The MINI John Cooper Works Challenge, premiered at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016, inspired by the latest MINI Challenge race car. It is limited to 100 units and available to order now from MINI centres across the UK, priced from £32,000.
The JCW Challenge is a car aimed at the driving enthusiast and avid MINI fan. We can tell just by looking at the equipment and the design partner involved with the project, EVO magazine. The car features adjustable suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (also fitted to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS), lightweight alloy wheels, limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and a six-speed manual gearbox.
Although MINI have developed the car to ensure maximum track-driving performance, the design team accrued significant road mileage to fine tune the car’s set up so the car is just as thrilling to drive on the road, without sacrificing the refinement and practicalities of the regular JCW Hatch.
Based on the latest MINI JCW Hatch, the JCW Challenge makes use of the 2-litre four-cylinder engine, featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger giving maximum throttle response. There is a model-specific piston design, turbocharger and exhaust system, which all combine to get the car from rest to 62mph in 6.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 153mph.
The design team set themselves the goal of not only achieving maximum track performance, but also offering a rewarding set up for public road use. Adjustable suspension gives the driver the ability to adapt the car for the environment for which it is driven. Coilover spring and damper units, supplied by Nitron are adjustable for bump and rebound, as well as ride height, while camber angle is also an adjustable feature on the front axle, allowing for an increase in negative camber. In standard set up, the JCW Challenge has two degrees negative camber on both front and rear axles. Recommended settings are supplied with cars for different set ups, but owners can self-tune to suit their own tastes.
Grooved and part-drilled 330mm front discs combined with four-pot Brembo-developed calipers offer strong braking performance with resistance to fade on track, thanks to specially developed Mintex brake pads.
The JCW Challenge is painted in White Silver and is identified by bespoke graphics, larger air intakes for cooling, 17-inch alloy wheels finished in black, along with a black roof and mirror caps. Also fitted to the JCW Challenge are options from the MINI JCW Pro Accessories which includes the JCW Pro Aerokit, featuring lower front splitters, rear spoiler add-ons, rear diffuser, and rear splitters. A JCW Pro exhaust gives the John Cooper Works Challenge an enhanced sporty exhaust note, controlled by a Bluetooth link, offering the choice between Sport and Track. A MINI disclaimer advises Track is not for use on the public road, though it is said, Track mode may even be too loud for some race circuits.
Standard equipment includes Piano Black interior trim, rear parking sensors, Rain Sensor with Auto headlight activation and Adaptive LED headlights. Inside, the passenger side facia indicates the unique build number of each car in the series.
This tantalising recipe leaves us wondering if there is scope for a GP 3…