Finally some additional info on the JCW Challenge Cars! Selected dealers in the US will be selling the cars by year end. Of course, MINI of Charleston will be stepping forward to be one of those dealers.
The cars will be 2009 model year vehicles, to be built in September this year with projected delivery dates in October. With the current exchange rates the car will be in the $60,000 – $65,000 price range. Below is a link to the Euro MINI site’s information page on the Challenge Cars (they will move the steering wheel to the left for US production!). The equipment level for the cars is still very heavy, and when you consider what it would cost to build this car yourself, it’s not totally unreasonable. If you want to see one prior to purchase, the car will make its US debut at the New York Auto Show in April. Press releases and a US website will be done shortly.
MINI is working on placing the car into a stand alone series with either SCCA and/or NASA. Currently the SCCA does not accept the FIA approved cage in the JCW car, but they already made an exception for the Ferrari Challenge cars in 2006, so that should not be a stumbling block. If I need a wave of letter writers to convince them, I may ask you SCCA members to give me some email time.
What MINI is trying to do now is get a reasonable count of truly interested potential customers to give Oxford some input for production schedules. NON-BINDING, if you think you are interested or could forward this to people you know that may be, I need a count of my hand-raisers to guide them.
Thanks for your interest and I’ll keep you posted as thing progress.
MINI of Charleston