Two-seat hatchbacks have existed for many years. Just glimpse at the outdated Group B homologation specials like the Lancia Delta S4 or Renault 5 Turbo 2, or nutty creations dreamt up engineers wandering if you can shove a V6 is the middle of a Clio. Nonetheless whenever a carmaker launches a lightweight keep track of-model of a design initially supposed for commuting and procuring journeys, there’s generally a collective sigh though a lot of talk to: “what’s the stage?”
Granted, on paper at least, the entire two-seater strategy doesn’t make a large volume of sense. They are not approximately as sleek as a intent-crafted sports automobile and several of them retain their foundation car’s entrance-wheel travel format. But the fact is vastly distinctive, with very hot hatch heroes like the Renault Megane R26.R and Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S proving that some of the best driving ordeals appear in common offers.
A person of the 1st to carry collectively the layout with appropriately sharp managing was the initial Mini John Cooper Performs GP. By natural means, it had a individuals scratching their heads when it arrived on the scene in 2006, with the rear seats swapped out for a strut brace and a little bit of netting to hold the contents of your buying from getting unleashed all around the cabin.
But the quantities talk for on their own. The primary GP weighs in at just 1,090kg, marking a 50kg preserving on the by now admirably light R53 Cooper S. The upgrades never cease there, either. The suspension was stiffened up, the ride peak reduced and a constrained-slip differential was fitted to the entrance axle. Electricity from the 1.6-litre supercharged 4-pot was a little bit elevated about the John Cooper Performs R53, increasing from 210hp to 218hp on the GP. Although when you take into consideration that the present-day GP3 – with more electricity than any Mini that is appear right before – has barely been as properly been given as the preceding two generations, it goes to present how BMW hit the nail on the head with the R53 hatchback.
Presented its lightweight mother nature, you’d imagine the GP would be a nightmare to stay with. But, finally, this is a BMW-developed Mini at the finish of day, so it gets the exact same inside excellent that we have arrive to hope from the R53 – together with some neat touches. The gear lever is carbon fibre with the JCW symbol exhibited on major, along with Recaro sports seats and GP branding on the door sills.
What would make the GP that small little bit much more specific is that it was assembled by Bertone. This case in point has gone on rather the journey, with the physique currently being sent from the Mini plant in Oxford to Bertone’s assembly plant in Grugliasco, Italy, before a last journey again to Blighty. And it would sign up for only a couple hundred other Uk-sure Mini GPs out of the complete 2,000-powerful production operate. The cherry on best is a sticker earlier mentioned the doors with the car’s production quantity – this 1 becoming #1190.
So, it’s rather particular – and which is really significantly mirrored in Mini GP resale values. The car we have listed here was registered again in 2006 and has lined 75,000 miles because. It is priced at £17,995 admittedly rather a bit more than what a JCW of the period will established you again, but the Mini GP presents a vastly extra centered driving expertise than numerous contemporaneous incredibly hot hatches. In addition, with other hardcore rivals commanding broad sums of funds and becoming specially difficult to discover, this Mini GP is a great way into proudly owning a little something unique – devoid of the guilt of shelling out Porsche Cayman money…
SPECIFICATION | MINI GP1
Engine: 1,598cc, 4 cylinders, supercharged
Transmission: six-pace manual, entrance-wheel push
Energy (hp): 218@7,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 184@4,600rpm
Year registered: 2006
Recorded miles: 75,000
Cost new: £22,000
Yours for: £17,995