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Quickest Mini yet breaks cover

Be warned: BMW is about to unleash the quickest Mini yet - in very limited numbers.

Only 2000 examples of the Mini John Cooper Works GP will be made available for sale. It was shown in public for the first time at the Mini United festival at the Le Castellet circuit in France over the weekend of 11-13 May - and just a few will reach South Africa in the first quarter of 2013.

This, says BMW, is the Mini that went round the 'Ring in 8min23.

The Blue Propeller Boffins have carefully avoided specifying a power output for the new model, beyond saying it has “more spring in its step” than the 2006 Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit - which was the first street-legal Mini to deliver 100kW per litre.

That's 160kW+ from its 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbo engine.

What they do say, however, is that the new John Cooper Works GP went round the Nürburgring's Nordschleife circuit during development in 8min23, almost 19 seconds quicker than the 160kW 2006 Kit car.

According to BMW the special powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics of the John Cooper Works GP were inspired directly by motor sport, including specially developed, adjustable suspension, race-spec brakes and specially made super-soft racing tyres for “spectacular yet precisely controllable handling”.

Large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a special roof spoiler work with a newly developed rear diffuser to optimise airflow around the underbody.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP's interior is as sharply focused on performance as its exterior, with only two sports seats.

Price, as always, when they get here.

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