15 August 2007

On the right track?

Mini's JCW Challenge is awesome in every detail but one: it's not road legal

John Cooper Works Challenge Mini

For the love of God, Mini, why? Why?

Why would you tease us by releasing details of an awesome-sounding John Cooper Works Challenge Mini, with 210bhp and a redeveloped, more torquey engine?

Why would you tell us that it'll hit 62mph in 6.1 seconds and top out at 149mph?

Why would you unveil all the juicy details of the JCW's roll cage, Recaro buckets, race harnesses, rear diffuser and - most impressively - F1-style HANS head and neck support?

Why would you do all this and then tell us it's not going to be road legal? Damn you all the way to Hades.

But it's true. You won't be allowed to drive the JCW Challenge on the road. Mini says it's specifically for track use, particularly the Mini Challenge race series.

Apparently, the lack of road legality is to 'to maintain its appeal among racing enthusiasts', but we're still not impressed.

Although it's due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt show, the JCW Challenge won't hit tracks until the start of the Mini race series next March, which gives us plenty of time to convince 'em to bolt a couple of number plates on.

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