Concept hints at new Mini John Cooper Works GP


A week after revealing a plug-in electric concept, Mini has taken the wraps off another exciting showcar; the John Cooper Works GP Concept. Which is kind of justified - the wide front and rear tracks, large air intakes, carbon-fibre front splitter, flared wheel arches, large rear wing, carbon fibre side skirts and those massive 19-inch wheels are all proof of what Mini is trying to convey here.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept will debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, building on the tradition established by the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP and 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit.

The body of the auto is the most audacious feature with massive carbon fibre fins adorning the panels to ensure optimal airflow and downforce at speed. That refers to the year 1959 when the classic MINI was born.

"If you know about MINI, you'll be aware of the brand's long and successful history in motor sport", said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

The treatment brought to the interior of the latest Mini concept is every bit as hardcore as that applied to its exterior.

On the inside, the cabin has been stripped of all the luxuries in exchange for bucket seats with a five-point race harness and a roll cage. The rear seat, headliner and other trim elements are deleted in the interests of weight saving. There's a head-up display as well as a digital instrument cluster.

The entry-level Cooper Clubman is now fitted with MINI's navigation system business suite, and an enhanced driver assistance package comprising automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, city collision mitigation, high beam assist and speed sign recognition.

Mini isn't saying much more about the car's spec, aside from hints of less weight for a superior power-weight ratio and an evenly balanced weight distribution.

For those unfamiliar with the GP badge, it denotes a vehicle one step above the John Cooper Works grade.

To add more aggression to the auto, Mini's main change is the use of a sort of exoskeleton wrapping along the car's flanks to form the GP's wider body.