RE: Mini JCW GP1: Spotted

RE: Mini JCW GP1: Spotted

Tuesday 25th June

Mini JCW GP1: Spotted

A new 300+hp GP is imminent. It will need more than big power to outdo the original...



PH was lucky enough to be there in person when the next Mini GP was revealed in prototype format over the weekend. With confirmation it’ll have over 300hp - and a-l-o-t of aero - the stripped-out super-hatch promised much for its introduction later this year. With an output to take on just about any hot hatch you care to think of, it ought to be a Mini for the ages.

A bit like its forebear, the GP1, was 13 years ago. When it arrived in 2006 with 218hp from a supercharged 1.6-litre engine, it had the performance to rank right at the sharp end of the class. What really set it apart though was its lack of rear seats, replaced by a shiny red strut brace. Don’t forget, this was three years before Dieppe stripped out a Megane to create the R26.R, so the GP and its 50kg weight made it look properly track-worthy. Although admittedly, even this paired-back R53 weighed 1,195kg.


Still, beneath the Frank Stephenson-designed body – complete with its teeny overhangs, bonnet intake and rear wing – there was a limited-slip differential, 10mm lower suspension and aluminium rear control arms, giving the Mk1 GP a pointy, playful chassis setup that was privy to the advantages of a cocked inside rear. It was grippier, quicker and even more playful than the Clio 197.

It felt more exotic, too, owing to its motorsport makeover. You sat in bolstered Recaro seats and thanks to the lack of rear furniture, the car’s twin-exit exhaust was more audible. Run over stones at speed and you might even hear them flick up into the rear wheel arches, like a proper Mini Challenge touring car. No doubt many fell in love with the GP for these traits alone.


Adding to the allure was the fact that assembly was handled by Bertone of Italy, which took the Oxford-supplied bodies in white and added all the special bits. Just 2,000 GP1s were made at the Grugliasco site, of which 437 (12 fewer than planned) made it to Britain. But, like many hot hatches of this kind (think back to the original Megane Trophy-R), demand did not reflect the respect the model garnered. The GP1 was and still is hailed as one of the very best superminis to make production.

Combine that status with rareness and coolness and you get 13-year-old hatchbacks priced at well over £10k. Today’s Spotted, for example, is up for a tenner less than thirteen grand despite its 88,000 miles. As many of us will know, enthusiast models of this kind – even those with decent usage – are often maintained to very high standards, and this car seems to fit the bill nicely. GP number 113 looks as clean outside as it does in; you only need to peel off the odd door sticker to bring it back to its best.


SPECIFICATIONS - MINI GP1

Engine: 1,598cc supercharged four cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive with mechanical LSD
Power (hp): 218@7,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 184@4,600rpm
MPG: 32.8
CO2: 207g/km
Recorded mileage: 88,000
First registered: 2006
Price new: £22,000
Yours for: £12,990

Click here for the full ad.

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Author
Discussion

scottygib553

Original Poster:

118 posts

38 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
I took a 15min ride in one of these and my spine still remembers it

GranCab

1,501 posts

89 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
That one looks like it's been slammed .....

cerb4.5lee

11,898 posts

123 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
I've always liked these and a chap I worked with had one and I always enjoyed the fruity exhaust note that it had.

rare6499

268 posts

82 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
I had 2. Used the first one as a daily for about a year, unfortunately due to some health issues I couldn’t take the road noise any longer so sold both eventually. Still miss them though, the aesthetics of the R53 will never be beaten.

Legislation just won’t allow it. Hence the large overhangs today and odd proportions.

howardhughes

321 posts

147 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
Ahh the GP1. What a car. Extremely quick and as others have said a hard ride.
Now becoming very collectable due to the rarity.

For me i'm leaning toward the GP2 and not the pile of censored which is the third incarnation spewed out
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bungle

1,443 posts

183 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
GranCab said:
That one looks like it's been slammed .....
Yeah was thinking that myself looking at the ad scratchchin

steve1386

53 posts

115 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
Absolutely amazing cars - I miss mine all the time. Hilariously fast down a B-road, and loved it on the track.

Nice to see the people at PistonHeads getting their facts right again - the strut brace was aluminium / silver in colour, not red.

frayz

1,217 posts

102 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
Stupidly sold my Clio 182 for one of these as i thought it was an upgrade.

Never gelled with that car and dispite it being a 1 owner 26k mile minter, it fell apart weekly.
Absolutely awful build quality and probably one of the worst cars i've ever owned, loved it 5% of the time, hated it the other 95%.

Certainly don't believe the hype, it was crap in my experience. frown



rare6499

268 posts

82 months

Tuesday 25th June
quotequote all
It’s not that they aren’t reliable, it’s that they are 14 years old.

So most need some work doing. The key is finding a car that has had some of the more major work done.

I spent a fortune on both of mine admittedly, but that’s because I was fastidious.

I owned a 172 Cup in the past and preferred the GP. Felt much more special.

Kenny Powers

2,247 posts

70 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Is it true that the strut brace in the rear of theses was a cosmetic item and not actually load bearing?

Cool cars either way.

Court_S

870 posts

120 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Love these - I think they're great fun.

I was (am) a massive fan of the original MINI. Each updated version seems to get less and less fun (I know some of this is down to regulations). These still look really well proportioned.

TTmonkey

14,809 posts

190 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Kenny Powers said:
Is it true that the strut brace in the rear of theses was a cosmetic item and not actually load bearing?

Cool cars either way.
yes, it wasn't connected to the suspension struts in anyway - so therefore shouldn't be called a 'strut' brace - it was actually connected to the part of the bodywork that housed the rear speakers I think - or somewhere near that area. It was well forward of the rear suspension components. .

It may have added a little bit of body stiffness, but it would have been marginal at best.

Edited by TTmonkey on Wednesday 26th June 13:31

J4CKO

27,708 posts

143 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
TTmonkey said:
Kenny Powers said:
Is it true that the strut brace in the rear of theses was a cosmetic item and not actually load bearing?

Cool cars either way.
yes, it wasn't connected to the suspension struts in anyway - so therefore shouldn't be called a 'strut' brace - it was actually connected to the part of the bodywork that housed the rear speakers I think - or somewhere near that area. It was well forward of the rear suspension components. .

It may have added a little bit of body stiffness, but it would have been marginal at best.

Edited by TTmonkey on Wednesday 26th June 13:31
So they removed the rear seats to install a non functional brace ?

I think any four seat road car with the rear seats removed is a bit try hard, I just couldnt be bothered explaining it.

TTmonkey

14,809 posts

190 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
TTmonkey said:
Kenny Powers said:
Is it true that the strut brace in the rear of theses was a cosmetic item and not actually load bearing?

Cool cars either way.
yes, it wasn't connected to the suspension struts in anyway - so therefore shouldn't be called a 'strut' brace - it was actually connected to the part of the bodywork that housed the rear speakers I think - or somewhere near that area. It was well forward of the rear suspension components. .

It may have added a little bit of body stiffness, but it would have been marginal at best.

Edited by TTmonkey on Wednesday 26th June 13:31
it wasn't non functional.

If you bought the right sized hook, you could hand a shopping bag on it. stop stuff rolling around.



So they removed the rear seats to install a non functional brace ?

I think any four seat road car with the rear seats removed is a bit try hard, I just couldnt be bothered explaining it.

Leins

6,702 posts

91 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Over four years with my one, and still love it. Not a clue what I’d ever replace it with, although not tried an R26R

My only criticisms would be the RFTs, which I binned after a week for a set of SuperSports, and the seats while comfy are heavy old chairs. Not sure why they didn’t use the JCW Sparcos as standard instead. Oh, and the non-Xenons are shockingly bad, but then I rarely use it at night anyway

No. 1571:




Marchutch

99 posts

69 months

Thursday 27th June
quotequote all
I own one and have had it turbo converted. It’s a lot of fun. I will never sell it.


Baileyk

30 posts

7 months

Thursday 27th June
quotequote all
Having owned a Cooper S with the supercharger, what does swapping over to a Turbo add to the car?

Marchutch

99 posts

69 months

Thursday 27th June
quotequote all
Around 230 additional hp on top of the stock power and a whole different character. Do I miss the supercharger whine? Sometimes, a little. Then I put my foot down, the turbo whistle kicks in, and I forget all about it



Edited by Marchutch on Thursday 27th June 15:50

andymc

6,290 posts

150 months

Thursday 27th June
quotequote all
I just sold a 2008 JCW and that felt like a lovely little car

cerb4.5lee

11,898 posts

123 months

Thursday 27th June
quotequote all
Marchutch said:
Around 230 additional hp on top of the stock power and a whole different character. Do I miss the supercharger whine? Sometimes, a little. Then I put my foot down, the turbo whistle kicks in, and I forget all about it

It isn't any wonder that you don't want to get rid! thumbupsmokin