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2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP goes from street to track to snowy trail

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

The 2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP has gotten a new tire option.

Who says that winter driving fun has to be regulated to large parking lots post-blizzard? The MINI John Cooper Works GP is challenging that perception with a new equipment and dynamics setup that pushes the limits. It follows in the tread of the limited-edition John Cooper Works GP that was sold in 2006 and 2013.

The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is the fastest model of the British premium brand ever to receive road approval. The power comes from the car’s standard twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 306 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission.

To harness the power on the road, MINi is offering winter tires specially designed for the car. The ultra-high performance Hankook tires are designed to translate from bare pavement to snowed over trail to snowy tracks. Called the Winter i*cept evo 2 tires, they are sized 195/45 R18 87H XL. The asymmetric tread of the tires features shaped sipes and grooves that optimize both traction and braking on snow-covered roads. They are mounted on model-specific, 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels.

The MINI variant is optimized to allow for maximum traction from a standing start and advances the nimble drive dynamics of the traditional MINI. Its braking system features four-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels and single-piston fist-caliper disc brakes on the rear wheels.

The interior of the model has traditional MINI design elements but ups the the ante with colorful accents and a new free-standing digital instrument cluster on the steering column.

A number of components in the model are 3D printed including elements of the aluminum shift paddles on the steering wheel. The steering wheel clasp and the individual decorative trim strip in the passenger area have also been constructed using the printing process.

The MINI is limited to just 3,000 units.

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