This Mini with a mighty rear wing is heading to the Nürburgring 24hrs

By topgear, 22 April 2022

Mini returns to the ‘Ring with a massive wing. Oh, and a 300bhp JCW attached to it

Mini has announced its return to the Nürburgring 24hr race next month. In the 50th edition of the gruelling endurance race, it’ll champion an enormous new rear wing in the SP3T class.

Oh, and a 300bhp Mini JCW attached to the rest of it.

The project began last year at Bulldog Racing “just a few metres away from the Nordschleife” and took just seven months from start to finish. It takes as its base a JCW with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit kicking out 300 horsies and 450Nm of torque.

There’s an eight-speed gearbox taken from “large-series-production”, together with a mechanical diff lock with locking effect of up to 70 per cent. Naturally there’s more to it, as you can’t quite plainly see.

Deep breath: there’s a 100-litre fuel tank (obviously), a covered underbody, lightweight windows, racing suspension with adjustable dampers, reinforced chassis and suspension joints, a sports exhaust and BMW M Performance brake calipers.

Other things you can quite plainly see include a rollcage, a new front splitter that likely doubles up as a snow plough in the winter (or during the 24hr race, which typically sees all seasons in one day), a new rear diffuser and that adjustable rear wing. To whomever is responsible for adjusting that rear wing: time to hit the gym.

Though, the wing will be getting a decent workout too. Bulldog Racing boss Friedhelm Thelen said: “The 24hr race at the Nürburgring puts all components of the vehicle under extreme stress. That’s why we’re delighted to be able to use the BMW Group Test Centre to put the John Cooper Works through its paces there.”

That test centre is in Miramas in southern France, where BMW has “been testing new models and innovative chassis technology” since 1986. Model technology like… Minis with wings able to take flight?