New Mini John Cooper Works GP

Spy shots pretty much said it's coming, and here it is: the new Mini John Cooper Works GP. It's making an appearance at the Mini United Festival in France this weekend, and while Mini has yet to detail specific power numbers or show off the car's interior, it has produced a Nurburgring time: 8 minutes, 23 seconds, which, as we reported back in April, betters the last Mini GP (circa 2006) by 19 seconds.

Like its predecessor, the GP-spec hardtop loses its back seat for weight reduction, gets a full complement of power and suspension upgrades, including a race-spec suspension and brakes, and sports exclusive aero tweaks, wheels and graphics to differentiate itself from "regular" JCW models. Figure on a power figure north of the 214 horses the last GP produced (standard JCW Minis make 208 hp right now). Only 2,000 of the new Mini JCW GPs will be built and sold globally.

Given that the regular John Cooper Works models are fairly marvelous as is, the GP should be deliriously fun. No pricing yet, but since a loaded-up John Cooper Works easily runs into the high-$30K range now, we'd expect the limited-production GP to skip right past the $40,000 mark.

Now, when are they unveiling the GP Coupe?