Mini is relying on 3000 consumers to assume {that a} two-door Mini hardtop with 301 horsepower, carbon-fiber fender flares, and a $45,750 worth is an irresistibly good concept. The Mini Cooper JCW GP is definitely a novel concept. Changing the common John Cooper Works’ 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is a tweaked 301-hp model of that engine. And if the fender flares weren’t sufficient of a warning that this automobile is out to show one thing, Mini removes the rear seat, making the GP a two-seater. However what precisely is that this Mini out to show? The ability limits of a front-drive sizzling hatch? The bounds of fender flares? That Mini’s product planners have misplaced their minds?

The GP did show to be the quickest front-driver we’ve got ever examined with a 4.7-second run to 60 mph. It rips by way of the quarter-mile in 13.1 seconds at 110 mph. The Hyundai Veloster N DCT and Honda Civic Sort R come closest with 4.8- and 4.9-second instances to 60, respectively. But, whereas the GP places down some eye-opening numbers, its heady energy is locked in an ongoing battle with its entrance tires and the driving force is caught within the center.

Marc UrbanoAutomotive and Driver

HIGHS: Quickest front-driver we have examined, restricted to 3000 examples.

BMW (Mini’s dad or mum firm) makes use of this engine within the M235i, X2 M35i, and the JCW editions of the Mini Clubman and Countryman, however all of these autos come commonplace with all-wheel drive. Solely the GP insists on making the entrance tires drink from the 301-hp and 332 pound-feet-of-torque firehose. All of that energy rushes the 225/35R-18 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z tires with out the torque-steer-mitigating benefit of a entrance strut with a separate steering knuckle, just like the one utilized by the Civic Sort R. The Mini miraculously accelerates in a straight line with out a lot tugging or leaping throughout the lane. Nevertheless, bend the Mini right into a nook and apply the accelerator, and the limited-slip differential goes to work locking up. All of a sudden, the trail you chose by way of the nook tightens. It may not be torque steer doing the tugging, however the unrequested steering impact is simply as disconcerting.

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The place the Sort R and Veloster N are a pleasure to throw down nation roads, the GP solely frustrates. Its spectacular skidpad grip (0.98 g) and braking outcomes (70 mph to zero in 151 toes) recommend that it’s going to excel in back-road jaunts. However the trip conspires towards any hope of happiness. Stiff and unyielding, the GP’s trip is irritating and borders on abusive. Your head will toss as in case you’re at a Slayer live performance. Trip and dealing with needs to be a compromise, not a winner-take-all competitors. The GP by no means settles down, it by no means stops fidgeting, and whereas that is amusing in brief bursts, it will get previous the extra you drive it.

Marc UrbanoAutomotive and Driver

LOWS: Unnecessarily stiff chassis, the place’s the guide transmission, big-time worth.

Earplugs are really helpful for longer drives. At a gradual 70 mph there is a 77-decibel din, which is a considerable three decibels noisier than the already loud Sort R. Even the 53-decibel idle is loud sufficient that you’re going to notice you have been yelling into your telephone after you shut off the engine. An ear-ravaging 93 decibels at wide-open throttle cannot be ignored both, and in case you’re driving exhausting, you attain that peak usually.

Driving this automobile on the road makes it clear that it is optimized for a racetrack. It could possibly flip some fast laps, but it surely tends towards understeer because the entrance tires are continually overwhelmed by their workload. As its acceleration signifies, the GP completely devours straights.

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Marc UrbanoAutomotive and Driver

Maybe you are questioning what kind of race-ready transmission would befit this excessive machine. Put together for disappointment. The GP will get a standard eight-speed torque-converter computerized, which isn’t one thing you need in your hottest of hatches. If Mini had insisted on an computerized, a dual-clutch unit with a slick launch-control perform—such because the Veloster N now makes accessible—would have been a superb begin. The traditional transmission is at odds with the particular nature of the GP and makes the powertrain really feel not as distinctive as the remainder of the automobile. Becoming a six-speed guide would seemingly make the GP extra pleasant on the highway, however it might additionally seemingly add a number of ticks to the acceleration instances.

We might gladly commerce somewhat acceleration for the involvement of a guide. Our present choose of sizzling hatches, the Civic Sort R, solely comes with a guide. We won’t cease fascinated about the recent Civic. The Mini is uncooked, foolish, and fast, and a Sort R may not be fairly as uncooked, foolish, or fast because the GP, but it surely’s not far off. A Sort R drives higher than the Mini, and it would not make you undergo for having enjoyable. The GP is likely to be amusing in brief bursts, however a Sort R is the one you need to personal.

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