News and Reviews

John Drives the Limited Edition MINI JCW GP

November, 2015

For many years John Hughes has had a fitness trainer come to his home gym for an hour a day, two days a week and aside from their mutual interest in boxing and weights, the two share a fascination of fast and unusual vehicles.

In 2013, John’s trainer mentioned that a (very) limited number of the coveted John Cooper Works GP specials were being released and made available for sale in Australia and asked if John would be able to secure one with his connections in the trade.

To put this request into perspective it’s important to note that only two were coming to WA and one had already been sold. Luckily, John’s friendship with the owner of the state’s distributor allowed him to secure the other one.

A few weeks later, John received a phone call stating that an additional model had become available in WA and was there if he wanted it. Appreciating that these vehicles could become a collector’s item, John agreed to take up the offer. But the joy of this purchase was to be short-lived.

John was quick to realise that a manual with no rear seats or cruise control wasn’t the ride for him and made the switch to a limited edition Golf R Wolfsburg.

As a result, the JCW GP has clocked less than 1,500 kilometres and has been sitting in the Prestige Car Showroom for nearly three years. It is currently waiting for a new owner and home.

The Porsche Approach to a MINI Track Toy

Clearly engineered with the racetrack in mind, the JCW GP offers an impressive list of sporty features:

  • 1.6-litre turbo engine
  • 10 speaker sound system
  • Xenon headlights
  • Under-body panelling
  • Sport button sharpen up acute response
  • Anti-roll bars

It weighs a total of 1160kg and can reach 100km/hr in 6.3 seconds; making the MINI JCW GP one of the most enjoyable and exciting rides imaginable. It’s definitely well worth a test drive.

Uniqueness Through a Refined Features List

There isn’t a lot of room for many additional extras and this is something MINI has addressed with a ‘less is more’ approach. That said the vehicle does have keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, air conditioning, climate control and electric front windows.

The black upholstery heated and is accented by the red lining’s vibrancy, giving the JCW GP a finished look that’s both highly stylish and functional.

How Does the JCW GP Handle?


John used to race MINI Coopers in his younger days and if there’s one thing he knows, it’s what a small car needs to be a great driving experience. The engine’s Overboost function is there to increase the torque from 260Nm to 280Nm through the turns, giving it that extra kick.

The adjustable coil-cover suspension is 20mm lower than the standard JCW by default, but it can be lowered even further for those who might like to increase the vehicle’s responsiveness and drag — though with precision steering and excellent traction, it’s completely optional.

Ultimately, the John Cooper Works GP is an incredibly composed ride from start to finish and is bound to tick all the boxes for both car aficionados and motoring enthusiasts.

What’s So Special About the Golf R Wolfsburg?

John’s blue Wolfsburg is one of several hundred in the country and is much more than an upgraded version of the Golf R. It comes with a range of features that are just not present in the non-collectible counterpart’, including:

  • Black 19″ Pretoria alloy wheels
  • Black Mirrors and Roof Rails
  • Carbon Nappa leather upholstery
  • Wolfsburg Edition badging

Features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking do come as standard but such upgrades can be obtained by owners of the original Golf R — provided they pay for the $1200 Driver Assistance Package.

How Do the Two Compare in Terms of Speed?

Though the JCW GP and Gold R Wolfsburg may look distinctly different, their framework is influenced by a similar design mentality. The Wolfsburg’s turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine puts out 206kW of power and 380Nm, which allows the vehicle to reach 100km/hr in just 5.0 seconds.

Should speed not be an issue, the uniqueness and exclusivity of the JCW GP should be enough to give it the edge. But as John found, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

If you have a genuine interest in either the limited edition MINI JCW GP or VW Golf R Wolfsburg, call 1300 799 060 to book a test drive. Alternatively, you can always browse our range of used MINI Cooper hatchbacks for something a little more down to Earth.

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