MINI GP Works

High-performance Works gp ensured the first-generation new MINI went out in style, thanks to sporty body mods, stripped-out cabin and potent powerplant.

When BMW halted production of the first-generation MINI in 2006, it wanted to make sure its baby went out with a bang.

The result was the wild Works GP edition, a stripped-out road racer that promised to be the most extreme MINI ever. It was exclusive, too, with only 2,000 examples being made, all hand-finished by Italian coachbuilding specialist Bertone.

Externally, the GP Works ditches the standard MINI’s cheeky styling in favour of a more muscular look. Deep side skirts, lightweight 18-inch alloys and a carbon fibre spoiler complement the standard Thunder Blue paint, while the roof is numbered to identify which of the 2,000 models you are driving. Climb aboard and the car’s sporty intentions are in no doubt. The rear bench has been removed to save weight, the driver and passenger sit in body-hugging Recaro seats and the dials get a special grey finish.

But you’ll find the biggest changes have been reserved for the GP’s mechanicals. The supercharged 1.6-litre engine pumps out 215bhp – an increase of 45bhp over the standard Cooper S – while the suspension is lowered, stiffened and fitted with lightweight aluminium components. There’s also a limited-slip differential and a special aerodynamic undertray.

On the move, the GP Works serves up undiluted driving thrills. The sprint from 0-60mph takes only 6.5 seconds, while the chassis tweaks mean few cars can match it for entertainment. Fast, fun and a true collectors’ item – the GP Works deserves its status as one of the greatest MINIs ever.

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