The BMW Group UK updated its lineup of historic press vehicles this year, and aside from a bunch of special BMWs, it also has some interesting MINIs. One such car is this – a John Cooper Works GP1. Just like all the other 15 vehicles part of the local fleet, it’s a veritable time capsule since it has been well taken care of throughout the years.

If you don’t remember this hot hatch, it came out in 2006 as MINI’s most powerful production car at the time. Only 2,000 units were made for the whole world and the GP (Grand Prix) kit made it 50 kilograms (110 pounds) lighter than the Cooper S upon which it was based. It tipped the scales at only 1,090 kg (2,403 lbs) after removing the rear seats and taking other weight-saving measures.

The real gem was underneath the hood where the engineers fitted a supercharged (yes, supercharged) 1.6-liter engine that made 218 horsepower and 218 pound-feet (250 Newton meters) of torque. The tiny-but-mighty car needed just six and a half seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) and topped out at 149 mph (240 km/h). Aside from a punchy engine, MINI fitted a limited-slip front differential and a stiffer suspension with a 10-mm lowered ride height.

All cars were painted in this Thunder Grey with a Pure Silver roof and Chili Red side mirror caps. The John Cooper Works GP1 came with 18-inch wheels exclusive to the special edition, wrapped in low-profile tires. At the front axle, there were upgraded 16-inch ventilated brake discs with red calipers. MINI also fitted an aero package, which included a look-at-me rear spoiler among other goodies.

The Oxford-based marque followed up with the GP2 in 2013 and the GP3 in 2020. Before becoming a purely electric brand by the end of this decade, MINI will release a final wave of John Cooper Works models with a combustion engine. Hopefully, there’s going to be a GP4 in the coming years. Electric performance cars with the JCW badge are also planned.