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Videos: Developing the JCW GP

Here we have two videos from MINI highlighting some behind the scenes of how they developed the upcoming JCW GP. First is a look at the aerodynamic improvements in greater detail than we’ve seen before — including some very slick wind tunnel footage. (Who doesn’t love wind tunnels?). Secondly, we have a video highlighting how they develop components like the rear wing in order to achieve that lower drag coefficient. The whole process of R&D is pretty fascinating for a low-volume car like this — especially given that in the case of the GP, it’s all about speed. One would expect a more seat-of-the-pants, trial and error approach, but as we can see in the videos, simple parts like the rear wing and underbody panels go through extensive engineering. And yet, the prototype carbon fiber parts are still laid up by hand — preserving some good old-fashioned craftsmanship along the way. Both videos after the jump:

Radical Aerodynamics

Engineered for Speed

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Edge

    Interesting videos! Neat to see that behind the scenes stuff. I did find it very interesting though, in the first (wind tunnel) video, that the wheels are spinning but nobody is behind the wheel. Unless the car is simply in neutral and the dyno-like mats themselves are forcing the wheels to turn? (i.e. engine is off)

  • piper

    Very impressive craftsmanship and aerodynamics. But, unlike its ’06 predecessor it is not custom built in Italy from stem to stern and therefore doesn’t quite measure up aesthetically.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Neither was the ’06- only certain parts were built/assembled in Italy and now thanks to BMW’s development of this car it is a boat load better in performance which with a product like the GP is what matters.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

        Good points to clarify that the 2006 GP was assembled in Italy with a few custom parts built. And yes you are correct that the 2012 GP is more highly engineered and thus will be faster while also more efficient than the 2006 GP. But will it be as exciting? Until it is driven that won’t be known, however even Gabe (who I believe is usually a proponent of the R56 over R53 as the all-around “better” car) said when recently comparing the MF JCW Coupe to the 2006 GP that, “I’m used to a head snapping feeling on acceleration in the [2006] GP and this car simply does not have that. Don’t get me wrong, the new JCW [coupe] is as fast or even faster than the 2006 GP but the seat-of-the-pants feeling is totally different. It’s less visceral.”

        The 2006 GP on paper was only marginally better than a standard R53 JCW, yet it felt so much more special; maybe it acquired a bit of that Italian car building magic. You seem to suggest that performance capabilities or numbers are “what matters” yet I would argue that what made the 2006 GP special was how it drove as the most visceral, raw MINI so far. That is going to be the real challenge that the 2012 GP needs to live up to. If outright performance was the only objective for the intended audiences, those people honestly would be buying something else with more power and/or rear or all wheel drive…

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          I think that was Todd and not me who said that. And I would definitely disagree as the torque is much more immediate in the current JCW engine. That said it’ll be very hard for MINI to ever top how special that first GP was.

  • JonPD

    Pretty fun vids

  • Bob Hayhurst

    Very cool videos. It really is about engineering, depth of experience and of course, money. I’m glad to see (it seems anyway) MINI and BMW engineers collaborating on such a limited production vehicle. I’m curious to know how much the performance folks at BMW have participated in the GP2 project…

  • piper

    Here we are 6 years after the original ’06 GP and this latest and allegedly “fastest production MINI ever” nets a negligible performance gain of only 19 seconds on “the ring.” If you factor in the decidedly (perhaps arguably) less than salubrious aesthetics of the new car vis -a-vis the original, there ain’t much left to write home about. I suppose that many buyers will not be knowledgeable enough to make the comparison and embrace the new GP without reservation, but for many of us it’s nothing spectacular visually or in terms of significant performance gain over the benchmark ’06.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Do you have any idea how long 19 seconds is on the ‘Ring? That is enormous. That is going from a Golf R to a MB AMG C63 Performance Pack (Both 2011 models). Those two cars are not even in the same realm performance wise. The new car is faster than the fabled E39M5, The Lotus Exige S Performance Pack and the BMW 335i Coupe and countless others.


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