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Mini celebrates rally heritage with JCW GP Concept

Design study maximizes Mini style and driving fun for road and track

Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept

Inspired by its legendary rally triumphs at the Monte Carlo Rally, Mini is introducing the John Cooper Works GP Concept — a design study that maximizes Mini style and driving fun for the road and track.

It’s also the spiritual successor, and perhaps future production successor, to the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP and 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, both of which were produced in limited numbers (2,000 examples each).

“The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is all about the unfettered feeling of driving and levels of performance found in motor sport competition,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Board of Management member representing the MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad brands.

The concept is significantly wider than the current Mini Cooper, with exaggerated body add-ons such as the low-slung front and rear aprons (with large air intakes and deflectors, and deflectors, rain lights and centre tailpipes, respectively), side skirts and bulging rooftop spoiler, but it’s also lighter thanks to extensive use of carbon-fibre.

“If you know about MINI, you’ll be aware of the brand’s long and successful history in motor sport,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design. “The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept brings together the full suite of defining MINI design features and showcases them at their sportiest and most exciting. What we’re looking at here is maximum performance, maximum MINI.”

And as per custom, the car comes in Black Jack Anthracite with accents in matte Curbside Red Metallic and glossy Highspeed Orange.

On the side, the front fenders are adorned with a number 59, in relief, to point to the year of the Mini’s birth, 1959. It rides on 19-inch lightweight Racetrack wheels accented in Curbside Red and Highspeed Orange, colours that also accent the mirror bases and exterior door handles, respectively. The rear presentation is highlighted by LED taillights in the pattern of half the Union Jack.

The interior has been stripped down to the bare essentials, as you’d expect from a track car — roll cage, a pair of low-in-the-tub racing bucket seats with 5-point harnesses, and pull straps to open the doors. The instrument cluster is also minimal (and duplicated in a head-up display) and shifting is handled by paddles on the steering wheel.

The traditional Mini instrument panel display has been reworked with just the relevant controls for car performance, including the touch controls for the adjustable suspension. The rest of the interior is bare metal, with the exception of the seats, instrument panel and door panels, all of which are black with red or white trim depending on the system.

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