BMW Group’s MINI has something cool to show off ahead of this year’s IAA, or more commonly known as Frankfurt Motor Show. The first is a MINI that will delight MINI-adoring speed demons, a ride called MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept and the other, should please tree hugging MINI fans, designated as MINI Electric Concept. As always, these two lovely compact hatch are a peek into the future of the marque and what it has installed for the market. It is also no doubt a lesser speak about agenda of testing the market reaction.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept is, as the name implies, a performance hot hatch. But don’t get overly excited and also don’t start haunting your local dealers for a unit because this JCW GP Concept is a concept study serves to demonstrate the MINI’s capability as a fun day-to-day ride and one that will be equally at home on the track without having to spend days on ends at the workshop. Technical specs are scant at this point, but you can expect a compact vehicle with short overhangs, large tracks, optimized weight, a low center of gravity and a balanced axle load distributions – attributes as found on the classic MINI that made countless victories at the Monte Carlo Rally.
In addition, you will find large front and rear aprons, aerodynamically optimized side sills, a striking roof spoiler complimenting the JCW GP Concept’s “extreme sporty style” which is then finished in Black Jack Anthracite, accentuated by Curbside Red metallic and Highspeed Orange. CFRP, or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, along with other lightweight materials, are also employed to keep the vehicle’s weight lean and trim. On the inside, expect nothing less than a racing setup which includes a roll-over cage, bucket seats, “a puristically designed cockpit” and the lack of a rear seat. And then there’s Head0Up Display and adjustable suspension settings via a touchscreen display that adds to the technological side of things.
As for the MINI Electric Concept, it offers a zero emission driving experience powered by an undisclosed electric drivetrain which is kept juiced by lithium-ion battery. The most obvious sign of it being an all-electric automobile is the lack of grille, which is closed for “superior aerodynamics.” Additionally, fiberglass parts are thrown in further boosts the aero by keep drag to the minimum. The MINI Electric Concept destined for IAA show floor is dressed in Reflection Silver and Interchange Yellow, a nod to the MINI E presented back in 2008. The latter was produced in small series of 600 units which paved way for the development of the pure-electric BMW i3.
The MINI Electric Concept is poised to be the future of MINI’s sustainable urban mobility. Speaking of which, the first purely electric MINI is slated for 2019 release and it will be based on the MINI 3-door body. MINI Electric Concept is the next step up from the marque’s first plug-in hybrid, the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, announced last October.
All images courtesy of BMW Group.