LOS ANGELES - BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder engine ever has already found homes under the bonnets of models like the X2 M35i and M135i as well as Mini’s Countryman John Cooper Works, which was recently launched in South Africa, but the engine is now finding its most enthralling application ever in the engine bay of the new Mini John Cooper Works GP hatchback.

Do the dynamite-and-small-packages calculation here, keeping in mind that the engine produces 225kW and 450Nm, and it’s not surprising that some very serious performance credentials are on offer here, with Mini quoting a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 265km/h. It’s not a revvy engine though, with maximum power produced between 5000 and 6250rpm and torque peaking at 1750rpm.

Though its heart may be shared with a range of crossovers, the John Cooper Works GP is loaded with bespoke features that make it an ideal track day toy.

Like its predecessors it’s a two-seater fitted with a cross bar behind the front chairs, and Mini has also left out some of the sound deadening material to save weight and give you a better earful from the model-specific sports exhaust system.

Model-specific is a word you’ll hear a lot of when researching this new model, as it applies to almost everything besides the engine. The GP has its own aerodynamic body package, which includes a large roof spoiler with double wing contours that maximise downforce and a unique front apron that reduces lift, among other design changes that also include the fitment of 18-inch alloy wheels. Oh, and you can only order the GP in one exterior colour, which is Racing Grey metallic with Melting Silver Metallic contrasting roof and mirror caps.

Of course, the 10mm-lower suspension system was also fine-tuned for this model, as was the eight-speed automatic transmission, which as an integrated mechanical diff lock for the front wheels, and the high performance braking system is unique to this car too.

Speaking of unique, the John Cooper Works garage is only planning to build 3000 examples of the GP, with a limited quantity set to hit South Africa in the third quarter of 2020, so hurry with that order. No price tag has been mentioned as yet.

IOL Motoring