With the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed fast approaching. MINI has taken the wraps off of the JCW Challenge which aims to bring lap time shredding capabilities to the venerable hardtop model.
As the name suggests, the JCW Challenge is heavily inspired by cars that compete in the Challenge racing series. This is most prevalent when one views the front fascia which stands out thanks to bigger front air intakes, model exclusive trim for the wheel arches, and a roof mounted spoiler. MINI has always been known for its paint selection, but the JCW Challenge will only feature White Silver with a black roof providing much needed contrast.
The interior retains much of the basic traits that have come to define other hardtop models, but passengers benefit from supportive bucket seats, as well as a sporty three spoke steering wheel. Like other special edition models, the JCW Challenge features a commemorative plaque on the dashboard which signifies its place in the production order.
Unlike the Challenge racing cars which make up to 255 horsepower, MINI did not make any alterations to the hardware lurking under the hood which means the Challenge will retain the standard JCW’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which brings 231 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The Challenge makes the sprint to 62 mph in 6.3 seconds before topping out at 153 mph. A six speed manual gearbox is the only transmission choice available, but a trick limited slip differential built by Quaife helps brings more of the Challenge’s power to the road.
MINI claims that only 100 copies of the JCW Challenge will be produced, and that sales will be limited exclusively to the United Kingdom. Pricing begins at £32,000 which converts to about $46,000 in U.S. dollars. Speaking of the U.S, market, MINI revealed that it has no plans to sell the Challenge in the states due to our country’s stricter safety and emissions laws, as well as potential cross shopping between it and the range topping JCW hardtop.