New MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE

A powerful, race-ready version of the MINI Cooper S, intended only for the race track, is set to appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The new MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE will offer a higher top speed, increased torque, faster acceleration and optimised traction. The car will not be licensed for public roads but private customers can purchase one for track use at a price of 49,900 euro, including VAT.

As well as a re-developed twin-scroll turbocharger, the standard MINI Cooper S engine receives modified pistons, air filter, air intake passage, catalytic converter, exhaust components, electronic sensors and engine-management system – plus numerous chassis and suspension tweaks. There are adjustable dampers from KW Automotive, while the six-speed manual gearbox transmits power to 17” front wheels made by Borbet and shod with exclusive new Dunlop racing tyres.

New MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE New MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE

Body revisions based on the John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit, currently available from MINI dealers, are key features of the CHALLENGE car’s set-up. To generate increased downforce at higher speeds, CHALLENGE car owners can expect a new adjustable rear spoiler, rear diffuser and performance front spoiler. The new braking system features large, four-piston calipers, enabling the car to brake from 62-0mph in just 3.1 seconds. A race-specific ABS configuration and an air-pressure elevating system complete the product modifications, in a vehicle 30kg lighter than the previous CHALLENGE car. Meanwhile, a roll-cage, RECARO bucket seats and a six-point safety harness, along with the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system used in F1 cars, are included in the safety specification.

Race teams will receive the first MINI CHALLENGE cars from March 2008. Private customers can expect deliveries from June 2008.

Performance figures:


Power hp 210 (175)
Torque Nm 240 - 280Nm with Overboost (210 - 260Nm with Overboost)
0 - 62mph seconds 6.1 (7.1)
Top speed mph 149 (140)

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: MINI

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