The 2021 MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) GP is one hatchback that perhaps best embodies what a “hot hatch” should be in 2021. Take a normal consumer daily driven hatchback, turn the sporty go fast dial to eleven, and out the other end you should get something that keeps you on edge and smiling when strapped in behind the wheel. The 2021 MINI JCW GP does just that.
So, let’s take a moment to appreciate four of the best things this hot hatch has to offer, and as well as two of its worst features.
Best: All The Theater
One thing that many performance car makers get wrong is that they don’t put enough emphasis on the theater of the vehicle. For many, you don’t know your in something special until you put your right foot down, but for many consumers that just isn’t enough. The 2021 MINI JCW GP does not make that mistake!
With the Mini JCW GP you know you are in something special that has some important boxes ticked in the performance department. The interior is null on anything that doesn’t serve a necessary performance purpose. No rear seats drop some weight, while a fancy rear strut bar takes their place. It may do something or may just hold luggage, but who cares, as it looks cool and adds to the ambiance. You also get a red line with a checkered flag, cool-looking 3D printed paddle shifters featuring a checkered flag design and GP logo, and to top it all off the passenger side gets a 3D printed panel to tell you just which 1-of-3,000 JCW GP you bought.
The theater doesn’t stop with interior looks, turning off the traction control enables the hidden “GP Mode,” which frees up the suspension and stability control system for some added fun. It is also the first step required to engage launch control.
Best: Plenty of Power
The 2021 MINI JCW GP comes powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine kicking out a crazy 301 hp and 331 lb.-ft. of torque. 300 horsepower? Crazy? Not in 2021 with all those near 4,000-pound coupes and sedans, but it is when this thing only weighs 2,855 pounds. 300 hp in this car is a hoot!
That power is accessible at your fingertips via an 8-speed automatic transmission and makes its way to the pavement through a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential, offering up a crazy amount of torque-steer. A manual transmission would perhaps have been too much to handle. I can confirm that this auto trans in its manual modes is more than enough to keep you engaged.
Best: The Fastest Production MINI Ever
That power I just raved about brings up the next best thing to brag about at your local Cars & Coffee – this is the fastest production MINI ever. It is capable of an impressive 165 MPH top speed. Throw it in “GP Mode” and turn on launch control and 62 MPH from a standstill takes just 5.2-seconds.
Best: Aggressive Hot Hatch Looks
One look at the 2021 MINI JCW GP and you will probably ask me what my rally stage time was.
Depending on your viewpoint, the biggest attention grabber is the large wing hanging off the back. I imagine it does something for downforce or aerodynamics, but who cares. It looks cool as hell!
You also get the unique carbon fiber composite fender flares. Extra cool points are given, as they are made from the excess production materials from its cousins, the BMW i3 and BMW i8, which both have carbon chassis.
Worst: Big Price
The 2021 MINI JCW GP has a retail price of $45,750 (including the $850 destination charge). That puts it at the top of the price mountain of much of its competition. It is about $5,000 more than the Volkswagen Golf R and near $10,000 more than a Honda Civic Type R.
Worst: Massive Torque Steer
I was just raving about the theater and power of the 2021 MINI JCW GP. Well, part of what gives this car its unique identity is the insane amount of torque steer it requires the driver to fight, and I find it a bit much. From any launch situation, while giving it the full beans, you would are more likely be on someone’s YouTube crash compilation from ping-ponging off cars than you are to take off in a straight line. Be sure to have extra clearance on both sides of the vehicle for safety as you learn how to harness the impressive power that this little car trys to put down.
2021 Mini JCW GP Keeps a Smile Plastered on Your Face
So, as you can see, the 2021 MINI JCP GP is one interesting, smile-inducing vehicle. Sure it has some negatives against it, but for the most part it hits all the marks that MINI was obviously trying to hit. We know we’d like to strap in behind the wheel a few more times and try to tame this little beast.
For all the details and to get a reservation in for one of these limited edition hot hatches click HERE.