If you’re a MINI fan then you probably know about its storied racing past. MINI has a serious racing side winning several rally and road races. The MINI still races, but it no longer has that David vs. Goliath vibe it once had.That may change – very soon.The famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife aka “The Green Hell” is about to host a 24 hour endurance race. This is one of the most grueling, car and driver-devouring races on tarmac. MINI’s new Coupé was chosen to represent the brand in the guise of the new MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance.This is one baaaaaddddd-ass MINI.Don’t believe me? Check out this press release:Born for the “Green Hell” adventure: The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance. Racing car celebrates world premiere in 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
Munich. Motor sport is in the MINI genes. And now the carmaker is set to add a new chapter to its racing heritage with the arrival of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance. The newly developed racer will line up at this year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit, previewing the series-production version of the car due to be unveiled to the public in autumn 2011.
With the participation of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance, the Nürburgring 24-hour race will be staging an automotive world premiere for the first time in its history. At the same time, the extreme demands of the classic endurance event ensure the new MINI model will be given a baptism of fire.
MINI’s declared aim in entering the Nürburgring 24-hour race is to experience the adventure of the “Green Hell”, as the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is affectionately known. And the brand has called, among other things, on the experience gained over many years of MINI Challenge sprint racing in the development of its new racing car for this unique event.
A pure-bred racing set-up will equip the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance for a full day lapping the combined Nordschleife/Grand Prix circuit at race speed. Providing the power is a specially-tuned version of the series-produced MINI John Cooper Works engine. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit – which boasts a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection – delivers 250 hp, and the Overboost function pushes peak torque up to 330 Newton metres. Top speed is in excess of 240 km/h.
The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance sees the brand’s customary go-kart feeling taken to a whole new level. The stiff race suspension ensures impressive roadholding and gives the driver constant, direct feedback from the road surface. Adjustable shock absorber units allow the suspension set-up to be adapted to fluctuating track conditions, a feature that will come in particularly handy at the Nordschleife.
The more steeply raked windscreen of the car’s flat coupé silhouette sets it apart clearly from the Hatch and helps to MINImise aerodynamic drag, which the drivers will acknowledge with a smile on the circuit’s long straights.
The John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package further enhances the Coupé’s already supreme handling; the front spoiler, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing generate downforce, optimising the balance between the front and rear axle.
The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance achieves an exceptionally high level of safety thanks to features including a roll cage welded to the body and a sports bucket seat with six-point safety belt and Formula One-style HANS (Head And Neck Support) system. When it comes to active safety, the car adopts the proven braking system with Race ABS from MINI Challenge
racing and adds a specially tuned DSC dynamic control system, likewise optimised for the race track. Plus, in the interests of safety – and rapid pit stops – the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance is kitted out with an integrated pneumatic jack.
MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance
Tuned version of series-produced MINI John Cooper Works engine with adapted engine management. Four-cylinder in-line engine (front/transverse-mounted) with twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection. Racing exhaust system
Approx. 184 kW / approx. 250 hp
Approx. 330 Nm (incl. Overboost)
> 240 km/h
Front-wheel drive, sequential six-speed gearbox with electronic differential lock
Independent race suspension (KW Suspension) with adjustable compression and rebound, adjustable front strut brace
Racing tyres (Dunlop) / slicks: 215/45 R17, wets: 205/620 R17, 17-inch racing rims (Borbet)
John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package, adjustable rear wing, rear diffuser acc. to regulations, pneumatic jack
MINI Challenge braking system with Race ABS, race-tuned DSC, welded-in roll cage, six-point safety belt, racing seat (Recaro) with HANS system, main switch concept with electronically controlled fire extinguishing equipment
Racing steering wheel (Sparco), Drive Data Display with shift display
A 250 horsepower MINI that weighs as much as Penélope Cruz? Sign me up!