for on their own. The original GP weighs in at just 1,090kg, marking a 50kg preserving on the already admirably gentle R53 Cooper S. The upgrades really don’t end there, both. The suspension was stiffened up, the trip peak decreased and a minimal-slip differential was equipped to the front axle. Energy from the 1.6-litre supercharged 4-pot was a bit increased above the John Cooper Is effective R53, rising from 210hp to 218hp on the GP. Despite the fact that when you consider that the latest GP3 – with more electrical power than any Mini which is occur prior to – has barely been as very well obtained as the past two generations, it goes to exhibit how BMW strike the nail on the head with the R53 hatchback.
Given its lightweight mother nature, you’d feel the GP would be a nightmare to reside with. But, eventually, this is a BMW-created Mini at the conclude of day, so it will get the same inside good quality that we’ve appear to count on from the R53 – together with some neat touches. The gear lever is carbon fibre with the JCW logo shown on leading, together with Recaro athletics seats and GP branding on the doorway sills.
What can make the GP that minimal little bit more distinctive is that it was assembled by Bertone. This case in point has gone on rather the journey, with the overall body staying sent from the Mini plant in Oxford to Bertone’s assembly plant in Grugliasco, Italy, right before a ultimate vacation back again to Blighty. And it would be a part of only a several hundred other United kingdom-sure Mini GPs out of the total 2,000-solid output operate. The cherry on major is a sticker over the doors with the car’s manufacturing number – this one particular becoming #1190.
So, it’s alternatively exclusive – and which is quite much mirrored in Mini GP resale values. The automobile we have right here was registered back again in 2006 and has coated 75,000 miles given that. It is priced at £17,995 admittedly pretty a little bit much more than what a JCW of the era will established you back again, but the Mini GP presents a vastly more centered driving working experience than numerous contemporaneous scorching hatches. In addition, with other hardcore rivals commanding large sums of revenue and being specially hard to come across, this Mini GP is a good way into owning a thing exclusive – devoid of the guilt of paying out Porsche Cayman money…
SPECIFICATION | MINI GP1
Engine: 1,598cc, four cylinders, supercharged
Transmission: six-velocity manual, entrance-wheel drive
Ability (hp): [email protected],100rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],600rpm
Calendar year registered: 2006
Recorded miles: 75,000
Rate new: £22,000
Yours for: £17,995