The Nürburgring Nordschleife is regarded as a particularly challenging track. Its spectacular bends, ascents and descents embedded in the wooded landscape once prompted the triple Formula 1 champion Jackie Stewart to coin the track’s nickname by which it is still fondly known today – The “Green Hell.”

So it’s only fitting that MINI has decided to test its latest and greatest machine on the legendary track. The MINI John Cooper Works GP is the company’s most daring racing product.

It will be assembled in a production of 3,000 units. The fastest MINI Cooper ever produced features a state-of-the-art powertrain. At the center stage lies the BMW B48 specifically-tweaked petrol engine, which develops a staggering output of 225 kW / 306 PS (302 hp).

The generous power load is sent to the front axle wheels with the help of the 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic gearbox. Thanks to the 450 Nm peak torque, the acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h takes just 5.2 seconds and the top speed hits 265 km/h.

The new MINI John Cooper Works GP model will start at $45,750 and that price tag puts it in a league of its own, compared to its rivals. Of course, the performance should also be quite a step up compared to cars like the Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio RS and Volkswagen Polo GTi, all of those having about 100 HP less by comparison. Furthermore, none of them are of the premium variety and that’s also something people take into account when buying a car.

Before we jump into the photo gallery, let’s take a closer look at the origin of the Nurburgring race track. The “Ring” owes its original name to the medieval castle of Nürburg constructed in the 12th century on a hill surrounded today by the Nordschleife. The most beautiful view of the castle ruins is from the village of the same name not far from the entrance to the race track.