Mini John Cooper Works GP

The Mini faithful fondly remember the John Cooper Works GP (pictured above). Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006, the GP edition was the fastest version of the first-gen Mini hatchback. It packed 218 horsepower, 180 pound-feet of torque, a beefier suspension and – thanks to the removal of the back seats and air-conditioning – 88 fewer pounds to motivate. The result was a 6.5-second sprint to 60 and a 146-mph top speed. Only 444 examples were made available shortly before the second-gen Mini was introduced.

Now, word on the street is that Mini is preparing a new GP version. Few details are available at this point, but considering that the current JCW packs 208 hp from its 1.6-liter turbo four, we ought to be looking at 220 horses or more in the new GP. To make things simpler, in fact, Mini could be preparing to shoe-horn in the engine being developed for the JCW Countryman, which is expected to pack more power than the JCW hatchback in order to get its heftier curb weight moving.

Given that the previous GP edition was a two-seat affair, we can't help but wonder if Mini will turn to the new Coupe for this GP. But for now, we'll just have to sit tight and see what the Anglo-German automaker has in store for its most hard-core fanatics.