Published on September 16th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept, all about unfettered feeling of driving
The design of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept majors on purity and emotional richness. Significantly wider than the current MINI, the design study exudes dynamism and power. Large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a prominent roof spoiler create a confident appearance. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre optimises the car’s power-to-weight ratio. And evenly balanced weight distribution is a ticket to MINI’s signature go-kart feeling.
The front end
Large air intakes and precisely moulded air deflectors dominate the front end, which cuts a low-to-the-road figure. Crisply cut add-on elements frame the smooth MINI silhouette and highlight the track focus of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept when viewed head-on. The space between the main body of the front end and the air deflectors further strengthens the car’s presence. The familiar colour contrasts of John Cooper Works models come in the form of the Black Jack Anthracite exterior paint finish – which shimmers between grey and black – and the accent colour Curbside Red metallic (a matt red shade). Curbside Red metallic provides a fresh take on the classical John Cooper Works red and visually accentuates the optimised geometry of the performance and add-on parts.
At the centre of the front end, iconic MINI design cues such as the elliptical headlights and hexagonal radiator grille sharpen the car’s identity and recognisability factor. At the same time, elements such as the powerdome with prominent air scoop in the bonnet and the hexagonal honeycomb radiator grille and air intakes in the front apron heighten the car’s sporting appearance. Further colour accents in Highspeed Orange enhance the visual impact of the headlights and air intake.
The lower edge of the large front apron reaches down close to the road, appearing to suck the front end towards the asphalt, while the car’s wide track and prominently flared wheel arches promise top-level handling and high cornering speeds. Another technical highlight is the front apron’s all-carbon-fibre construction, which reduces the car’s weight. The carbon matting is now directly visible and presented with a high-gloss paint finish with red hexagon graphic.
In time-honoured MINI fashion, the interplay of narrowing windows and a rising shoulderline creates a wedge shape from the side and gives the car the appearance of powering forward even before it turns a wheel. Lower down, voluminous surfaces fuse into a muscular body and endow the flanks with agility and dynamism. The car number 0059 refers to the year the classic Mini was born: 1959.
Carbon-fibre side skirts provide the body with its lowest edge. 19-inch Racetrack lightweight wheels in classical multi-spoke design underline the design study’s performance aspirations. Contrasts in Curbside Red metallic – together with the Highspeed Orange on the inside of the rims – and the GP logo bring extra verve to the wheel design. Elsewhere, Curbside Red metallic and Highspeed Orange bring neatly judged highlights to the exterior mirror bases and door handles respectively.
The rear end
The rear of the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept picks up the striking use of forms in the front end and flanks. Here again, large surfaces are bordered by precisely formed air-channelling elements, and the positioning of the LED rear lights well to the outside of the rear underscores the car’s dynamic focus. Sophisticated touches, such as the half-Union Jack on each side, represent a nod to the concept car’s British origins, while also providing a sporty, technical flourish. The prominent roof spoiler is a visual statement of intent and slots cleanly into the geometry of the side elements.
Like the front end and flanks, the lower section of the car has a very precise and dynamic design. Carbon-fibre air vents and air deflectors are in optimum positions, and the two rain lights at the outer edges at the rear improve visibility in wet races. The classical central twin tailpipes low down at the rear embody the John Cooper Works DNA to eye-catching effect.