Summary


The John Cooper Works GP (JCW GP) was a limited edition hot hatch based on the popular three-door Mini hatch, proclaimed by the company to be its fastest model ever.

Topping Mini’s John Cooper Works (JCW) performance range, the JCW GP was an even faster limited edition hot hatch with 3,000 vehicles built for sale worldwide, of which only 575 were allocated to the UK.

Described by Auto Express as “a car that delights and frustrates in equal measure”, the JCW GP was powered by a 306hp 2.0-litre petrol engine, paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that was frequently labelled as “slow” by British reviewers.

However, the key criticism levelled against the JCW GP was that it had unruly road manners. “Just leaf through the bible of absolute automotive no-gos, and the vices are all there in abundance”, Car explained. “Steering fight, torque steer, waywardness at any speed and marginal ride comfort.”

Carbuyer added that the car’s distinctively sporty bodywork, with carbon fibre inserts over the wheel arches and on the front and rear bumper, looked like “an afterthought rather than an essential addition”. It also criticised the GP for a lack of practicality on a day-to-day basis, as it only offered two seats – the normal Mini rear seats were not installed to save weight.

“Love or hate it, there’s no denying that on the right road it’s a ballistic missile”, The Telegraph concluded, while suggesting that the Mini JCW GP would make a “mighty” track car.

The Sunday Times agreed, adding that the hot hatch had a high quality interior, and that considering it was an exclusive model, it was “extremely good value” – with new prices starting at just north of £35,000 when it went on sale.

Although it is no longer available as a new car, the Mini hatch John Cooper Works GP still holds an Expert Rating of 68%, based on 11 different reviews published by UK media.

JCW GP highlights

  • Serious pace
  • High-quality interior
  • Well-equipped
  • Reasonably priced

JCW GP lowlights

  • Unruly driving dynamics
  • Only two seats
  • Slow-shifting automatic gearbox
  • More fun to be had in other hot hatches

Key specifications


Body style: Three-door hatchback
Engines:
petrol
Price when new:
From £35,345 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2019
Last updated: N/A
Discontinued: Spring 2020 (limited run model)



Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating


No safety rating

The Mini hatch John Cooper Works GP shared its Euro NCAP safety score with the regular Mini hatch, which was assessed in December 2014 and awarded a four-star rating.

However, this rating expired in January 2021 and is no longer valid.

Eco rating


No eco rating

No longer on sale, the Mini JCW GP has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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Across all three generations, the Mini hatch – including the JCW performance models – has a reliability score that is slightly above average, according to exclusive used car warranty data from our commercial partner, MotorEasy. This is good news if you are thinking about buying a used Mini hatch.

The biggest concern is that the most common problem area is also the most expensive one – the engine. The average repair cost is almost £1,200, so it’s worth carefully inspecting a used car or making sure you purchase an extended warranty if you’re considering a used Mini.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Mini John Cooper Works GP has received

2020

  • The Sunday Times Motor Awards – Jeremy Clarkson’s People’s Car of the Year

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Mini John Cooper Works GP, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Abarth 595 | Ford Fiesta ST | Hyundai i20 N | Mini Cooper S | Suzuki Swift Sport | Toyota GR Yaris | Volkswagen Polo GTI | Volkswagen Up GTI

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