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No more teasing shoots and here are all the details you want to know on soon to be arriving in March 2020 the MINI GP3 the last hurrah to the 3rd Generation F-Series MINI.

Here all the main details you need to know about the MINI GP3:

  • Limited to 3,000 units worldwide (UK – 575 units & US – 400-500 units)
  • 306 bhp & 450 nm of Torque from the revised 2-litre engine
  • 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 164 mph
  • 8-Speed Steptronic Automatic & Torsen Mechanical Differential
  • Multistage traction control with GP Mode
  • Lightweight wheels with Hankook track-focused tyres
  • 20mm wider front track & 10mm reduced ride height from JCW with adaptive suspension
  • Rear seats deleted with a rear brace
  • Nappa Leather steering wheel with metal 12 o’clock position and GP metal paddle shifters
  • Digital & Analogue Dials
  • Improved Aerodynamics with Carbon Fibre Arches & Rear wing
  • 90mm exhaust tips finished in matte brushed stainless steel
  • Darkened LED headlights & rear lights and Black MINI badges
  • Exclusive metallic Racing Grey paint with metallic melting silver roof
  • Unique GP side stripe with individual numbers on Carbon Blades
  • Preorder is now available at your retailers with RRP of £33,895 (US – $44,900)
  • GT Touring Pack (£2,000 – Option)- Adds dual-zone air- conditioning, heated front seats and Navigation Plus – which includes Satellite Navigation and wireless charging
  • First UK deliveries start in March 2020

Now with the key points outlined will this be ultimate F56 when it comes out?? I still loved R56 GP2 which I test drove for review a while a back which was still raw, and they just turned the R56 up to 12.

I am not gonna lie the F56 series MINI has been a bitter disappointment to me and the only model that I have driven from the range that has made me smile has been the F56 MINI Hatch Cooper and F56 JCW Convertible as they charm to them. The Cooper had all the power you wanted as it was fun extracting it from its peppy engine while the Convertible JCW brought back some of the visceral rawness of what a MINI should be.

I am yet to drive the F55 Clubman JCW with its ALL4 drive with the same engine as the MINI GP3, but in the real world, the clubman will be faster! It’s ALL4 will allow a quicker 0 to 60 dash at 4.9 compared to the GP3s 5.2 plus you can take your mates with you.

The proof will be in the driving when I get a hold of a set of keys from MINI or a JCW clubman owner willing to borrow it me for a while. Probably the car I am most excited to drive along with the MINI Cooper SE.

Now the car has officially unveiled it has grown on me, and I see more details on it which are cooler than first perceived. The Carbon blades don’t look that much out of place, but I can see it being a nightmare in the real world – people trying to clean them and a lot of people touching them when you are away from it. Plus I am annoyed there is no manual option as the torque figure was too high for them to justify so auto won that fight : (

They should have made the mirror caps Red to follow tradition and the lower grille should have been black as that lower grille is something you don’t want to highlight…

GP numbers on the roof again for tradition reasons but the mega disappointment has been the wheels as they are very much lacklustre. The whole 3rd Gen MINI range as it’s like they gave up in that design department. But the person who made the centre caps deserves needs promotion to head of wheel design.

The wing again should have followed tradition with being carbon fibre and my OCD is kicking off with the base being red next to a silver roof!! Just why why why why

The paddles look nice, but the top parts should have been longer as everyone drives differently and they should have looked to supercars for better inspiration.

Alright, enough of the negatives here are my positives – dark line headlights & rear lights, black door handles, black fuel cap and black badges are perfect but that new racing grey paint though really pops under the sun! The upper red bar grill intake is a pleasant update to get more in and go with the GP3 more power theme.

Interior is where they did their best work with the rear seat delete being something to behold than a rush job with the GP logo, flush carpet and new back strut brace design. New seats are a nice touch with the grey and GP logo, but you will be glad for the new digital with GP interface. It will make you feel that much special every time you got in with GP door stills and mats.

The better diffuser is welcomed as well but could have had a more menace to it. My favourite touch of them all is the matte brushed stainless steel trim exhaust tips. They are something very different much a new look, so it caught my eye straight away.

I thought they were titanium when I did walk around the Goodwood festival of speed back in the summer.

Now that we have done everything at face value, let’s dive deeper into the changes under the hood and beyond.

The engine was revamped to achieve the new power levels with the following upgrades:

  1. Reinforced crankshaft with enlarged main bearing diameter, specific pistons, bushless connecting rods and a new torsional vibration damper with optimised cooling.
  2. New turbocharger integrated into the exhaust manifold and fitted with a divert-air valve that optimises response.
  3. The compression ratio has been reduced from 10.2 to 9.5 in line with the increased boost pressure provided by the system.
  4. The updated intake air duct has an enlarged inlet, and flow cross-sections and the increased capacity of the noise damper ensure maximum de-throttling.
  5.  New multi-hole injectors, arranged centrally between the valves to increased flow rate and transporting the fuel into the combustion chambers at an injection pressure of up to 350 bar.

Maximum torque is created at 1,750 rpm to 4,500 with 306 bhp is achieved at 5,000 to 6,250 rpm in the rev range.

With all this new power there was a need for more cooling so there an additional two external coolant coolers. The expansion tank is enlarged for increased volume with a specially designed coolant module storage system and an electric fan with increased output to maintain the optimum operating temperature at all times. In addition, the crankcase cooling system can be temporarily shut off employing a new split- cooling valve to optimise the engine’s warm-up response.

The transmission helps put the power down with an integrate Torsen Mechanical Differential, which can lock up to 31%. To avoid track action issues the transmission has it’s own separate cooling circuit when you out chasing down lap times. GP mode makes a return to give you some slip with traction control but always there on hand to keep you safe if you need it when hooning or a track star.

GP3 has been given underbody bracing by the tunnel bridge is replaced by solid support for the modified rear axle. While the front has been its strut brace for increased rigidity with refreshed new suspension setup and increases front and rear camber.

Continuing with the steering of the GP3 there are stiffer rubber bearings in the support bearings of the front and rear axles. The four wishbones on the rear axle are fitted on the outside with clearance-free metal ball sleeve joints instead of rubber mounts, while on the inside there are highly rigid rubber mounts.

Now if you want to slow everything down there 4 pot front calipers are made of aluminium and combined with 360 × 30 mm ventilated discs. These are encased by 8-inch lightweight forged wheels (8.0 J × 18) weighing less than 9kg. 225/35/18 Hankook tyres make a return to the brand with a choice of road Ventus S1 Evo Z or semi-slicks TD. These are covered by the carbon blades which are formed reclaimed carbon from the i8 & i3 manufacturing. The carbon fibre goodness also helps widen the front track by 40mm wider than a standard F56 JCW.

Hopefully, with all these significant upgrades and improvement, the GP3 will live up to previous to GP name both on track and road. As soon as I can get behind the wheel of one I will be sure to give you my feedback whether it fills up the shoes of the legacy of the slaying everything around its class.

 

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