Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Mini | posted June 16, 2016 08:22
Mini John Cooper Works Challenge limited to the UK; only 100 units will be made
Models badged with Mini’s John Cooper Works (JCW) are widely known for combining speed and handling in a small package. Now, Mini has just unveiled what could be their most powerful and most track-oriented car to date.
Called the John Cooper Works Challenge, Mini claimed it has all the benefits of a track car, while retaining key refinements and features for on-road comfort.
It was built and developed by OX4 Racing; an in-house racing team run by Mini employees. The new track-ready car is based off a JCW 3-Door Hatch and features a Pro Aerokit. With it, the hatchback gets a low front lip splitter, larger roof-mounted spoiler and rear diffuser and splitters. It also has side mirror caps and an air intake made from carbon fiber.
Also present is a JCW Pro exhaust system which can be set to either Track or Sport. Setting it so will allow the car to emit a different exhaust note. Other than that, the system also has carbon fiber tailpipe finishers.
All 100 examples will be painted Silver White, along with a bespoke graphics package and lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
Inside, the familiar cabin design has been carried over, as well as the Dinamica-cloth upholstery. The passenger’s side dashboard will feature the unique build number while piano black trim pieces spruces up the interior. Other amenities like automatic headlights, rear park distance control, rain sensing wipers and adaptive LED headlights are also standard equipment.
Under the hood, a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-four provides 234 PS and 320 Nm of torque. For this limited one-off, the engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. On paper, it still features the same engine from the standard JCW but that’s where the similarities end.
The chassis, brakes and suspension components have been uprated to further deliver the ultimate track experience according to Mini. For starters, it gets adjustable Nitron coilover springs and dampers, along with camber adjustment plates. Mini stated that it has specific settings for track and road use but owners can still choose to have it fully customized if they wanted to.
A limited slip differential from Quiafe has been installed which replaces the open differential for improved traction and handling. The new component still works alongside the standard electronic systems (Dynamic Stability Control, Performance Control, etc.).
Stopping power, on the other hand, comes courtesy of Mintex and Brembo. The former provides the brake pads while the latter gives the car four-pot brake calipers. Also worth noting are the 330mm front discs that scrubs off speed better than the standard JCW.
It is set to make its official world debut soon at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. All 100 units will be sold to the United Kingdom (UK) alone.