The Works GP concept previews the ultimate hardcore Mini at Frankfurt

05th September 2017
Bob Murray

Given that it’s impossible to have too many racing Minis – as any visitor to the Goodwood Revival will affirm – the BMW-owned company has done the right thing and come up with the raciest Mini of all. 


To say this is a lower, wider Mini with big aprons front and rear, extended sills and huge roof spoiler is to do it an injustice. All those changes – plus plenty of carbon-fiber detailing and orange highlighting – come together to make a real Mini track monster. And although this is a concept – its debut is September 12th at the Frankfurt Motor Show – it’s odds on to spawn a limited-edition production version.

Officially it’s the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept but lose the last word (and some of the more outrageous track accouterments) and you have a baby bombshell in the tradition of Works GP versions of both Mini gen-one and gen-two in 2006 and 2012 respectively.

Mini says the car has been designed to offer the ultimate Mini sporting agility on the race track and the road, drawing inspiration from half a century of motor sporting Mini heritage, including victory in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1967. 


The concept is certainly a lot lower and wider with a lot more rubber on the road than even the current most sporting Minis. There’s a lot of aero work gone on here too, and like the last Works GP in 2012, adjustable suspension is fitted offering a lower ride height for track work. Like its 2012 production forebear the concept is a two-seater only with a roll cage. 

Mini isn’t saying much more about the car’s spec, aside from hints of less weight for a superior power-weight ratio and an evenly balanced weight distribution. It will have to be the fastest Mini in production – the last one had 215bhp for 150mph and 0-62mph in 6.3secs – but there’s no word yet on what its performance will be. It is petrol-powered though, with likely choice being an uprated a version of the 230bhp 2.0-litre turbo motor, witness the familiar twin tailpipes and steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles. 

Inside the pared-back cabin, the two seats are racing buckets with five-point harnesses. Other track-inspired elements include a simple dashboard with heads-up display, and touch-control adjustment of suspension settings. Like all the Best Minis the doors are opened by a tug on a strip of fabric.


BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk says: “The Works GP Concept brings together the full suite of defining Mini design features and showcases them at their sportiest and most exciting. What we’re looking at here is maximum performance, maximum Mini.” 

And the street version will be when? Previous Works GPs have been near the end of their respective models’ lifespans, so it will be maybe 18 months before this appears in a showroom. When it does expect a price as high as its rear spoiler. The last GP was £6k up on the standard Works car at that time. 

But then the GP cars have only ever been produced in limited runs of 2000 cars each, and the 2012 car especially is now a sought-after machine. The concept car in the pictures is numbered 0059 suggesting there will again be a limited run of them. 

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