Mini is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Monte Carlo Rally success with the unveiling of the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept at next week’s Frankfurt motor show. The company is calling the concept, without a hint of irony, “the maximum Mini”.
Rauno Aaltonen and Henry Liddon won the gruelling event in a Mini Cooper S, the last of three wins for the tiny rocket at Monte Carlo.
With its aggressive styling and tough stance, this is arguably the meanest looking Mini ever created. Significantly wider than the production version of the Mini Cooper S, the GP concept features large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a roof-mounted spoiler which enhance the car’s sporting intent. And, liberal use of carbon-fibre throughout minimises weight, thus optimising the GP Concept’s power-to-weight ratio.
“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.”
Starting at the front, an aggressive splitter with a huge central air intake, highlighted in a vibrant and bold ‘Highspeed Orange’, dominates the Mini’s stance. The hexagonal honeycomb grille only adds to the aggression.
Sitting on 19-inch multispoke Racetrack design wheels, finished in satin black and contrasted in Curbside Red and Highspeed Orange, the GP Concept certainly cuts an imposing figure, particularly sitting inside massively flared wheel arches that blend into the front and rear splitters.
The track-focussed theme of the Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept continues inside, with a stripped-out interior framed by a race-spec roll cage. There’s seating for only two, thanks to a pair of low-mounted front seats with five-point racing harnesses. Gone are creature comforts like the rear seat bench, door trims and a headlining trim, adding to the Spartan feel and race-bred nature of the GP Concept.
The Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept continues on from 2012’s Mini John Cooper Works GP and 2006’s John Cooper Works GP Kit, both of which enjoyed a limited production run of 2000 examples each. There is no word yet on whether this latest concept car will make it into production.
It’s the second concept Mini has revealed for next-week’s Frankfurt show, with both taking very different approaches. Last week the company revealed the eco-friendly Mini Electric Concept, which previews the upcoming all-electric Mini hatch due in 2019.
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