The Mini John Cooper Works GP is now in its third iteration. It’s also the JCW model to get if unbridled performance is what you need. Since 2006, it’s been the go-to Mini for performance fans, and the latest version is getting some attention from Manhart, the aftermarket tuning house. It’s called the Manhart GP3 F350, and there are some big changes.
Power increases from the current 301 bhp (224 kilowatts) and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque to 350 bhp (260 kW) and 390 lb-ft (530 Nm). The tuner remaps the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine’s ECU, adds a Manhart intercooler from Airtec, and installs a cat-back exhaust system with a four-stage flap control. Manhart also replaces the pipe for the petrol particulate filter.
Gallery: Manhart Mini JCW GP3 F350
One thing Manhart didn’t do was go crazy with the suspension upgrades. However, it did add lowering springs, lowering the hatchback by 20 millimetres (inches) in the front and 15 (XX in.) in the rear. The company is developing a coil-over suspension system for the car, though. Matte black 19-inch Manhart Concave One rims sit at all four corners.
Visually, Manhart upgrades the wing/fender flares, installs a large rear wing, and adds a dash of colour with heritage decorative stripes and accents in gold. Inside, the boot strut has black Manhart lettering. Manhart will offer other upgrades, too, upon request, such as a digital multi-function gauge, and various interior and exterior parts from Cravenspeed.
Manhart is limiting the production of the GP3 F350, but it won’t be where the company’s tuning and tinkering ends. There’ll be another limited edition JCW GP, according to the company, There’ll be other upgrades, too, like a carbon intake, another exhaust system, downpipes, and more. Those wanting a bit more performance from their Mini can look to Manhart in the coming months.
THE MANHART GP3 F350
Almost 20 years have passed since MINI were successfully revived as a BMW brand. The small car is particularly popular in the high-performance model variants, in which the much-cited go-kart feeling is particularly pronounced. The crowning glory is the limited John Cooper Works GP, which was recently launched in its third edition. Of course, the top version soon created interest at MANHART Performance and its Dutch partner MINIspeed.eu, powered by Beek Auto Racing. The result is the MANHART GP3 F350 – which, like the basic model, is produced in a strictly limited edition
As usual, the number in the new name stands for the performance value. Instead of the already generous performance of 306 HP and 450 Nm sent to the front wheels of the small car, the turbocharged B48 two-liter four-cylinder of the JCW GP now generates an impressive 350 HP, while the maximum torque increases to 530 Nm. This increase has been achieved through ECU remapping by the Dutch MINI specialists at Beek Auto Racing in The Hague and the installation of a MANHART intercooler from Airtec. The offer also includes a replacement pipe for the gasoline particulate filter and a MANHART cat-back exhaust system, manufactured by Remus. Thanks to a four-stage flap control, the latter allows an even more robust motorsport sound than the standard system.
In addition, the optimized MINI also receives adjustments in terms of its looks that further refine the extremely sporty appearance even in the standard condition, thanks in part to the fender flares and a large rear wing: the team from JDCustoms from the Netherlands provided the full black matt film, the heritage decorative stripes and accents in gold. The trunk strut with black MANHART lettering and the decorative stripes on the horns of the matt black MANHART Concave One rims have the same color. They are screwed to the MINI in 8.5×19 inches and covered with non-slip tires in 235/30 ZR19. Since the JCW GP has a convincing chassis ex works, MANHART limited itself in this regard to the installation of lowering springs manufactured by AST Suspension, which lowers the body by 20 millimeters at the front and 15 millimeters at the rear. In development is a full range with coil-over suspension systems from the Dutch specialists at AST Suspension.
When developing the components for the JCW GP, MANHART worked closely with the Beek Auto Racing team, who also operate one of Europe’s biggest MINI-themed webstores: MINIspeed.eu. In cooperation with this highly successful platform, MANHART will upon request offer various other tuning parts for the John Cooper Works GP, such as the additional digital multi-function gauge from P3Cars or exterior and interior attachments from Cravenspeed.
The F350 is not yet the end of the line for MANHART tuning for the JCW GP. At the moment there are already several other engine stage upgrades in the final phase of development: A carbon intake, as well as downpipes and another exhaust system setups are coming soon, which will make the MINI appear even more powerful. MANHART will soon release another limited edition of the same JCW GP, which will be characterized by another unique color scheme while also being modified in collaboration with its partners in through MANHART style.