Low-flying Mini: Flamboyant styling comes with matching power, in the form of 225kW. Picture: SUPPLIED
Low-flying Mini: Flamboyant styling comes with matching power, in the form of 225kW. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mini expects the fastest production car in its history to be in European showrooms by March 2020 after it was unveiled in Los Angeles.

Limited to just 3,000 production cars, the John Cooper Works GP is claimed to run to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, though its most prominent feature isn’t speed, but an enormous two-tier rear wing.

The three-door hatchback also scores a new front apron and enormous carbon-fibre wheel arch panels, 18-inch forged alloy wheels, four-piston front brake calipers and some unique interior bits and pieces.

Now reduced to a pure two seater, the GP will be louder inside, thanks to the ditching of some sound deadening, and it uses 3D printed honeycomb shift paddles.

It saves 85kg over the JCW, mostly by ditching the rear seats, so it weighs only 1,255kg even though it can be fitted with satellite navigation, wireless charging and front seat heating.

It also rides 10mm lower than even the stock John Cooper Works (JCW) Mini and the track widths are boosted for extra grip and there are also new parts to dial in extra camber angles at the front.

It has the same power as the recently-launched JCW, a 2.0l, turbocharged four-cylinder engine which delivers 225kW and 450Nm to the front wheels — the most muscular engine in Mini history.

Its exhaust system will be loud and inspired by “motor racing”, and there’s a new cooling setup as well.

The performance envelope is planned to top out at just beyond 260km/h, by which time that enormous rear wing should be actually cancelling out some lift.

While 225kW is a lot of power to put through the front wheels, it’s helped by a mechanical differential lock and the car’s only powertrain includes an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The normal two-step dynamic stability control has a special mode for the GP that frees it up to slide and buck a bit more.

The Mini JCW GP will go on local sale in the third quarter of 2020.