The Full Story Behind the MC40

After taking the whole MC40 press introduction in yesterday I thought it would be best to take some time and thoroughly go over the MC40 without the crowds and cameras. You can see some further details of the car by checking out the greatly expanded photo section (to the left).

Beyond photos and seat time I was also after some of the story behind this quickly concieved and designed MINI. What I found out was quite enlightening

While the MC40 is a fabulous package in it’s current production form it could have been even more so.

The way the car was originally conceived was to be even more sporting in character and most likely even higher in price. For instance the MC40 was originally to come with the famed JCW sport seats as standard. I was also told that MINI was originally looking at fitting a wide range of other new (and at this time unreleased) JCW accessories. In fact the reason why we see the JCW logos on the carbon fiber dash on the MC40 prototype is because it’s the last hold over from all the JCW parts that were originally planned for the car. The two JCW logos on the dash may not even be there in final production form.

It would seem that MINI was originally thinking of the MC40 as a spring board in launching an entire range of JCW accessory parts. However while the launching of a full JCW US catalog may still happen later this year it was simply not to be for the MC40.

Another very interesting idea that didn’t make it to production was a roof mounted set of rally lights meant to be mounted on the optional MINI front roof rack bracket. To my knowledge this hasn’t even been attempted yet in the aftermarket. I imagine that cost and engineering time needed may have done in this particular idea.

Interestingly the production seats fitted to the MC40 have a slightly different stitch pattern that seems to give a bit more lateral grip than the standard sport seats. The red leather matches the Chili Red incredibly well and it’s much less garish in person than it is in pictures. I would urge people to hold off on negative opinions until they seem the seats in person.

One other thing that I was told by several MINI representatives is that the actual production car could vary somewhat from what we see on the stand of the Chicago Auto Show today. There may be some small trim differences along with a slight price adjustment if the change in spec warrants it. I would imagine the changes (if any) will be minor.

All things considered the MC40 has quite a bit going for it. First off it’s is naturally quite impressive looking. With the two-tone R90 wheels and the chrome package it certainly stands out. Inside the carbon fiber dash is absolutely mesmerizing to look at. It’s a high quality piece that really enhances the ambiance of the interior (coming from someone who doesn’t necessarily like the look of carbon fiber trim, that means something). Further the rarity of the car will be a key to it’s sales success. With only 1000 units being sold it’s destined to be something that always commands attention.


[ The MC40 in Person ] MotoringFile
  • swingMCS03

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing…

  • GJR

    I just received an email from Mini USA about the car, and there was a link to their site for more information, but there's no information on this car once you get there. Anyone else have any luck?

  • How much horsepower is the MINI Cooper MC40 going to recieve, what about the technical specifications?

  • Never mind, I was so excited, I didn't see the posted specifications on the homepage.


  • MINIUSA's reasoning for keeping it all stock – it was a stock MINI that won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally so this should be fully stock as well 🙂

  • The price is very mini as well…

  • Robert

    Gabe, go figure….RB

  • Josh

    Kind of a disappointment that they did forgo all of the JCW parts. Add the JCW kit and sport seats, then wow! I know if I were to get the MC40, I would definitely add the JCW package, but I just don't have the cash to get one for myself.

    Also, I was thinking the roof mounted rally lights might have been an aerodynamics problem. It works on pickup trucks, but the Mini doesn't have a 5L V8.

    I can feel the difference with 2 bikes on the roof and it becomes much louder.

  • I dig the styling and kit, BUT two disappointments- to be proper British, it should have rear-fogs. Also, why no MFSW??? That would seem to me a no-brainer. Otherwise, righto!!!


  • it does have rear-fogs. the example at the Chicago show is a prototype. the production models will have the rear-fogs. you didn't think they'd have a customer car available at a public auto show, did you?

  • I don't think it should sport the JCW badges on the dash unless its packing a JCW kit under the hood. I want those badges for my REAL JCW though. Anyone know if I could order those dash badges ???

  • They aren't badges – they are actually inlayed into the carbon fiber.

  • flyboy66

    solution: add JWC kit to the car

  • flyboy66

    oops..cant even spell..that is JCW kit

  • Ahh… The dash sure does look cool. I will have to find an MC40 when it comes out and steal the dash out of it then.


  • I think we need to remember that a typical “car collector” that might buy this limited edition MINI is less of a MINI enthusiast than we are. MINI USA probably (correctly) thought that adding $5K engine upgrade would make 1000 units more difficult to sell. As it is, anyone can add the JCW package if they wish.

  • Maxwell H.

    I don't know…I still don't think they'd have much of a problem selling 1,000 units if you tacked on an additional $5-6K for the JCW kit–especially if it were factory.

    That would put a JCW into a “normal” SCCA class, right?!

  • peter

    Awesome article and superb pics, Gabe —– thanks ! I would really like to get one of these so special edition MINIs!

  • Casey swenson

    Gabe – “MINIUSA's reasoning for keeping it all stock – it was a stock MINI that won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally so this should be fully stock as well :)”

    Then why fancy wheels, luxury leather seats, carbon fiber dash, etc? Those are not stock or were used in the original….

  • Iain

    Just got the pricing for the MC40 from a dealer:

    The breakdown is as follows:

    Base price $19,899.00

    ZMC Package 7,000.00

    Dest. & Handling 550.00


    The ZMC Package consists of the following:

    -Dynamic Stability Control
    -Xenon Headlamps with power washer jets -Front Fog Lights -Rear Fog Lights -3 Sport steering wheel
    -Chrome exterior with chrome mirrors -On-board computer
    -Rallye Monte Carlo Decals (front & side) -Driving Lamps -Carbon Fiber Dash -Matte Chrome Shift Knob
    -Magnetic #37 Door Panels -Red/black Leather interior
    -Auxiliary Gauges -GB Badge Rear
    -2 piece 17″ R90 Anthracite wheels -Individually numbered commemorative place with Paddy Hopkirk Signature

  • Actually the base price as of 1.1.04 (including destination) should be 20,849.

  • Mo Khazaal

    Just a question. I am looking at purchasing abrand new MC40. It is from a very big and reputable MINI dealer. It has everything an MC40 has except it is missing the numbered plate (they think it was stolen) and the gear shift knob is not the commemerative one. Dealer says the first ones produced had a normal knob. Is this true and should I be concerned? They say the plate will be replaced.

  • Mo – the plate was easily removed and very likely taken. However there is some news on the shift knob: The MC40 Gets More Special.

    Hope that helps.

  • wilfredo escobar

    How do i known if my mini is a MC 40 Special edition. since it has everything but the Individually numbered commemorative plate with Paddy Hopkirk can i find out (vin # maybe?)

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  • sky

    on the MC 40’s

    limited edition is the lower the number worth more money ? I own #30 and want to sell it. It has a new transmission and more with extended warrenties plus 2 years for all the new parts added recently by Universal Mini in ca. It has 51,000 miles and is in great shape. How do I find out it’s worth ? Please RSVP as soon asap. THX Sky