Mini has developed a massive wing to which it has attached a John Cooper Works hardtop. All joking aside, the JCW will be returning to the 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring following a 10-year hiatus. The 50th edition held on the iconic Nordschleife will see private team Bulldog Racing fielding this little monster in the SP3T class. Mods have been made to transform the pocket rocket into a proper race car, including a single-seat cabin.
The stripped-out interior now accommodates a full roll cage and a body-hugging OMP seat. Since it has to go around the Green Hell for 24 hours, the fuel tank's volume has been increased to 100 liters (26.4 gallons) to reduce the number of pitstops for refueling. Compared to the road-going JCW, its racing sibling swaps out the glass windows in favor of Makrolon window panes to reduce weight.
Mini John Cooper Works by Bulldog Racing for the 2022 Nurburgring endurance race
At the heart of the Mini JCW race car is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine taken from the flagship versions of the Clubman and Countryman. It pumps out 306 horsepower (225 kilowatts) and 450 Newton-meters (331 pound-feet) of torque channeled to the wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox carried over from the street version. However, the engineers have integrated a mechanical differential lock featuring a locking effect of up to 70 percent for optimal torque distribution.
Interestingly, stopping power is provided by brakes borrowed from the parent company’s BMW and its M Performance goodies. The track-only JCW boasts a pneumatic lifting unit to make it easier and quicker to change wheels, while the sports exhaust has a race-spec catalytic converter. Additional changes include a huge rear diffuser, a completely covered, and a chunky front splitter as part of the radical aero package.
The car has been in development over the course of just seven months and will race between May 26 and 29 on the 25.378-kilometer circuit in Germany. Meanwhile, additional tests are scheduled to take place on the Nordschleife as well as in Miramas in southern France where the BMW Group has a testing center.
Spy shots have revealed a new JCW road car is in the works, likely the last one with a combustion engine considering Mini will go EV-only from 2030.