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MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept: Uncompromising sportiness

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

The essence of modern sportiness comes through the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept, which is inspired by the legendary triumphs of this automaker at the Monte Carlo Rally exactly 50 years ago.

The concept car, which will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, embodies concentrated dynamism and ultimate driving fun, both on the track and on the road.

This concept takes over from the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP and the 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit. Produced in strictly limited quantities (2.000 units each), these two models explored the limits of performance at the time.

Its design focuses on emotion and purity. Notably wider than the current MINI, it exudes dynamism and power. Large front and rear skirts, side skirts and a prominent roof spoiler give it a confident look.

The use of lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber, optimizes the power-to-weight ratio of the vehicle. And its balanced volume distribution ensures the feeling of driving such a MINI kart.

Large air intakes and precision-modeled air deflectors dominate the front. Added sharp design elements frame MINI's smooth silhouette and highlight its focus on racing when viewed from the front.

The space between the main body of the front and the air deflectors further enhances its appearance. Common color contrasts on John Cooper Works models come in the form of an exterior paint finish in Black Jack Anthracite, which shines between gray and black, and Curbside Red metallic accent color (a shade of matte red).

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

At the center of the front, iconic MINI design features, such as elliptical headlights and hexagonal radiator grille, sharpen the vehicle's identity and recognizable character. At the same time, elements such as the characteristic bonnet with a prominent air intake, the hexagonal honeycomb radiator grille and the air intakes in the front apron highlight the sporty appearance of the vehicle. Other color accents in Highspeed Orange increase the visual impact of the headlights and air intake.

The lower part of the large front apron is very close to the road, with what appears to be the front sinking towards the asphalt, while the vehicle's tread and bulky wheel arches promise high-level handling and high speeds. in the curves.

Another technical highlight is the all-carbon fiber construction of the front apron, which reduces the weight of the vehicle. The matte effect of carbon is now visible and is featured in a high-gloss paint finish with the hexagonal pattern in red.

In traditional MINI styling, the interplay between narrowing windows and a rising waistline creates a wedge shape from the side and gives the vehicle a powerful boost effect even before starting. Lower down, the bulky surfaces blend with the muscular bodywork, giving the sidewalls agility and dynamism. Vehicle number 0059 refers to the year the classic MINI was born: 1959.

The carbon fiber side skirts represent the lower edge of the body. 19-inch light-alloy Racetrack wheels in classic multi-spoke design highlight the high performance this concept car aspires to. Contrasting in Curbside Red metallic, along with Highspeed Orange on the inside of the wheels, and the “GP” logo offer an even more energetic design to the wheels. In the rest of the vehicle, Curbside Red metallic and Highspeed Orange add the perfect accent to the exterior mirror bases and door handles, respectively.

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

The back continues the impressive use of the front and side shapes. Once again, large surfaces are precisely framed by air channeling elements, and the positioning of the LED taillights far outwards emphasizes the dynamic approach of the vehicle.

Sophisticated details, such as the half of the Union Jack on each side, represent a nod to the British origins of this prototype, while giving it a technical and sporty touch. The prominent roof spoiler is a visual statement of intent and is elegantly integrated into the geometry of the side elements.

Like the front and sidewalls, the lower section of the vehicle has a very precise and dynamic design. The carbon fiber air intakes and air deflectors are in optimal positions, and the two rain lights at the ends of the rear improve visibility in wet racing. The classic double central tailpipe at the bottom embodies the spirit of John Cooper Works to create a very attractive effect.

The interior is reduced to the basics: the roll cage is joined by little more than a pair of low-mounted bucket seats with five-point seat belts and a cleanly designed instrument cluster. The gearshift is done with the steering wheel paddles.

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

All elements of the interior are focused directly on the driver. The control and display concept, with digital instrument cluster and Head-Up Display, places situation-relevant information directly in the driver's field of vision, allowing full focus on the road. Otherwise, the interaction between the driver and the car is digital, with tactile adjustment of the suspension characteristics in the standard MINI central instrument cluster. As required by scanning, the screen is now large format. The task of providing a link between the digital and analog world is left to the large emergency stop button and the traditional MINI switch buttons with start / stop button.

The rear seats, headlining trim and conventional door panels are conspicuous by their absence, sacrificed to minimize weight. Instead, the surfaces between the safety cage elements and the rear compartment are upholstered with lightweight panels with textured details and hexagonal pattern. This creates a transition effect between the unadorned rear and the front of the cabin, with a more elaborate design.

The doors open with recessed textile strap handles, allowing the driver and passenger to exit through the racing car-style safety cage.

The interior combines its austere sporty shapes with striking elements and bold color accents. The result is a confrontation between the less common aesthetics of race car bodywork and the exclusivity of production vehicles.

In contrast to the basic white space, the soft black leather of the headrests and bolsters offers an elegant contrast to the black and white textile in the center section of the seats.

A new 3D weaving technique adds a modern and classy feel, while the red accents make a visual statement.

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

The glossy aluminum roll cage also stands out clearly from the black 3D-printed parts on the doors and instrument cluster, and a slightly structured trim with hexagonal graphics reinforces the sporty, modern look.

Metallic Curbside Red adds a pop of color to some functional components, while Highspeed Orange in details such as the seat belt strap, lettering and stitching on the steering wheel and seats acts as a second accent color that complements the red. .

Using 3D printing and weaving techniques, MINI brings technological details to the interior of this prototype that allow for tool-free production and easy customization in the future.

The character of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is defined by its sporting heritage, dating back more than five decades. In fact, legendary sports car designer John Cooper transformed the classic MINI into a byword for driving fun on the road and an excellent competitor on racetracks and rallies. His career in motorsport began exactly 50 years ago and reached its peak with three total victories at the Monte Carlo Rally. Today, the John Cooper Works name is synonymous with products and models whose quality is rooted in experience in the racing world and has been associated with the British premium small car brand for all these years.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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