Tires

2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP goes from street to track to snowy trail

The 2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP has gotten a new tire option.

Photo courtesy of MINI

Who says that winter driving fun has to be regulated to large parking lots post-blizzard? The MINI John Cooper Works GP is challenging that perception with a new equipment and dynamics setup that pushes the limits. It follows in the tread of the limited-edition John Cooper Works GP that was sold in 2006 and 2013.

The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is the fastest model of the British premium brand ever to receive road approval. The power comes from the car's standard twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 306 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission.

2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP

Photo courtesy of MINI

The MINI John Cooper Works GP is ready to take on winter weather thanks to new Hankook tires.

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To harness the power on the road, MINi is offering winter tires specially designed for the car. The ultra-high performance Hankook tires are designed to translate from bare pavement to snowed over trail to snowy tracks. Called the Winter i*cept evo 2 tires, they are sized 195/45 R18 87H XL. The asymmetric tread of the tires features shaped sipes and grooves that optimize both traction and braking on snow-covered roads. They are mounted on model-specific, 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels.

The MINI variant is optimized to allow for maximum traction from a standing start and advances the nimble drive dynamics of the traditional MINI. Its braking system features four-piston fixed-caliper disc brakes on the front wheels and single-piston fist-caliper disc brakes on the rear wheels.

The interior of the model has traditional MINI design elements but ups the the ante with colorful accents and a new free-standing digital instrument cluster on the steering column.

A number of components in the model are 3D printed including elements of the aluminum shift paddles on the steering wheel. The steering wheel clasp and the individual decorative trim strip in the passenger area have also been constructed using the printing process.

The MINI is limited to just 3,000 units.

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Rivian vehicles are currently undergoing winter weather testing.

Photo composite by AutomotiveMap, screen image courtesy of Twitter/@RJScaringe

On Sunday night, while you were on the couch missing football and pretending not to watch HGTV reruns of "House Hunters", Rivian's RJ Scaringe was out working with the engineering team that's developing the company's R1T and R1S all-electric vehicles. He posted about it on Twitter.

Scaringe, who is pretty open about the product development process on Twitter, described what they were doing saying that he was working on "developing traction control for some of our more fun driving modes". The one in particular that was shown in the video is Drift mode.

No internal combustion truck or SUV features a specific Drift mode straight off the line from the company. A combination of button switches and screen selections can get you something similar in many vehicles, namely the ones that let you disengage traction control.

Tesla's Track Mode V2 allows owners to adjust their vehicle's drive dynamics in a similar way.

While driving, Scaringe shows off the truck's fully-digital driver information display, which shows that the truck is traveling around 30 mph as it makes its way across the snow-covered track. The navigation screen is also on display showcasing a vivid picture of what the area looks like in more hospital temperatures.

The footage is shown as one of Rivian's electric utility vehicle rivals, the GMC Hummer EV has begun promoting its testing regimen in the snow.

Earlier in the day, Rivian's corporate Twitter account showed footage of the snow testing alongside other captured moments of the R1T and R1S including an intriguing water fording test and mountain climbing.

The company has been continuously giving updates regarding its development progress, even teasing the fact that its truck will be capable of a tank turn.

Rivian has released the footage as the company takes aim at its June 2021 scheduled deliveries start date. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated factors, the comany was unable to keep its original targeted delivery date for the first Rivian vehciles - late 2020.

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The Volvo P1800 Cyan heads to Åre for a snowy track day.

Photo courtesy of Cyan Racing

The blue paint job makes the Volvo P1800 Cyan instantly identifiable as it whips around a snowy rally course in northern Sweden. Cyan Racing chief engineer Mattias Evensson and his crew have been busy throwing the car sideways between snow walls in -20 Celsius conditions.

The track is 1,000 kilometers north of the Cyan Racing headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. If the town name sounds familiar, that's because it should. Gothenburg is also the hold of Volvo. The snow-covered roads of Åre were prime testing fodder and just so happen to be Evensson's home turf.

The Volvo P1800 became an iconic Volvo sports car shortly after during in 1960. Cyan Racing, the reigning triple World Touring Car Champions, has recreated the iconic car with a modern twist. The car is engineered by the team behind the first world title-winning Volvo race car and the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept Prototype.

Volvo P1800 Cyan

Photo courtesy of Cyan Racing

The Volvo P1800 Cyan heads to Åre for a snowy track day.

"The Volvo P1800 Cyan is our way for us to combine the best from the past and today, moving away from the power, weight and performance figures of contemporary performance cars," said Evensson, Volvo P1800 Cyan Project Manager and Head of Engineering at Cyan Racing.

The Volvo P1800 Cyan has a high-strength steel and carbon fiber body. It features a bespoke and independent fully adjustable chassis. The body design has been altered by the engineering team to include a wider track, larger wheels, and repositioned greenhouse.

There's also a Cyan-designed independent rear suspension and limited slip differential. The fully adjustable front and rear suspension features bespoke lightweight components, including aluminum uprights, double wishbones and two-way adjustable dampers with Cyan hydraulics.

All of it needed to be put to the test, and it was.

"What really struck me from this expedition was that the car is so easy to drive and that you do not need to provoke it to get it where you want," said Evensson. "All of the properties that we have tried to achieve were almost amplified by driving it on the low grip of snow and ice. The basic concept of the car seems to work really well, it does not matter that much if you are on a bone-dry racing circuit, a wet and twisty country road or on the crisp ice here in northern Sweden. You still feel confident and in control."

The Volvo P1800 weighs less than 1000 kilograms, has no modern safety features, and comes equipped with a dog-leg manual gearbox and an engine designed to deliver increasing power all the way to the redline.

"Our aim has been to make a car with a sound base design that leaves it to you as the driver to explore the limits, rather than leaning on electronic driver aids to control the power and weight as with most modern performance cars," said Evensson. "And it's all connected with the engine response, the chassis balance and the low weight, making the car playful and rewarding."

Watch video of the testing below.

Sideways the Scandinavian way www.youtube.com

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