The new Mini John Cooper Works GP has been revealed, billed as the fastest model the British brand has ever approved for road use.

The hot hatch is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in “limited numbers” (a small selection from the 3 000-unit global production run) from the third quarter of 2020.

Power comes from the BMW Group’s 225 kW/450 N.m version of the turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (yes, as used in the M135i xDrive), which accelerates the two-seater model from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5,2 seconds and on to a top speed of 265 km/h.

Mini says the newcomer – which boasts an “optimised” lightweight construction, additional torsional stiffness and fresh aerodynamics – completed a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in “less than eight minutes”.

Drive is directed to the front wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission with an integrated mechanical differential lock. The JCW GP furthermore gains model-specific oil supply and cooling solutions, a new sports exhaust system, further lowered suspension (some 10 mm closer to the ground than a standard JCW model) and a high-performance braking system.

You’ll be able to identify one out on the road thanks to the model-specific front and rear aprons, the double-wing roof spoiler (with "GP" logo), the dramatically flared carbon wheel arch covers and the 18-inch lightweight forged wheels wrapped in 225/35 R18 rubber. The only exterior paint colour on offer is “Racing Grey” metallic, with the roof and side-mirror caps finished in “Melting Silver” metallic.

Peer inside and you’ll see just two seats, each finished in a Dinamica/leather combination with silver edges, red accents, a “GP” badge and red seat belt straps.