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Mini Australia has confirmed pricing and specification details for the just-revealed third-generation JCW GP hot hatch, and while it is sure to please local enthusiasts from the middle of next year with its 225kW power punch, some will lament the loss of a manual transmission in favour of an automatic unit.
Those interested will have to act quickly, though, as only 3000 examples will be produced for global consumption, 65 of which will be heading Down Under, with Mini Australia confirming most are already spoken for via pre-orders.
For reference, out of the previous-generation JCW GP’s total production run of 2000 units, only 30 were available to buy locally, with each one priced from $56,900 plus on-road costs.
In new-generation form, the JCW GP requires a $63,900 outlay – a hefty $10,550 premium over the equivalent ‘regular’ JCW three-door hatch, although buyers are naturally compensated with extra performance as well as dramatic looks.
The JCW GP ups the JCW’s 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine’s outputs from a sporty 170kW/320Nm to a full-fat 225kW/450Nm.
This tune debuted in the mechanically related BMW X2 M35i small SUV, although it has all-wheel drive while the JCW GP exclusively sends its grunt to the front axle, although a mechanical differential lock integrated into the only transmission on offer, an eight-speed torque-converter unit, optimises traction.
Yes, the six-speed manual transmission of the first- and second-generation JCW GPs is no more, but the result is quicker acceleration, with the new model reaching 100km/h from a standstill in 5.2 seconds – 1.1s ahead of its predecessor.
Pleasingly, top speed is not electronically limited in the latest JCW GP, with it able to hit 265km/h. Its forebear could ‘only’ manage 242km/h.
The newest JCW GP is arguably the most track-focused of the member of the breed, going as far as to remove its rear seats to reduce weight and accommodate an aluminium cross-brace that improves body rigidity alongside a strengthened chassis.
Developed at the Nurburgring, the JCW GP features a bespoke suspension set-up that lowers its ride height by 10mm (compared to the full-time JCW), among other changes, while its track widths have also been increased in the name of handling.
The JCW GP also picks up a unique sports exhaust system, beefier brakes, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and 225/35 high-performance tyres.
Then there’s the JCW GP’s wild exterior upgrades, namely its huge roof-mounted rear spoiler that serves up plenty of downforce when travelling at speed.
That said, it’s also hard to ignore the JCW GP’s wheelarch extensions that are made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic with an exposed matte coating. The front items feature the build number of each individual example, with a similar treatment applied to an insert in the dashboard.
Speaking of the cabin, the JCW GP features unique trim and colour combinations inside, while its 5.0-inch digital instrument cluster is borrowed from the all-electric Cooper SE that was revealed in July.