Last month we told you about a track day special edition MINI being created by MINI UK. EVO Magazine has been granted exclusive access to the development of MINI’s latest limited edition model and has a few tantalizing updates. In short this isn’t just a few stickers and some new paint. The MINI JCW Challenge is a car that takes the best of the JCW range and turns it up a notch for the track. While this isn’t a material change like the GP, it’s a smartly edited version of the JCW that should create a more focused car for both the street and the track.

What’s changed? According to EVO, all the important bits:

1. The chassis has been upgraded with Nitron springs and dampers along with front camber plates. They will be fully adjustable for both height and camber. There’s also a stiffer set of sway bars to give flatter handling.
2. Brakes are the same four-piston Brembo set-up from the JCW but the Challenge will use bespoke Mintex pads of greater bite.
3. A real old school limited slip differential from Quaife will be standard on the car – the first mechanical differential since the early days of the R56 (sorry EVO – MINIs other than the R53 GP did have a true diff)
4. Finally MINI UK will be fitting Team Dynamics wheels in order to save over 3 lbs per corner. They’ll be 17″ in diameter  but will a full 7.5″ width. The tire choice remains a mystery.

What hasn’t changed (if you didn’t notice) is the power plant.


Sadly the JCWc will be a UK only model and produced in very low numbers – 50 – 100 depending on demand. Why go to the trouble of producing a car in such limited numbers for a single market? It could be a precursor to a GP version meant for global markets or a proof of concept for something else entirely. What is interesting is that MINI has given the UK team the green light to use components directly from suppliers giving quite a lot of transparency into a process that’s typically kept out of the public eye. We like the change. And it sounds like we’ll love the car.

Check out the latest copy of EVO for more details.