2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP Review by Autoblog
This review was done on a multitude of roads. The first encounter with the JCW GP was in Puerto Rico, around some fine mountain roads. That's where the MINI won everyone's heart.
Its 211 HP and 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque and the manual 6-speed gearbox made this little hatch run like crazy around the curvy bends of the Puerto Rican mountains. It's hard not to fall for this car once you get behind its wheel.
The suspension is amazing and makes you feel like the whole car is a big cat, clawing into the road. You can even adjust the suspension, depending on how you want to drive, using a wrench that's stashed in the glovebox.
The interior is just like any other MINI. The one aspect that differentiates the GP version from the Hardtop Cooper is the back seat which doesn't exist anymore. It is replaced by a nice red strut that is there to prevent luggage damage done to you in case of emergency braking.
Being lighter than its Hardtop JCW brother, you'll immediately feel the difference of 120 lb (54 kg) and you'll be carried into the most hardcore go-kart feeling you'll ever get.
That's on the perfectly smooth roads. Going over to test the car in Detroit, things get a little different. The incredible suspension will hurt your back if you hit too many potholes, but that's understandable, especially with the 17" wheels.
Furthermore, the precise steering will also have to suffer on bad roads and hitting any little obstacle will definitely be felt throughout the steering wheel.
Overall, this is definitely the best MINI you could get for a complete driving experience. Even though it's priced at nearly $40,000 (€30,350) we don't expect the company will have a hard time selling all 2000 units that have been announced to be produced because this car is simply a racing kart for the roads.
❐ Check out the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP photo gallery