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Mini John Cooper Works GP Prototype

The new Mini JCW GP hot hatch at the Nürburgring

The new Mini JCW GP hot hatch at the Nürburgring Image: Supplied

Mini sets blistering time in prototype hot hatch at legendary Nürburging track.

Mini revs up its all-new John Cooper Works GP hot hatch.

Limited edition hot hatch Mini

This photo was carefully cropped, does it hide a 4WD transmission from the X2?

This photo was carefully cropped, does it hide a 4WD transmission from the X2? Image: Supplied

The new John Cooper Works GP Mini was put on display over the weekend at the 2019 ADAC Total 24 Hours of Nürburging endurance event. Specs are scant, but Mini has disclosed the engine is a four-pot petrol, making over 220kW, thanks to Mini TwinPower Turbo Technology. This is a twin-scroll type turbocharger, that improves upon a traditional turbo's design, boosting low-end torque output, lowering turbo lag, improving responsiveness, increasing power and upping fuel economy.

The news led some publications to speculate Mini has borrowed the engine from the BMW X2 M35i (the first four-cylinder M division car) and the latest M1. In those cars, the block pumps out a muscled 450Nm.

Currently testing on the Nordschleife track

Rear 3/4 view of the Mini John Cooper Works GP in the pitlane

Rear 3/4 view of the Mini John Cooper Works GP in the pitlane Image: Supplied

Mini says the new hot hatch is currently going through prototyping and development at the infamous German track, known to some as the "The Green Hell". It earned this nickname after Sir Jackie Stewart battled through driving rain and treacherous fog to win the 1968 Grand Prix held there. The race consisted of 14 laps around the 22km circuit and the Scotsman did it all while wearing a plaster cast because of a broken wrist!

The illustrious car brand is turning laps for testing purposes at the track. As a result, the three-door hatch is currently wearing developmental camouflage to try and conceal some of its styling and finalised equipment. Up close, the camo is actually a pattern made of racing tracks from around the world.

Mini has confirmed that when launched next year, it'll have gaping air intakes, use weight-reducing construction methods, wear an aerodynamic body kit (comprising of a front and rear apron, plus a trick rear spoiler) in addition to rolling on lightened alloy wheels. Mini, now a BMW subsidiary, tasked its performance racing division John Cooper Works with suspension design.

It's quicker than before

Already, the skunkworks model has beaten its predecessor around the same track by a good 30 seconds. Mini is keen to point out that as more trials and set-up work are yet to be completed, this thing will only get quicker.

Limited run

The performance Mini is set for release in 2020, with a limited production run of just 3,000 models. We're told Mini Australia is eager to bring the extremely hot hatch here when it is available.

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Images: Supplied

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