Mini would like you to believe it truly is saved the most effective of its 3rd-generation Hardtop products for very last with this 2021 John Cooper Operates GP. Restricted to just three,000 units throughout the world, the general performance-focused GP sends the 3rd-generation Mini Hardtop out in type, with aggressive bodywork, a a lot more highly effective motor and a reworked suspension earning it the most powerful road-heading Mini to day. Still it truly is not really heading out with a bang.


  • Punchy turbo motor
  • Quirky seems to be
  • Inherent exclusivity

You should not Like

  • No manual transmission
  • Squishy Hankook tires
  • Disappointing exhaust note

Flashy but functional 

The initially thing you won’t be able to aid but observe about the restricted-edition Mini GP are its added exterior touches. The entrance apron, lip spoiler and honking double-decker rear wing are exclusive to the GP. They’re all useful, way too, delivering added downforce above the typical John Cooper Operates Hardtop. The carbon-fiber-bolstered plastic wheel arch panels sporting each car’s generation variety are also a lot more than just for aesthetics, covering the broader monitor and optimizing airflow close to the sides.

Combine all that with a Racing Grey Metallic paint occupation, contrasting Melting Silver Metallic roof and Chili Pink accents, and the GP surely seems to be like a hello-po Mini should. Sure, the rear wing and side panels might be garish to some, but you can get away with a pair of above-the-best touch visual parts on a Mini. And don’t forget, it truly is all useful.

The hardcore concept carries on within. Like preceding Mini GPs, the rear seats are gone, to save pounds. There is certainly a pink aluminum cross-brace powering the leather-based- and microfiber-trimmed activity seats. Without having the back again seats, there is certainly 33.4 cubic toes of cargo place, great for weekly grocery excursions — or a monitor box, jack and spare tire for trekking out to open monitor days. Other cabin alterations incorporate a numbered dash trim panel, GP-precise digital instrument cluster graphics and a Nappa-leather-based-wrapped steering wheel with sizeable 3D-printed metallic shift paddles.

If you might be hoping for gobs of infotainment and highly developed security technology, the GP isn’t for you. The Mini Linked infotainment technique operates on an eight.eight-inch touchscreen with navigation with true-time targeted visitors facts, a 6-speaker audio set up, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay, but not Android Car. The center screen isn’t the most responsive to inputs, however, typically requiring a pair of taps for instructions to sign-up. 

Energy factors for charging telephones, even so, are abundant for a two-seater, with a USB-A, USB-C, twelve-volt outlets and a wireless charging pad on present. As for security tech, there is certainly the federally mandated backup camera and that is it.

The GP’s technology hand incorporates the Mini Linked infotainment technique, but not significantly in highly developed security tech.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

A borrowed heart

While the frequent JCW Hardtop’s two.-liter turbocharged I4 pumps out 228 horsepower and 236 pound-toes of torque, the GP receives the two.-liter powerplant observed in the JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman. This much better motor has upgraded pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft and a lot more raise for a complete of 301 hp and 331 pound-toes of torque. With the 8-velocity computerized transmission, the GP will hit sixty mph in five seconds, besting the five.nine-2nd run of a base JCW Hardtop.

Oh, and you browse that ideal: The GP has an computerized transmission. Contrary to its predecessors, the most up-to-date GP will not route electrical power to its entrance wheels by way of a manual transmission, and one particular isn’t offered, both. To driving purists — not to point out the 46{36a394957233d72e39ae9c6059652940c987f134ee85c6741bc5f1e7246491e6} of Mini JCW Hardtop shoppers who order manuals — the slush box is a colossal letdown, but vital from a business standpoint. Mini didn’t have a manual transmission in its pieces bin able of dealing with the output of this motor, and the price tag in establishing and certifying one particular for a restricted-generation run would not fly with the bean-counters.

So, for a GP to take place with this motor, it experienced to be paired with an Aisin-sourced computerized. To Mini’s credit score, the firm did a respectable occupation supplying it sportier shift programming — a thing I appreciated whilst blitzing close to GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Activating Sport method and leaving the transmission in completely computerized method has the gearbox keeping onto gears all the way to redline just before ripping off smooth, rapid upshifts. These are not twin-clutch-rapid gear-alterations, but really great for a torque-converter computerized. Handbook method attributes responsive upshifts by way of the paddles, with just a millisecond hold off when downshifting.

A turbo I4 with 301 horses is great, but it truly is only offered with an computerized transmission.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The motor is potent, offering constant pull all through the rev range with peak torque offered involving one,750 and 4,000 rpm. The GP speedily pulls out of corners and barrels down straights. Cracking 125 mph down GingerMan’s back again straight is simple, and feels super-fast in this tiny automobile. The one particular grievance I have about the motor is the exhaust note, which has a higher-pitch drone at huge-open-throttle. It can be not frustrating, but basically not ear-pleasing.

Observe moves

As often, electrical power is practically nothing with no manage and the Mini GP has a really darn great manage on dynamics. Further underbody bracing and a entrance strut tower bar stiffen the chassis, whilst the suspension attributes a one.4-inch entrance and .nine-inch rear broader monitor, uprated springs, dampers, antiroll bars, amplified wheel camber and a .4-inch reduce journey peak. The complete package rides on slick-searching eighteen-inch cast wheels wrapped with Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z tires.

All that sounds like a recipe for riot close to a monitor, but the Mini’s Hankook tires confirm to be a limiting issue. Switch-in is marginally muted and by way of gradual corners understeer rears its unappealing head as the entrance tires howl making an attempt to cling on for dear life. For slower, sharp complexes, acquiring the rear to rotate can be carried out if you chuck it in hard, which is promising. Following 3 brief sessions close to GingerMan, the symptoms of rollover on the entrance tires are evident, and a looming 150-mile return journey back again to metro Detroit means I am compelled to acquire it simple close to the two.two-mile road training course.

With much better tires, the GP will be even much better close to GingerMan Raceway.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

That’s a disgrace, way too. The GP’s steering is pretty direct and communicative even with these tires. Aspect-to-side pounds transfers are great, balance manage tuning is excellent and the brakes keep potent with pedal vacation only acquiring a touch longer at the conclusion of a day of lapping. If fitted with tires with a lot more strong sidewalls, there is certainly tiny doubt that the GP will shine significantly brighter close to a monitor and most likely excel on an autocross training course.

Avenue survival

Absent from the monitor, this powerful Mini is a rough rider. Specified the GP’s mission in life, I anticipate that bigger ruts and potholes are heading to be felt in the cabin. The brakes are fascinating, with quite gentle engagement at the best of the pedal stroke just before abruptly clamping down. This tends to make it tough to end easily from reduce speeds resulting in me to apologize to a pair of travellers on a few occasions for less-than-smooth stops.

The drivetrain is somewhat cost-effective given its output, with the EPA estimating that the two.0T will return 24 miles for every gallon in the metropolis and 30 mpg on the freeway. In mixed driving, I observed fuel financial system in the higher 20s, and when cruising on the freeway out to the GingerMan, I effortlessly exceeded the EPA’s freeway estimates, returning above 35 mpg.

Journey high quality isn’t good on road, but fuel efficiency is extraordinary contemplating the GP’s output.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The most effective it can be

Is the 2021 Mini John Cooper Operates GP really the most effective 3rd-generation Hardtop? Sure and no. Sure, if you might be searching at it from a quantities standpoint. It can be the most highly effective generation Hardtop to day, hits sixty mph in five seconds, and clocked in a sub-eight-minute lap time close to Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife, beating the 2nd-generation GP by practically 30 seconds.

On the other hand, it truly is lacking a manual transmission, which seriously normally takes away from the driver-engagement issue. While it is entertaining to push on monitor and twisty roadways, it isn’t what I would call a blast. It can be been a lot more than a decade considering that the initially-gen GP came out, and I still don’t forget driving that automobile, grinning ear-to-ear, performing the manual and experience like an integral section of the working experience. I never believe I will don’t forget this automobile fifty percent as fondly — if at all — ten a long time from now.

If you want to put a new GP in your garage, it’ll price tag you $45,750, such as $850 for desired destination. You would not need to have to worry about possibilities due to the fact there are not any, but you are going to want to run to your Mini supplier ideal now. Of the three,000 units, only close to five hundred have been earmarked for the US, and a Mini spokesperson tells us many have already been spoken for. Individually, I would most likely skip the Mini and scope out a Honda Civic Style R instead, or just troll Craigslist for a thoroughly clean initially-gen GP.