A special car deserves special tires and that’s definitely the case for the MINI JCW GP. Being the most powerful car the British brand ever made and having to put down 306 horsepower through the front wheels alone, a special set of tires was needed for it from the get go. The people from Hankook were there to help with the development of the GP’s standard set of tires but, as winter rolled by, a new winter tire was needed for those looking to use their JCW GP in the colder months as well.
This week, MINI and Hankook unveiled a special tire made specifically for the JCW GP. The winter i*cept evo 2 tires for the GP use a bespoke compound, with tires measure 195/45 R18 and have a 87H XL rating. As you can see in the photo gallery below, they are mounted on specific wheels as well with a slightly different design compared to the standard set of rims the MINI comes with. The Hankook tires come with specific asymmetric thread designs with specially shaped sipes and grooves that optimize both traction and braking on snow-covered roads.
The model-specific winter tires were created to comply with the suspension technology, which is tuned to the car’s high engine performance delivered thanks to the John Cooper Works racing expertise and the precisely tuned suspension control systems. Traction from a standing start is optimized, as well as driving stability during fast cornering maneuvers. Braking performance was also taken into account.
Winter driving doesn’t imply just roaming over snow-covered surfaces but most of the time driving in the wet. For that purpose, the Hankook Winter i*cept evo 2 tires for the MINI JCW GP were designed to perform their best in combination with the massive rotors on the car and their four-piston fixed-caliper approach. Now, I’d be very curious to see how many customers will actually drive this rare, limited-edition MINI in snow.