YOU may remember the story about some bloke going round Amsterdam at night and “upgrading” random cars.
He was sticking cardboard air scoops and spoilers on to ordinary motors to turn them into supercars. Funny.
Well, he’s quite clearly working for Mini now — or the Mini designers smoke the same funny fags.
I am, of course, referring to the new Mini GP, with its comical wheel arches and enormous rear wing. Both of which have zero aero benefit.
It looks a bit Hot Wheels and will probably date very quickly. But do you know what? I absolutely love it.
I’d have one tomorrow if I had £35k to spare and only needed two seats.
The brochure will tell you that this is the “fastest, most powerful Mini ever built” and it is not wrong. It’s a proper live-wire.
The 2-litre engine — nicked off the BMW M135i — sends 306hp to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential.
The grip is spectacular. Body roll is non-existent. And it just begs to be nailed everywhere. It only knows full attack.
Here are some numbers: 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds — six-tenths quicker than a Honda Civic Type R — and it keeps on charging all the way up to 164mph.
I know it’s not exactly cheap but the Mini GP can demolish sports cars at twice the price. Want one? Your choices are simple.
Grey with red detailing. Or grey with red detailing. Eight-speed paddleshift auto. Again, nicked off BMW. Or eight-speed paddleshift auto. No manual. But paddles are quicker than your brain.
Engineers also decided we only need one suspension setting, which is hardcore. No half measures. And you can’t adjust the steering weight either. Which I like. Keep it simple.
Now let’s have a poke around the cabin. Superb driving position. Excellent build quality. Digital instrument panel.
The steering wheel paddles are 3D-printed, as is the dash panel which displays your build number. Mini are making 3,000, with 575 for the UK.
This is the most extreme Mini yet but it still has luxuries like padded and heated seats and a centre armrest. Mistakes? It needs luggage nets in the back because that red strut brace won’t stop your shopping from ending up in your lap.
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That said, you won’t buy this car for practicality. Or for cheap running costs for that matter.
You’ll buy it for the looks and performance. Mini has gone “all-in” and that’s exactly what you want from a hot hatch.
- Thank you to blytonpark.co.uk for letting us come and play.
Engine: 2-litre turbo petrol
Power: 306hp, 450Nm
0-62mph: 5.2 secs
Top speed: 164mph
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