Prior to the start of today’s New York International Auto Show, Dr. Kay Segler, Senior Vice President Brand Management at MINI, announced the return of a limited-edition JCW GP track-oriented model to the MINI range.
To be launched at the MINI United Festival, in Le Castellet this May, the JCW GP2 will adopt the MINI Challenge-based rear wing, a functional rear diffuser, race-oriented chassis and more powerful turbocharged engine.
The body panels are aerodynamically optimised, and its 18″ wheels are an evolution to those worn by the previous JCW GP in 2005. As before, the JCW GP2 will be fitted with halogen headlights as standard (to save weight) and be a true two-seater, with Recaro seats up front and a half-cage (or rear brace) where the rear seats would normally be on a MINI hatch.
MINI describe the JCW GP2’s engine as “very powerful”, which could mean anything from 225 bhp to 260 bhp. Its predecessor mustered just 4% more than the standard JCW MINI (218 bhp @7,100 rpm) to propel 50kg less weight, but the turbocharged engine of the latest F56 MINI should yield considerably more.
The recently announced Citroen DS4 Racing, which uses the same BMW-PSA 1.6-litre Turbo engine, has been uprated to produce 256bhp and emit only 155g/km of CO2, so expect something closer to this rather than the 220 bhp mentioned by some journalists.
We’ll get to hear plenty more details in the run up to MINI United next month, which will be limited to around the same 2,000 units as its predecessor. Meanwhile Autoblog has images of a JCW GP2 test mule driving on the roads around the Nurburgring last month.