There are few things in life as beautiful to me as an empty stretch of twisting, turning, and undulating pavement viewed through the windscreen of a car that really loves to go. And yes y’all, the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP is a car really loves to go.
Streaking along the narrow two-lane like a laser guided missile, I am very thankful for the diminutive size of MINI’s latest grin-inducing creation. The lane is framed on both sides with heavy vegetation, and just to make it a bit more challenging, there are numerous blind curves.
And oh, did I mention it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the road — in my life.
Thus, the routine for cornering is heel and toe downshifts, feed the GP into the corner gently, reveling in the spitting and popping the 211 horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four emits, while dancing ever so adroitly on the firm and quickly engaging brake pedal. The idea is to give us an entry fast enough to be entertaining, but cautious enough to allow us to reel the little bulldog shaped street racer in, should there happen to be say, a sleeping dog, or a more sluggish driver occupying the apex when the MINI GP and I get there.
Or, what could be even worse, one of my fellow GP testers — coming in the opposite direction.
I love my job.