Xcar takes the Mini Challenge, and it sounds awesome

The third-generation Mini is well and truly on sale in markets across the world. The new four-door model should be arriving soon, if it isn't already on sale in your neck of the woods, and the latest John Cooper Works model made its official debut just a few weeks ago at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. We aren't going to be talking about any of those right now, though. That's because our chums at Xcar took it upon themselves to sample the third-generation Mini Challenge racecar, a 275-horsepower, hardcore, fully committed competition version of the otherwise adorable Mini Cooper S.

At roughly 30,000 British pounds (about $45,200 at today's rates) there's a lot to like about the Challenge car. Aside from a gutted cabin and aggressive aerodynamic kit, the racer has been fitted with slick tires, a Quaife sequential gearbox, adjustable dampers, Alcon brakes and a consequently lower curb weight – under 2,600 pounds with an average-sized driver. It's fair to say the Challenge driving experience figures to be unlike your typical road-going Mini.

And considering that, we think the folks that built the car, Total Track, have fulfilled their promise of delivering a "touring car experience at a fraction of the cost." Have a look at the Xcar video and let us know what you think. Be sure to crank up your speakers, because the Challenge sounds excellent.

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