Today marks the launch of yet another limited edition car that will be manufactured in Oxford, the MINI JCW Challenge Edition. This time, however, the Brits decided to offer the hardcore special only for its UK customers, leaving the rest of the world drooling over it. Unfortunately, not many people will get to enjoy this beauty either, as the production run will be limited to just 100 units.
The car was inspired by the latest MINI Challenge racing car, a model that is running in a variety of competitions across the UK. Furthermore, the car was developed in cooperation with some of the official suppliers for the racing model and is, therefore, featuring a couple of bespoke optional features that you can’t get on the regular John Cooper Works hardtop.
The basis for the car was, without a doubt, the JCW model. Starting from its 231 HP engine the focus was on other areas of the car and not increasing the power output of the 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged mill under the hood. On the Challenge model, unlike on the regular car, the customers can only go for the manual 6-speed gearbox that is the only choice available, for more driving fun and control.
On the performance front, the engineers turned to Nitron for the suspension, Mintex for the braking requirements, Quaife for the traction benefits of a limited slip differential and Team Dynamics for particularly lightweight alloy wheels. All these brands supply the MINI John Cooper Works racing car that competes in the top class of the UK MINI Challenge.
The Nitron suspension is based on the NTR R1 system that is used for proper racing. The dampers and coilovers are adjustable for bump and rebound, as well as for overall ride height. Camber adjustment plates on the front axle allow for an increase in negative camber, with John Cooper Works Challenge possessing two degrees of negative camber on both the front and rear axle.
On the other hand, the Quaife automatic torque biasing (ATB) limited slip differential fitted up front uses helical gears instead of a plate-type LSD to offer a seamless operation without any abrupt ‘lock up’, and assists braking performance as well as transferring power away from a spinning front wheel during acceleration.
The wheels of the Challenge model are also wider by half an inch and they are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Behind them you’ll find grooved and part-drilled 330mm front discs with four-pot Brembo-developed calipers, sourced from the MINI JCW Pro Accessories range. These are paired with Mintex brake pads.
All cars will be painted in White Silver and all of them will be recognizable by the graphics package as well as the 17″ wheels finished in black, the roof and mirror covers being done in the same color. Inside, the Dinamica/cloth interior combination is also finished in Carbon Black. The passenger side fascia of each car bears its unique build number in the series. No amendments to the standard specification are possible, and the price tag for one of these will be £32,000 which translates to roughly $45,000 at today’s exchange rate. The first showing of the car will take place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, next weekend.