When it comes to hardcore MINIs, it doesn’t get better than driving a MINI Challenge JCW. The track-only Challenge JCW was recently nominated by EVO for the Track Car of the Year award and today, we get to see what it means to drive the monster truck.
The MINI Challenge is based on the John Cooper Works version of the hardtop. It uses a 2-liter new-age four-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood but with a twist. Whereas in the stock model the B48 plant makes 231 PS and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque, in this one you get 275 HP and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque, thanks to some tinkering done to the engine. Along with that you get a new, sequential gearbox from Quaife as well as a Tran X limited slip differential, race tires, a new set of aero bits as well as a new exhaust system.
The cabin has been stripped out of the non-essentials and a roll cage was installed. The Challenge JCW has lost some serious weight, now tipping the scale at just 1,065 kg (2,347 lbs). What we love most about the inside of the cabin is that they kept the MINI spirit alive, with the big, round center console in the same place.
As a fun tidbit, this MINI came in fourth place as the fastest track car they tested this year, just behind the Porsche Cayman GT4 and ahead of cars like the Camaro Z/28 or Arial Nomad Supercharged.