Automotive

Mini cranks up the heat with John Cooper Works GP Concept

Mini cranks up the heat with J...
The new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept provides a glimpse at an aggressive, track-ready Mini
The new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept provides a glimpse at an aggressive, track-ready Mini
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Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Designing the new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
The "0059" badges reference the year the Mini was born: 1959
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The "0059" badges reference the year the Mini was born: 1959
To go along with the concept's aggressive, ride-focused demeanor, Mini has stripped down the interior and put focus squarely on the driver
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To go along with the concept's aggressive, ride-focused demeanor, Mini has stripped down the interior and put focus squarely on the driver
The new concept rides on lightweight, 19-in Racetrack wheels
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The new concept rides on lightweight, 19-in Racetrack wheels
The GP Concept has some extreme ways of handling oncoming air
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The GP Concept has some extreme ways of handling oncoming air
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept sketch
The new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept provides a glimpse at an aggressive, track-ready Mini
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The new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept provides a glimpse at an aggressive, track-ready Mini
Mini has yet to detail the powertrain, but the JCW GP Concept is clearly built to perform and compete
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Mini has yet to detail the powertrain, but the JCW GP Concept is clearly built to perform and compete
The big roof spoiler is one of the new GP Concept's defining features
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The big roof spoiler is one of the new GP Concept's defining features
Ready to race
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Ready to race
The JCW GP Concept will make its world premiere next to the Electric Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show
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The JCW GP Concept will make its world premiere next to the Electric Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show
Mini has emphasized the wedge shaping of the concept's side
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Mini has emphasized the wedge shaping of the concept's side
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
BMW says, "The concept study conveys spontaneous readiness, offering a genuine foretaste of an extremely dynamic serial production model that is constantly able to demonstrate its race track suitability while at the same time reaching a new level of excellence in terms of driving fun in day-to-day traffic due to the fact that is approved for road use," so it looks like a GP production model might follow in the future
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BMW says, "The concept study conveys spontaneous readiness, offering a genuine foretaste of an extremely dynamic serial production model that is constantly able to demonstrate its race track suitability while at the same time reaching a new level of excellence in terms of driving fun in day-to-day traffic due to the fact that is approved for road use," so it looks like a GP production model might follow in the future
Union Jack-style taillights have appeared on a few Mini concepts, including the Electric Concept that will debut at the same time as this one
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Union Jack-style taillights have appeared on a few Mini concepts, including the Electric Concept that will debut at the same time as this one 
The rear includes large lettering, LED lights and central twin tailpipes
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The rear includes large lettering, LED lights and central twin tailpipes 
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
The interior is so stripped it looks unfinished
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The interior is so stripped it looks unfinished
The two racing style bucket seats include five-point harnesses
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The two racing style bucket seats include five-point harnesses
Most of the interior is stripped way down, but the driver is still fully equipped with displays and controls
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Most of the interior is stripped way down, but the driver is still fully equipped with displays and controls 
The touchscreen appears to be much more about drive settings than infotainment
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The touchscreen appears to be much more about drive settings than infotainment
Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
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Inside the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept 
View gallery - 36 images

Mini's not-always-so-mini production line-up is an acquired taste, but its concepts and special editions often show unique styling and ideas that lend to broader appeal. Whether it's a tent plopped squarely atop a Countryman roof, a Clubman dressed up like a scrambler, or an electric roadster penned by some of Italy's finest, Mini's concepts have a way of opening the mind to new possibilities in small (or not so small) commuting. In Frankfurt, the mind will be entertaining the idea of an utterly aggressive Cooper that epitomizes "driving fun in its purest form," on road and on track.

The new Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept will join the Electric Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, creating a bit of "naughty and nice" interplay on Mini's stand. It's not the first GP-spec Mini to lay rubber on asphalt, but as a concept car, it looks well more extreme than the 2012 JCW GP or 2006 Mini Cooper S with JCW GP Kit.

Each of the two previous GP models was the fastest Mini of its time, but since Mini hasn't dropped all the JCW GP Concept's specs, it's not clear if the new concept joins the "fastest Mini ever" club. It's also not clear how powerful the turbo engine is, but whatever that number, the mean, little track car is sure to make efficient use of it thanks to a performance-boosting aerodynamics kit, race-inspired suspension, and optimized and balanced weight.

Mini has yet to detail the powertrain, but the JCW GP Concept is clearly built to perform and compete
Mini has yet to detail the powertrain, but the JCW GP Concept is clearly built to perform and compete

The GP Concept's huge roof spoiler is visible from virtually every possible angle. Depending on which angle you're viewing from, that spoiler jostles for attention with updates like the dramatic side slashes, large front intakes, side skirts or flared arches.

The front-end wears a particularly aggressive look, its dramatic splitter jutting out far enough to make the car look like it wants to literally suck itself onto the asphalt below. The widened track, air scooped hood, and broad honeycomb grille add to the powerful, race-inspired look.

The big roof spoiler is one of the new GP Concept's defining features
The big roof spoiler is one of the new GP Concept's defining features

Badging, numbering and a few add-on design cues around the body let you know exactly what this Mini concept is all about. The taillights incorporate the Union Jack in their design, and "0059" numbering represents the Mini's 1959 launch. Curbside Red Metallic and Highspeed Orange accents explode to life off the Black Jack Anthracite paint, further enhancing sportiness, and a rather un-mini "Mini" on the rear fascia ensures you don't mistake the concept for any other make as it speeds away down-track.

Many of the GP Concept's most defining visual features are also its lightest, the construction of the front apron, side sills and rear vents capitalizing on carbon fiber. Mini doesn't specify a final weight but emphasizes weight savings as integral to the concept's build.

Saved weight is also integral to the car's interior design, where two bucket seats sit inside a roll cage with little fanfare or dress. Mini has pulled out the rear bench, headliner and majority of interior trim, and a fire extinguisher mounted to the bare floor between the seats adds an exclamation point to the no-nonsense, weight-chopping approach.

Most of the interior is stripped way down, but the driver is still fully equipped with displays and controls
Most of the interior is stripped way down, but the driver is still fully equipped with displays and controls 

That's not to say that all modern cabin technology is left behind at the starting line, though. Mini has created a driver-focused cockpit with head-up display, digital instrument cluster and ride-focused central touch control hub. Paddle shifters are mounted on the steering wheel, and a few toggles and switches add a touch more hard control in the center stack.

Mini has designed the new GP Concept in honor of the 50th anniversary of its racing triumphs at the Monte Carlo Rally and mentions the prospect of a street-legal production version. We're looking forward to learning more about the Mini Electric Concept, but the GP Concept is the one we're looking forward to seeing. We will be checking them both out when the Frankfurt Motor Show opens to the media on September 12 and will bring you all the details that Mini sees fit to reveal.

Source: BMW/Mini

View gallery - 36 images
2 comments
2 comments
TheSplund
Ugly, and still only a 'Bimi' and not a real Mini
Mayakovski
LOL, now that is one funny looking car.