So after deciding that the Mini JCW GP2 may be a suitable replacement for my Renault Clio V6 I arranged to test drive one at my local dealers.
Apart from the stickers and the aero kit it benefitted from a programme of upgrades: new adjustable-ride-height coilover suspension providing increased camber and reduced front toe-in for greater agility, an all-new braking system featuring six-piston calipers and 330mm front discs, GP-specific and super-sticky trackday tyres, and reconfigured stability control functions including a more aggressive Electronic Differential Lock Control. Also there are no rear seats, just a brace. So, the Works GP had all the makings of a new hero hot hatch.
It turned out the the 'adjustable' suspension was not really adjustable at all. There are two settings, low and high and this needs to be done at a dealership with a tracking check each time. This was disappointing as ideally I could adjust the suspension from low to high at the track.
On the rest drive I was unable to unleash anywhere the Mini JCW GP's potential however the ride was sure and the chassis seemed stiff. The steering was clean and precise and my overall impression was that this car could be a suitable replacement.
When reading a few reviews of the Mini JCW GP2 on track I'm left with the impression that it’s a stiff, hyper-agile car and with plenty of torque-steer and even more lift-off oversteer, that is something of a shock when first experienced. However, the sheer enthusiasm and focus make this car shine.
On the depreciation front the Mini JCW GP2 are holding their values well with most dealers looking for around £21K to £23K for low mileage cars.
I left the dealership in a positive frame of mind thinking the Mini JCW G2 could be the one. However, further research highlighted that the suspension was pretty poor and would fall apart after around 10,000 miles, so KW Suspensions would be a required replacement. The electronic differential lock control was also not that great, however a Quaife ATB differential would improve handling significantly.
So after I had purchased a car and installed the bits and pieces required to make it more track focused I would be looking to spend around £25,000 for a car that was not much faster, but handled better than my Clio V6.
After much deliberation, I have decided that the Mini JCW GP2 is not the car for me.Read more