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Mini has released fresh images of its upcoming John Cooper Works GP testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, while also confirming how many units will be built.

The hottest of Mini’s hot hatches (which the BMW-backed brand describes as an “extreme sports car”) will hit initial markets in 2020, with 3 000 units set to be produced globally. For the record, both the original 2006 Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP kit and the 2012 John Cooper Works GP were produced in limited 2 000-unit runs.

Mini promises the JCW GP will boast a model-specific suspension arrangement, “weight-optimised” construction and “precisely defined” aerodynamic properties. A glance at the accompanying images shows the newcomer will feature large air intakes, big alloys and a hefty rear wing.

Of course, we already know the new model will use the BMW Group’s latest turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, offering more than 220 kW (likely similar to the 225 kW/450 N.m outputs of the BMW X2 M35i and new M135i).

That’s enough, says Mini, for the new model to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than eight minutes (compared with the preceding model’s time of 8:23 minutes.

Both the new Mini Countryman and Audi Q2 are recent entrants to the South African market. How do these new crossovers fare in terms of safety? Euro NCAP investigates...

First up, the Mini:

After being subjected to the Euro NCAPs battery of crash tests and collision avoidance assessments the Mini Countryman emerged with a five-star safety rating; incorporating adult occupant protection (90%), child protection (80%) and pedestrian protection (64%).

The test vehicle was fitted with auto emergency breaking (AEB), a standard feature across the range in Europe. Pedestrian detection is optional and was thus not considered for this test.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen says, We hope to see as fast an adoption of AEB systems that detect cyclists when tests of those systems form part of the rating next year, as AEB is playing an increasingly important role in holistic vehicle crash test evaluations.

Next, the Audi:

The Audi Q2 crossover also received optimal (5-star) crash test scores, including 93% for adult occupant protection, 86% for child protection and 70% for pedestrian protection. The Q2 also received praise for having AEB as standard in most markets.

It should be noted, however, that AEB forms part of optional additional safety packages on both the Countryman and Q2 in South Africa.



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