The slightly tweaked engine spins with an addictive and more pronounced supercharger whine to an increased 7150-rpm redline. The GP rides slightly lower than a Cooper S and has shorter, retuned dampers. Overall, the changes give the GP excellent handling but highlight the need for more suspension travel. Also, the standard limited-slip differential improves traction out of slow corners, but it brings along torque steer that flaws the otherwise excellent steering.
With its cartoonish looks, undiluted spec, and extra margin of performance, the Works GP kit is a fitting way to fire up Mini geeks in the U.S. before the next-generation car arrives early next year.