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Is this the most exciting Mini in the world?The Gen 3 Mini is a new category for the Mini Challenge, a racing series in the UK featuring the iconic little hatchback. XCAR tried to wrestle one around the track to see just how thrilling a Mini can be.
[NOISE]. [MUSIC] This is the standard Cooperette. It's gonna 180 brake horsepower from a two litre turbo charged four cylinder engine, with an [UNKNOWN] 60 time of 6.9 seconds. I've always really enjoyed the driving dynamics of Hot Hatch Minis. From this one's, the previous generation, John Cooper Works, and Mini GP. But today, I'm here to sample an ever so slightly faster Mini. [MUSIC] This is comfortably the fastest Mini in the UK today. The all new for 2015 gen 3 Mini. It's the fastest of three classes in the Mini Challenge. A racing series in the UK which aims to provide a competitive and affordable championship catering for all experience and budget levels. With the Gen 3 the guys who run the championship have said they wanted to create a car that delivers unrivaled performance in a single mate championship. A touring car experience at a fraction of the cost. [MUSIC] Many challenges of race series that's got real heritage in the U.K. It's been running now for 13 years. Has a number of classes. You have an entry level Cooper class. And the JCW class being a turbocharged 1.6 liter and now the new Gentry two liter turbocharged car really does take the bar up much higher. The key things are that it's affordable. And everybody has an even chance where the cars are identical so there's no chance that somebody has [UNKNOWN] quicker than you or that they've got more money to spend down to where you're the driver that has the skill and capabilities to get the most out of the car and not all those other things that are driven by checkbook. Mini does have a particularly unique place in the heart of the public, and that's such. We get a lot of spectators, and, and also sponsors have a, a slightly greater tendency to want to get involved because of the mark and the fact that it's an iconic British brand. The many challenges administered by Total Track, who built this car in house. Unlike the standard Cooper S, the two liter engine delivers up to 275 break horse power with over 400 Newton meters of torque. With big slick tires, three way adjustable dampers, bespoke Quafe sequential gearbox and Motorsport ECU, this appears to be the real deal. With an 85 kilo driver this thing weights about 1150 kilos. So with me in it, let's call it an even 1200, shall we? Wow, this thing is all race car. It's got this great sequential system custom built for the car. You don't dip the clutch when you shift up. You just slap it, it's great. You dip the clutch to change down. But it just feels wonderful. Wow! You can feel it pull. There you go. It's hard to believe that this is pretty much the engine you get in the Cooper [INAUDIBLE]. [MUSIC] What they're trying to do with the [INAUDIBLE] when they made the car was to give the series some more credibility to drivers who wanted to kinda take the next level. [INAUDIBLE] for those who want [INAUDIBLE] car experience. As people tended to think of the Mini Callie. It's just, you know that's pretty much stock pro standards strong [INAUDIBLE] coopers, and I tell you, this certainly isn't that. the Gentry mini, it's what gives the mini challenge more credibility. I would say this about does it, you can't get much more credible than this! you can't get much more incredible than this! listen to that! I wouldn't say this sound is recognizable. From the [UNKNOWN] but it's a very, very, very [INAUDIBLE] It's a mental one you don't invite to parties because it will [BLEEP] things up. We can't go for about. About 30 grand. And that feels like an absolute bargain. They weren't interested in making a new [UNKNOWN] expensive racing car. I mean anybody can really do that. They wanted to make something that was affordable. And I mean most import is expensive. It's, it's never gonna be a bargain of the century. I'm not saying that, that isn't a lot of money because 30,000 pounds is a lot of money. But look. Look what you're getting, you're getting a fully bred race car. You're not getting a halfway house, this isn't a hot hat. This isn't even a hyper hat. Don't be fooled by the friendly looking and familiar mini headlights on the outside of the car. As you can see from this aggressive touring car inspired body kit this thing is an absolute. Beast. And nothing shows that better than this interior. You can see how savaged this car is. It's a proper racing car. You see everything exposed and you can feel the inner workings of the car and you realize that obviously this is a very, very different from the Cooper S. Engine aside, it's got bigger brakes, bigger noise, bigger everything. The amount that they're charging. The experience is, I think, unrivaled for that kind of cost. They've already sold ten of these and they're hoping to get about 20 on the grid. And can you just imagine the cacophony of 20 of these firing up together. I think the experience to these drivers will be completely unforgettable and I, for one, would absolutely love. To give it a go. [NOISE]