Still lightweight, but more raw.
The bold styling of the Mini Cooper JCW GP Concept was very much done on purpose; its designers clearly wanted to make a statement. And that they did. Speaking to the Mini brand's exterior design chief, Christopher Weil, here at Frankfurt, we learned that the concept, which may or may not lead to a future production version (our prediction: it will) is meant to be a contradiction of sorts. "We wanted to dial up the racy-ness of the car, the race track creditability. Therefore we went for a more extreme approach.
"If you look at the (front) winglets, they are screwed on with open screws. The whole concept should be more masculine, more raw." Weiss explained. This was even displayed in the carbon fiber weave, for example. How so? "If you take the standard (carbon fiber) pattern it takes a long time to put the fibers in a straight position. We wanted to show the natural approach of how the fibers would look like." The result is unevenness. It's one of the finer details you need to see up close to fully appreciate. "We didn't want to hide the carbon fiber structure. It's a new kind of carbon fiber. It's more random." And that, in a nutshell, sort of summarizes this hardcore Mini concept.
It's a new kind of Mini. It's more random. It's not as soft as the production versions. Think less hairdresser's car, more serious track enthusiast. Combined with a large rear wing (also made of that random carbon fiber weave) and overall hardcore look which dramatically contradicts the Mini's normally rounded and inoffensive appearance, we have high hopes the eventual production version won't differ too greatly from the concept. Hopefully. "This (the concept) is showing what could be possible," Weill concluded. We were also told on the stand by another Mini spokesman that we should expect to see the production car on the road by 2019. That's unofficial for now, but you can assume it will happen.