Motorsport is in the MINI genes and the new MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance added a new chapter to its racing heritage. The newly developed racer lined up at this year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit, previewing the series-production version of the car.
With the participation of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance, the Nürburgring 24-hour race staged an automotive world premiere for the first time in its history, also ensuring the new MINI Coupe was given a baptism of fire with the extreme demands of the classic endurance event. The new MINI Coupe series ended with positions 106 and 118 in the overall ranking of the 202 vehicles lined up.
A pure-bred racing set-up equipped the MINI with 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 – delivered 250 hp, and the over boost function pushed peak torque up to 330 Newton metres. Top speed is in excess of 240 km/h.
The brand’s customary go-kart feeling was also taken to a whole new level with this race-spec version. The stiff race suspension, with an impressive road holding, gave the driver constant, direct feedback from the road surface. Adjustable shock absorber units allowed the suspension set-up to be adapted to fluctuating track conditions, a feature that came in particularly handy at the Nordschleife.
The John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package further enhanced the Coupé’s already supreme handling; the front spoiler, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing generated down force, optimising the balance between the front and rear axle.
The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance achieved a 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 adopted the braking system with Race ABS from MINI Challenge racing and added a specially tuned DSC dynamic control system, optimised for the race track.