The 2020 Honda Civic Type R has long been Edmunds' favorite hot hatchback, but now its crown is under threat from a new challenger: the limited-edition 2021 Mini John Cooper Works GP. It's the most powerful and expensive production Mini ever. There's a lot of similarity here. Both cars are either new or updated; have front-wheel drive and more than 300 horsepower; and are uncompromising in their pursuit of performance.
Mini already produces a John Cooper Works version of the Hardtop 2 Door, but the GP edition is even more extreme. Limited to just 3,000 cars sold globally, the GP boasts eccentric styling and even dispenses with the rear seats in the pursuit of ultimate performance.
The styling of the Civic Type R is scarcely less extroverted but retains the four-door, five-seat practicality of the standard Civic. Think of it as a more expensive, athletic and focused sibling to the sport-lite Civic Si. For 2020, Honda subtly updated the Type R with styling tweaks, revised suspension tuning and improved engine cooling.
Honda Civic Type R vs. Mini JCW GP — it's a battle for performance hatchback supremacy.