In all honesty, we were slightly disappointed by the new Mini JCW GP. It may be mighty fast, but with the 2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox from the BMW M135i, it lacks the traditional sense of fun we’ve come to expect from a run-out special Mini.
Clearly, German tuner Manhart got the wrong end of the stick, because in modifying the third gen GP it’s given it yet more power. Yep, the Manhart GP3 F350 has – you guessed it – 350bhp (plus 530Nm of torque). That’s up from the 302bhp and 450Nm you get as standard, and all the power still goes through the front wheels alone. Crikey.
The increase comes from an ECU remap by Dutch Mini specialists Beek Auto Racing, as well as a new Airtec intercooler and a cat-back exhaust system with four-stage flap control.
Despite the GP3 already being 10mm lower than a JCW, Manhart has dropped it by a further 20mm at the front and 15mm at the rear with some new springs. Apparently a full coil-over system is in the works too.
Then there are the looks. Oh my, the looks. The GP, which was by no means a shrinking violet in the first place, has now been given some rather loud gold accents and a set of matt black 19-inch wheels.
The cost for all this? Well, if you want the fancy Manhart decals included then we’re talking over £10,000 (RM54,897). That’s on top of the £33,685 (RM184,920) you’ll need to buy one of the 3,000 GPs in the first place. Ouch…