MINI Proves It Can Make Badass Track Cars

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
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Hey, look! It’s a maximum MINI!

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. MINI was quick to point out that both those models were limited to 2,000 units each, suggesting this GP Concept will eventually head to production in limited quantities.

Significantly wider than your standard Cooper, the concept features large front and rear aprons, side skirts, and a prominent roof spoiler. To keep weight at a minimum, carbon fiber was used, which also helps maintain an evenly balanced weight distribution. The front end gives the impression this MINI means business with large air intakes and precisely molded air deflectors. As for the subtle 0059 car number? That refers to the year 1959 when the classic MINI was born.

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show Coverage

Along with 19-inch Racetrack wheels, the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept packs plenty of style in the rear with plenty of air-channeling elements and carbon fiber air vents. But inside the cabin is where the track-ready inspiration truly shines. There’s a roll cage surrounding low-mounted bucket seats equipped with five-point harness belts. Noticeably missing from the interior are the rear seat bench, headliner, and conventional door trim panels, all of which were tossed out to reduce weight.

Unfortunately, there is no word from MINI on whether there are any upgrades to the powertrain, but if this concept heads to production, you can expect it to get a boost in performance from John Cooper Works.

“If you know about MINI, you’ll be aware of the brand’s long and successful history in motorsport,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president BMW Group Design. “The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept brings together the full suite of defining MINI design features and showcases them at their sportiest and most exciting. What we’re looking at here is maximum performance, maximum MINI.”

Discuss this story on our MINI Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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