I believe that every car enthusiast out there is excited when a small production-car is adopted by a tuning company in order to make it powerful enough to compete with the bigger names in the sports car industry. Such is the case with the AC Schnitzer RAPTOR 2012, the small MINI which stole the spotlight at the Hockenheimring circuit this year, where 25 tuners rounded up and battled against each other for the best lap times.
The RAPTOR is based on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe and thanks to AC Schnitzer's engineers the small MINI was able to perform astonishingly against other names out there like Ferrari, Koenigsegg or Porsche.
Thanks to an increase in power from 155 kW/211 PS to 221 kW/300 PS, as well as a new sport exhaust system, a new suspension featuring adjustable height and the weight being reduced by more than 100 kg the RAPTOR was able to achieve the lap time of 1:10.87 min. That's a pretty big performance boost when compared with the last year's AC Schnitzer EAGLE based on the Mini Cooper which achieved a lap time of 1:12.3 min.
But let's face it; you want to hear the lap times of other sports cars that are legendary for their performance on the circuit. Well, the list is pretty long but some of the more notable brands and lap times are:
- BMW M3 GTS - 1:12.5 min.
- Porsche 911 Carrera S - 1:14.3 min.
- Porsche 911 Turbo S - 1:10.9 min.
- Porsche 911 GTS - 1:12.9 min.
- Ford GT- 1:14.1 min.
- Koenigsegg CCR - 1:09.8 min.
- Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera - 1:10.9 min.
- Ferrari Challenge Stradale – 1:13.0 min.
So there you have it, AC Schnitzer were able to make the MINI Cooper Coupe faster than the Ferrari Challenge Stradale, the Ford GT and the Porsche 911 Carrera S, just to name a few. You might wonder how is it possible for a 100 kg lighter Mini Coupe to get such high performances with the help of a bit of extra HP and a new exhaust system but truth of the matter is, that's not all there is to it. The AC Schnitzer engineers claimed that the RAPTOR has been tuned up in all areas of the vehicle in order to fully optimize it for "efficient performance". It's quite a feat and since the tuner seems like is able to raise the bar by so much with each passing year, we're quite eager to see what they'll have in store for us in 2013.