John Cooper Mini Works Challenge (2007): first official pictures | CAR Magazine

John Cooper Mini Works Challenge (2007): first official pictures

Published: 15 August 2007 Updated: 26 January 2015

Now this looks seriously cool…

Doesn’t it just. Mini has hooked up John Cooper Works to create the Challenge – a bespoke racing Mini developed for Mini’s one-maker race series. Due for a public unveiling at the upcoming Frankfurt motorshow, the track-prepped Cooper S-based Mini will cost £38,000 and gets a major motorsport overhaul. A redesigned twin-scroll turbocharger and modifications to the pistons, air filter, air intake passage, catalytic converter and exhaust, as well as a reprogrammed engine management system have boosted power by 35bhp to 210bhp and torque rises from 177 to 192lb ft (207lb ft with overboost function). This lops a second off the 0-62mph time – now 6.1seconds – and hikes up the top speed by 9mph to 149mph. It will not be road legal in the UK.

Any other modifications?

Chassis upgrades include KW Automotive adjustable dampers, 17inch Borbet alloy race wheels and Dunlop race tyres. It gets bigger brake discs too, gripped by uprated four-piston callipers and monitored by a race-spec anti-lock system, slowing the car from 62mph in 3.1seconds. John Cooper has also honed the car’s aerodynamics to enhance downforce using a new adjustable rear spoiler, a rear diffuser and more aggressive front spoiler. There’s also an integrated roll-cage, a pair of Recaro bucket seats, six-point harnesses and an F1-style HANS head and neck support set-up. Mini’s Challenge race was instigated in 2004 with races staged in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and New Zealand to date. Australia is expected to join next year’s schedule. Race teams will receive the first Challenge next spring, but private punters will have to wait until June to get their hands on their cars.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars