Mini will soon wave goodbye to the current generation of its hardtop hatchback but that won’t happen before yet another special edition model is released. This time around, the British automaker celebrates a racing triumph by the Bulldog Racing team, a private racing team based in Nürburg, Germany. Those folks finished second in this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring in the class for production-based vehicles with a displacement of 1,600 to 2,000 cc and a turbocharger.
Fittingly, the vehicle you see depicted in the gallery below wears the Bulldog Racing Edition name and is based on the John Cooper Works version of the three-door Mini hatch. It is a heavily upgraded version of the stock car modified for better performance on track and inspired by the two race cars used by the Bulldog Racing team at the legendary track. For starters, there’s an adjustable KW V3 suspension replacing the factory suspension, which has been tuned at the Nürburgring and should provide better handling.
Gallery: 2023 Mini John Cooper Works Bulldog Racing Edition
While there are no changes under the hood – the 2.0-liter turbocharged mill there still generates a peak output of 231 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque – the engine has been fitted with a new exhaust system by Remus. The power from the four-pot continues to be delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, though the original wheels have been replaced with 17-inch OZ HyperGT rims equipped with Pirelli P Zero tires measuring 205/45 R17.
Of course, there are visual tweaks to match the performance upgrades. For example, the hatchback has lost its rear seats and there is a strut with mesh and carpet as a weight reduction measure. In addition, there’s an individually numbered plaque sitting below the handbrake lever, which corresponds with the exterior badges with the special edition model’s name. A Bulldog Racing roof decor foil rounds off the design changes compared to a stock JCW.
"In order to be able to cater to the widest possible range for individual desires, each car is customized according to the customer's wishes and is therefore unique. Our special model shows what modifications we can make to the car. We are also pleased to be able to offer this service to customers with older Minis of the current generation from 2014 onwards", says Alexander Schabbach, managing director of Bulldog Racing.
Or, simply put, if you want, you can buy the car you see in the gallery from a Mini dealer or you can alternatively take your older Mini to Bulldog Racing and ask them to upgrade it according to your preferences. If you don’t want the entire package, you can install just the parts you want – and this is available for both new and older cars.