If there’s one car company that can be said to have the largest, most unique enthusiast following, it’s MINI. The MINI brand is known for its high level of customization, both before the purchase and after. Aside from Porsche, no car is more customizable than a MINI. Taking that a step further, MINI offers a lot of special edition versions of its cars and fans go absolutely bananas over them. Take this 2013 John Cooper Works MINI GP for instance.
For the uneducated, the MINI GP is a lighter, faster and sharper variant of the standard MINI John Cooper Works. The last variant was made back in 2013, on the R56 chassis, prior to the current UKL-architecture MINIs. Powering the JCW MINI GP was a 1.6 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made 211 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. When paired with a six-speed manual, the MINI GP was good for 0-60 mph in about six seconds. That’s not particularly quick but it was enough to be fun. In this new video from The Smoking Tire, Matt Farah drives a modified one and it seems to be a lot of fun.
This owner’s late father, whom he inherited the car from, had done quite a bit of work to this specific GP, though most of it was on the chassis side. As Farah explains, those little turbo-four engines were already pretty strung out and didn’t have much more room for power. The owner suspects it makes around 230 hp but isn’t absolutely certain. That small bump in power comes mostly from a cold air intake, ECU tune, intercooler and new exhaust.
In terms of handling, though, it has a TC Kline Racing/Koni 2x Adjustable Coil Over Kit, TC Kline Racing Camber Plates, NM Eng. 22mm Rear Sway Bar and Nm Eng. Rear Camber Arms. All of which makes it even sharper than it already was. The trade-off is the incredibly stiff ride, though, which you can visibly see in the video. Relatively small bumps make this MINI GP look as if it had just run over a cow.
What’s nice about this build is that it doesn’t take away from being a MINI too much. It’s still the same special little car it always was, just with much stiffer legs.