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September 07, 2012

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The MINI John Cooper Works GP makes its world debut at the Paris motor show

Munich  - A limited-edition road car with race track-developed technology, the MINI John Cooper Works GP is the sportiest and fastest production model ever built under the nameplate of this British premium brand. It will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show (29 September to 4 October 2012), and production of a limited edition of just 2,000 units will start later this year.

Extensively equipped with John Cooper Works motor sport technology, this two-seater boasts outstanding performance to match its distinctive looks. An extensively modified four-cylinder turbo engine capable of developing 160 kW/ 218 hp, adjustable coilover suspension, an extra-powerful sports brake system and model-specific alloy wheels and sports tyres ensure superb handling and outstanding driving enjoyment. The standard-fitted high-traction sports tyres offer awesome cornering grip, impeccable braking response and impressive performance.

And to top it all off, with a DIN unladen weight of 1,160 kilograms, the MINI John Cooper Works GP is one of the lightest sports cars in its class.The balance between the engine, the suspension and the aerodynamics was fine-tuned during intensive testing on the Nürburgring North Loop (the old grand prix circuit), where the MINI John Cooper Works GP promptly clocked up a best lap time of 8:23 minutes – streets ahead of many big-name sports cars from higher segments. With its 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 242 km/h (150 mph), the GP brings an authentic race car feel to everyday driving.

 

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is the latest incarnation of a racing heritage that dates back more than 50 years, to when the legendary sports car designer John Cooper developed a version of the classic Mini that was to become the ultimate fun-to-drive road machine. This car also carved out a highly successful career in motor sport, where it was three-times winner of the Monte Carlo Rally. The modern-day MINI has continued this tradition: the John Cooper Works products and models, with their close links to the British-built premium small car, continue to be a byword for top-class motor sport engineering. The most impressive incarnation to date of this shared passion for motor sport was the 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit. That model, too, was built in a limited edition of 2,000 units, and soon became a coveted collector’s item.

 

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is another stunning example of the time-tested principle of taking the natural sporty DNA of the MINI to a new level by combining it with a whole string of features taken straight from the race track. With this elite sporting machine, the John Cooper Works brand, now a sub-brand of MINI, has raised the stakes yet again – the new model has shaved a whole 18 seconds off its predecessor’s best lap time during testing on the Nürburgring North Loop. This new best time reflects continuous advances in engineering, which have been tuned to the highest performance standards by John Cooper Works.

The astonishing torque gives the MINI John Cooper Works GP a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 6.3 seconds. Mid-range acceleration is impressive too, with an 80 to 120 km/h (50–75 mph) time in fifth gear of just 5.9 seconds. Top speed is 242 km/h (150 mph). The turbocharged engine also delivers outstanding efficiency. This is further enhanced by MINIMALISM features which keep the average EU test cycle consumption of the MINI John Cooper Works GP down to 7.1 litres/100 km (39.8 mpg imp), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 165 grams per kilometre.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP’s exclusive suspension technology, too, relies heavily on motor sport. For the first time on a MINI, it features an individually adjustable coilover suspension, which allows ride height to be lowered by up to 20 millimetres. Among other things, this means the suspension set-up can be fine-tuned to different circuit conditions whenever the MINI goes out onto the track.

The front shock absorbers are mounted upside down in the tube, with the piston rod pointing down, in order to increase longitudinal and lateral stiffness.

The front camber has been increased compared with the regular MINI John Cooper Works, so that the performance potential of the sports tyres – which differ significantly from road tyres – can be used to full effect, without the penalties of early understeer, inevitably leading to increased tyre wear. Other features include reduced front-wheel toe-in and increased rear camber, which alters the forward weight transfer so as to give more speed and more neutral steering when driving close to the limit. At the same time, the reduced toe-in improves agility and cornering confidence.

Outstanding braking performance is provided by the MINI John Cooper Works GP’s racing-derived sports brake system, featuring six-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes, vented at the front. The front discs are 330 millimetres in diameter and 25 millimetres thick, with 280 x 10 mm discs at the rear. The low-weight 17-inch alloy wheels, again exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works GP, run on high-traction 215/40 R17 sports tyres. Optionally, standard-size 205/45 R17 tyres are available on the same wheels, offering a good sporty balance between performance and good handling in wet or low-temperature conditions. The 7.5 x 17 H2 ET45 wheels, which were specially developed for the MINI John Cooper Works GP, are derived from the MINI Challenge race car, and feature lightweight contours on flow-formed rims.

Photo: MINI/BMW

(05.09.2012)


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