By Denna Bowman
Kumho has been named exclusive tyres supplier for the fastest Mini model ever to hit the roads – the recently-launched John Cooper Works GP.
The south Korean tyres manufacturer will provide its Ecsta V70A tyres as original equipment for the limited-edition model.
Described as a 218hp ‘pocket rocket’, the high performance model completed the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in eight 8 minutes 23 seconds – an impressive 19 seconds faster than the original MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit launched back in 2006.
The Mini John Cooper Works GranPrix is a special edition created to evoke memories of the John Cooper-prepared Minis that won the famed Monte Carlo Rally three times in the 1960s.
The 240-horsepower Mini JCW GP is considered the fastest production Mini ever offered and only 2,000 will be produced worldwide. It is fitted with Kumho’s Ecsta V700 ultra-high-performance tyres, size 215/40R17, which Kumho describes as race tyres homologated for the street.
BMW approached Kumho at the beginning of the car’s design and requested an OE tyre be developed specifically for the new model.
Il-taek Jung, executive director of Kumho Tires’ central research center in Offenbach, said: “Since our contact with BMW was reached in 2011 for OE tyres, we have developed products uniquely for Mini GP.
“We are very proud that the fastest Mini in history is equipped with Ecsta V700 tyres,”