Mini reveals wild John Cooper Works GP concept

Posted on Sep 7, 2017 by

celebrates 50 years since the brand’s famous Monte Carlo Rally win with a wild John Cooper Works GP racer concept headed to the

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Fresh after announcing an electric concept for next week’s Frankfurt motor show that will eventually go into production as a 2019 model, Mini has just unveiled another much sportier concept that will join it on stage and it, too, is electric. In a sense.

The fantastic looking GP concept pays homage to the brand’s victory at the Monte Carlo Rally exactly 50 years ago. In 1967 one of the original ‘Flying Finns’, Rauno Aaltonen, won the legendary event in a David and Goliath contest with a little Mini beating Lancias, Porsche 911s, rear-drive BMWs and Opels and raspy Gordini Renaults.

The win went down in history as one of motor sport’s greatest stories, and it would’ve been apt for Mini to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Monte victory with a nice limited edition special. However, we’ll have to settle for a design study, because this John Cooper Works GP concept is merely a styling proposal. For now – the car looks curiously production-ready, and let’s not forget that Mini has a history of doing wild John Cooper Works GPs, like the 2006 and 2012 models both produced in 2,000 examples each.

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In a continuing trend the concept is wider than current Mini Coopers, with larger front and rear aprons and more prominent side skirts and a bigger roof spoiler. Designers used plenty of carbon fibre and left it bare naked to let onlookers know this car isn’t about power, but power-to-weight.

Up front the look is dominated by aerodynamic components, such as the moulded air deflectors running around the sides of the vehicle, and a black anthracite paint finish contrasted by matte red accents.

Typical Mini features like the elliptical headlights and hexagonal grille are intact, and aggressive cues include a roof scoop intake and a pretty sizeable bonnet bulge. Viewed from the side, a little detail included is a graphic reading ‘0059’, which refers to the year the original Mini was born, 1959.

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Around the back the new Mini John Cooper Works GP features the same half-Union Jack taillights like the electric concept, but the prominent roof spoiler still dominates. Rounding things off the tailpipes exit centrally mounted in the middle of the rear air diffuser.

Designers stripped the interior bare to the essentials, with little more than a pair of bucket seats and a fire extinguisher on board, Sans carpet and any real comfort features, the car is fitted with proper racing harnesses and a full roll cage, as well as lightweight 3D-printed parts in the doors and instrument panel.

Commenting on the Mini John Cooper Works GP concept, BMW board member responsible for Mini, Peter Schwarzenbauer, says: “This is driving fun in its purest form.”

Now all they have to do is make it so we don’t have to take his word for it.

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