MINI will introduce its fastest, most 'emotional' model yet in 2020

Munich – For those who aren't familiar with it, the MINI Cooper seems an unlikely contender on a Formula One race track or the posh international rally circuit. But as the British automaker prepares to launch the MINI John Cooper Works GP in 2020, with a four-cylinder turbo engine, more than 220 kW/300 hp and motor racing technology, it is important to remember that when the company calls it the fastest MINI in its 60-year history, they are not using the word 'fast' lightly.

In January 1964, six years after its first Formula One triumph, a Mini* Cooper S won the Monte Carlo Rally. Mini would go on to do this again in 1965 and 1967, too. In 1965, drivers Timo Mäkinen and Paul Easter crossed the finish line without a single penalty point in spite of severe weather. That year, only 35 out of 237 cars finished the race. Three of them were Mini Cooper S models. By then, Mini Coopers were winning, or coming close to winning, not just rallies, but autocross and club and circuit races, as well.

Winning rallies, autocross and circuit races in the 50s and 60s: it was the little car that could

Although the Mini, now part of the BMW Group, was only a compact family saloon in those days, it had some unassailable virtues: a front-mounted transverse engine, front-wheel drive, extremely short body overhangs, a wide track, low center of gravity and comparatively long wheelbase. Its narrow body could navigate snowy roads that had been poorly ploughed, as well as rural roads, precipitous climbs and tight turns.

So, yeah: fast. One might even say agile.

Next year, the automaker plans to introduce the MINI JCW GP in a limited edition of 3,000 and it's going to be the most agile model yet. Visitors got a peek at the concept in the autumn of 2017 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where the brand showcased its 'powerfully emotional' look for the first time: large front and rear aprons, a dramatic roof spoiler and lightweight materials that made it look downright athletic.

A preview of what's to come in 2020

Benefiting from decades of expertise, as John Cooper and his son were the first to sell private racers or 'privateers' to the public, the car's suspension is minutely adapted to the super-high output of its new engine with both weight and aerodynamic properties optimized, as well.

The MINI JCW GP is expected to become a collector’s item quickly. Like its predecessors, it looks like it, too, may sell out as fast as it will drive.

* Although the brand today is known as MINI, back in the 60s its official name was spelled Mini.

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