The new MINI concept has taken a few people by surprise, as the GP Concept has appeared not at the end of the lifespan of a MINI type, but right now. Previously we have seen a Works GP in 2006 and then again in 2012 at the end of each production model lifespan. This concept is possibly more aggressive and striking than any previous MINI you may have seen. In fact, I actually had to look twice at the front view image before I realised it was actually a MINI hatchback.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is upon us, and the GP Concept will make its debut during the show’s 2017 run. You may recall that we recently revealed that the forthcoming Electric MINI Concept would also make an appearance at this show; so excellent planning and timing from MINI for maximum publicity.
While MINI have officially said that they cannot yet confirm whether a hot hatch production model will be produced, it would be foolish not to consider this extreme looking John Cooper Works GP Concept as a precursor to such a model – albeit in slightly watered down form.
BMW say that the concept is a ‘design study’ and inspired by the car’s rich history of Monte Carlo Rally wins from 50 years ago (I would imagine that I’m far from being the only one who instantly connects MINI to either Monte Carlo or The Italian Job – or both).
The large spoiler and front and rear aprons on a car of these relatively small proportions really do change the overall look and appearance, and such as they are, they are pretty unlikely to be carried over to any future production model.
While MINI hasn’t provided any tech specs as yet, we can see that the car features the Union Jack rear LED lights as on the Electric MINI Concept. The GP Concept also has a striking red outlined ‘MINI’ in between the rear lamps. The overall aggressive feel is enhanced by the shiny black paint job with vivid red accents both inside and out, which is also carried over to the 19-inch alloys.
Paddle shift takes control of gear changes, while a subtle black on black ‘0059’ can be seen on the side front panel, a gentle nod of respect to the year 1959, when MINI introduced the Mark I which stayed in production until 1967 when the Mark II took over until 1970. The same black on black makes up the front MINI emblem in a laser cut style, keeping those lines as smooth as possible.
The interior is just as striking as the outside, with an aluminium roll cage and ‘3D’ seating material on the bucket seats. The black and red is joined by copious amounts of silver, which also makes up a fair part of the seat fabric.
While it looks a million miles away from the Monte Carlo MINI of yesteryear, the JCW GP Concept is probably as striking to us now as that Tartan Red coloured rally car of the seventies was back then. You can judge for yourselves at the Frankfurt Motor Show from 16-24 September.