The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is set to debut at IAA Cars 2017. The BMW Group chose the event in Frankfurt to unveil its hottest hatchback. The design study was inspired by the car maker’s legendary triumphs in the Monte Carlo Rally exactly 50 years ago. It embodies undiluted dynamic flair and the ultimate in driving fun – on both the race track and the road. The concept car picks up the baton from the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP and 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit. These exclusive models explored the outer limits of their performance capability at the time and were strictly limited to 2,000 examples worldwide for 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, the member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad. “This is driving fun in its purest form.”
The Design – Compact Proportions and Sporting Agility
The hot hatch exudes dynamism and power – probably because it’s significantly wider than the current MINI. Large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a prominent roof spoiler create an aggressive presence. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre optimises the car’s power-to-weight ratio, while its wide track and prominently flared wheel arches promise top-level handling and high cornering speeds.
The Front End
The front end is dominated by large air intakes and precisely moulded air deflectors and cuts a low-to-the-road figure. Crisply cut add-on elements frame the smooth MINI silhouette and highlight the race track focus of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept when viewed head-on.
The exterior is finished in Black Jack Anthracite paint – which shimmers between grey and black– and accented with Curbside Red metallic (a matte red shade). This provides a fresh take on the classic John Cooper Works’ red and visually accentuates the symmetry of the performance and add-ons. The Curbside Red metallic also contrasts with the Highspeed Orange inside the rims and brings extra verve to the wheel design.
At the centre of the front end, distinctive MINI design cues such as elliptical headlights and the hexagonal radiator grille sharpen the car’s identity. Elements like the powerdome, including the prominent air scoop in the bonnet and 19-inch Racetrack lightweight wheels in a classic multi-spoke design underline the concept’s performance aspirations.
MINI + High Performance + Race-Track Feeling = John Cooper Works
The character of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is defined by a motorsport heritage spanning more than five decades. The classic Mini was transformed by legendary sports car designer John Cooper. It’s now a byword for driving fun on the road, and an extraordinarily successful competitor on the racetrack and rally scene. A motor sport career which began 50 years ago included a hat-trick of victories in the Monte Carlo Rally. Today, the John Cooper Works name is synonymous with products where quality is rooted in established motorsport know-how.
“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 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.”