MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept World Premiere

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“The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is all about the unfettered feeling of driving and levels of performance found in motor sport competition.”Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG
The world premiere of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept turns the brand’s stand into a pit lane at the 67th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. The concept study is race track ready but also suitable to daily use. The car is inspired by MINI’s triumphs in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally exactly 50 years ago. This design study embodies undiluted driving dynamics and the ultimate in driving fun on the race track and the road. The concept car picks up from the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP and 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit. Produced in strictly limited numbers (2,000 examples each), these two models explored the outer limits of their performance capability at the time.
“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, 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.”

Significantly wider than the current MINI, the design study exudes aggression and power. Large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a prominent roof spoiler create an impressive appearance. The use of lightweight materials including carbon fibre optimises the car’s power-to-weight ratio. And evenly balanced weight distribution adds o the MINI’s signature go-kart feeling.

“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.”

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The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is pared back to its core elements with a roll cage and little more than a pair of low-mounted bucket seats with five-point belts and a cleanly-designed instrument panel. Gearshift is by paddles on the steering wheel.

All the elements of the interior are driver focused. The display and control concept with digital instrument cluster and Head-Up Display places the relevant information for the situation at hand directly in the driver’s eye-line, allowing absolute focus on the road to be maintained. Interaction between driver and car is otherwise digital, notably touch-control adjustment of suspension settings in MINI’s familiar central instrument. As digitalisation dictates, the display here is now in large-screen format. It is left to the large emergency cut-off button and the traditional MINI toggle switches with start/stop button to provide a bridge between the digital and analogue worlds.

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The character of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is defined by a motorsport heritage which stretches back over more than five decades. The classic Mini was transformed by legendary sports car designer John Cooper into a byword for driving fun on the road and an extraordinarily successful competitor in the race and rally scene. A motor sport career which began exactly 50 years ago reached its zenith with three overall victories in the Monte Carlo Rally. Today, the John Cooper Works name is synonymous with products and models whose quality is rooted in established motor sport know-how and an association with the British premium small car which dates back all those years. The result: the motor sport experience comes roaring into everyday life.

The design is unmistakably inspired by motor racing and promises to deliver an authentic, unadulterated and intense race feeling. Together with the turbocharged engine and suspension technology designed for use on the race track, the exterior and interior of the concept study form a precisely harmonised overall package for thrilling performance.

Compact dimensions, short overhangs, large tracks, optimised weight, a low centre of gravity and a balanced axle load distribution are design principles that helped the classic Mini three achieve overall victories at the Monte Carlo Rally along with other legendary motor racing triumphs five decades ago. The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept combines these principles with large front and rear aprons, aerodynamically optimised side sills and a striking roof spoiler. The extremely sporty style of the exterior design is underscored with a body finish in Black Jack Anthracite enhanced by accentuations in Curbside Red metallic and Highspeed Orange. The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and other lightweight materials is clearly visible, too. The authentic character of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is defined by perfect unity of form and function, with a design that promotes both performance qualities and a highly emotional look.

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In the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept, traditional racing expertise and progressive technology form the basis for passionate driving fun – on both race track and road. In the interior, the roll-over cage, bucket seats, a puristically designed cockpit and the lack of a rear seat clearly indicate the sporty ambitions of the concept study. But this reduction to the absolute essentials is combined with state-of-the-art digitalisation, too: the MINI Head-Up Display facilitates concentration on what is happening on the road or race track, while the suspension settings can be adjusted by means of a touchscreen in the central instrument.

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