MINI John Cooper Works GP concept is ready for the track

Laverne Mann
September 7, 2017

Look back to former John Cooper Works iterations that were developed for the track and brought to the road to remind us of its legacy in racing, each becoming quicker and more precise as time goes on. That refers to the year 1959 when the classic MINI was born.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member responsible for Mini says this concept aims to encapsulate the emotion captured by these performance Minis.

Rear lights with a Union Jack motif are featured here, just as they were on the electric concept, as well as bold graphics taking the place of traditional plastic badging. This one, simply called the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept, continues the design themes of those production cars, and takes them to an extreme.

"If you know about MINI, you'll be aware of the brand's long and successful history in motor sports", Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, said in a statement. But that's not the only concept Mini will have at the Frankfurt show.


"Cooper" was equipped with a roll cage, racing buckets with five-point safety belts, digital instrument panel, projection display, and also replaced the shift lever on the paddle shifters. It's flanked by more conventional controls for engine start-stop and and large emergency cut-off button. The rear seat, headliner and other trim elements are deleted in the interests of weight saving.

As you can see, this is no ordinary MINI Cooper. Much use is made of lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre, with careful management of weight distribution held as key to delivering "MINI's signature go-kart feeling". In keeping with tradition, this would make the new John Cooper Works GP, the most powerful Mini hatchback yet.

There's no information on the powertrain, but based on what we've seen with previous GP models, don't expect a production version to pack a lot of power.

Technical information is as light as its construction, but Mini does reveal that the auto rides on 19-inch lightweight racing wheels and has a touchscreen for making adjustments to the suspension settings on the fly.

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