MINI John Cooper Functions – a tale of remarkable origins

A few of the biggest automobile companies these days have had an illustrious last in the track. Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Ford and now Mercedes-Benz are some of the most useful examples, plus they plough vast amounts of dollars in R&D and engineering to provide their particular cars and motorists the competitive advantage.

The technologies developed for rushing weren’t just reserved the track – a lot of them have-been transported and homologated for regular road usage, frequently raising brand appeal. MINI has additionally had its fair share of glory in the world of engine race, now we check out into its less popular tale.

The TINY brand name in fact began life when you look at the late 1950s as an inexpensive, fuel-efficient means of transportation. The brainchild of Sir Alec Issigonis came to be regarding requisite into the post-war era, because fuel had been scarce, costly and greatly rationed. A cheap econobox it was, as they say.

An additional element of city had been the Cooper household. Charles along with his boy John Cooper, through the Cooper Car business they founded in December 1947, were already building championship-winning Formula race cars. It was only a matter period before the paths of Alec Issigonis and John Cooper, an avid competition car driver himself, would mix.

John Cooper took a proper interest in the look regarding the original Mini, because he knew the automobile had much more possible. He spared no time at all and quickly turned one into a race car. He bored out the standard motor, fitted twin carburettors, revised the steering ratio, uprated the brake system, and installed a close-ratio transmission for better speed. In 1961, 1st Mini Cooper came to be. By 1964, the Mini Cooper had been a worldwide occurrence, and in the ensuing many years it continued to win a series of much talked about championships.

One of its most respected victories is at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini Cooper, in the beginning regarded as the underdog for being a puny automobile with an inferior motor, blazed past bigger cars (including a Ford Falcon with an eight-cylinder motor!) towards the chequered flag, a feat no one saw coming.

The pilot at the time was none other than the legendary Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk. His success virtually made him the UK’s most famous rally driver instantaneously, and MINI fittingly paid tribute by starting the Paddy Hopkirk Edition. Hopkirk’s Finnish teammates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen additionally fared spectacularly during the Monte Carlo Rally in 1965 and 1967.

Across next couple of years, there would be several dozen iterations for the Mini marketed globally. Once manufacturing ended on October 4, 2000 (the exact same 12 months John Cooper passed), over five million products associated with Mini was indeed sold worldwide. Next, BMW took complete control over the Mini title, and rebranded it to MINI. The classic Mini was handed the TINY Hatch designation, because BMW had intends to develop the number – very literally at that.

In 2001, BMW revived the Cooper badge as an homage towards late John Cooper. Simultaneously, John’s boy Michael Cooper founded the John Cooper Functions company as an expert tuning unit for brand-new selection of MINIs. During the time, the tuning system just increased power by a mere 11 PS (to 128 PS), but luckily BMW nevertheless honoured the warranty for consumers who moved forward aided by the improvement.

The JCW upgrade system continued to be an aftermarket option, plus 2006 a limited version, pre-tuned MINI Cooper S with all the John Cooper Works GP system was introduced. During the time, it absolutely was more hardcore SMALL hatch available, and just 2,000 units were built. It performed the 0-100 km/h sprint within 6.5 seconds.

The seismic move occurred in 2007 when BMW bought John Cooper Functions (manufacturer, engineering and development resources), exactly the same year it introduced the second-generation R56 MINI Cooper hatch. With JCW now in the fold, MINI managed to precisely develop superior JCW models in-house, complete with bigger Brembo brake system and digital limited-slip differential.

In 2008, MINI unveiled the JCW Hatch and JCW Clubman, featuring a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 211 PS. To prove that MINI ended up being dedicated to overall performance and go-kart management made famous by its rally-winning forebears, it announced the R56 John Cooper Works GP in 2013. Again, just 2,000 devices of model, which did the century sprint in 6.3 seconds from the same 1.6 litre motor, had been made.

Fast toward today, and each model in the TINY range is crowned by a John Cooper Functions variation, with all the only exclusion becoming the Hatch (the honour goes to the limited-run JCW GP, definitely). The existing crop is much more effective, much more powerful, more practical and diverse also – all necessary measures to meet up the needs of contemporary motoring.

The JCW GP, JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman are typical powered by the BMW Group’s most powerful B48 2.0 litre engine yet, supplying 306 PS and 450 Nm of torque. These are effortlessly the quickest-sprinting MINI models available. Despite being designed with all of the trappings of a modern, fashionable automobile, the not-so-mini MINIs remain as zippy and pin-sharp accurate driving.

All this to say, vehicles bearing the John Cooper Works badge tend to be a particular breed. Its history trickles far back toward days whenever Charles and John Cooper began building single-seater race cars for privateers in their garage, utilizing surplus army equipment.

Their most famous achievement was the look of a rear-engined competition vehicle, a move that went on to alter the landscape of motor race at the highest amounts, including Formula One additionally the Indianapolis 500. When requested the reason why they moved with a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive design, John Cooper simply downplayed your choice and stated: “because it was the convenient thing to do.” Just who knew that a race car builder would simply take such a liking the classic Mini?

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