MINI UK Launches the John Cooper Works World Championship 50

The limited edition World Championship 50 (or WC50 for short) is now in production and will be sold only in the UK and European markets. As we exclusively reported earlier this summer, US dealers showed little interest in a pricey ultra limited edition model so this latest JCW model will be skipping MINI’s largest market.

Official UK Release: Both were revolutionary and triumphant: in the summer of 1959 Alec Issigonis presented his concept for a small car which, with its transverse-mounted front four-cylinder engine and space for four occupants plus luggage, was to become a byword for economy of space and driving fun. That same year, sports car constructor John Cooper won his first Formula One World Championship title with Jack Brabham at the wheel. 50 years on, the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 evokes both the start of the triumphal path of the classic Mini as well as victory in the F1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship for John Cooper’s racing team. This MINI special edition was inspired by John Cooper’s son, Mike. His signature appears on the facia and on one of the bonnet stripes. It will have a limited production run of 250 units and was unveiled to the public at the 2009 MINI United Festival in Silverstone. The car is based on the MINI John Cooper Works and driven by a 155 kW/211 hp four-cylinder engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection. The production version of the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 features numerous exterior and interior details reflecting the racing pedigree of the brand.


The bodywork of the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 comes in a new colour for MINI, namely Connaught Green – harking back to the famous colour of British race cars of the 1950s and 60s era. It is combined with the roof and bonnet stripes in Pepper White. The green with the white bonnet stripes mirror the colour concept of the Cooper F1 cars. The specification of these colours was provided by Mike Cooper giving the car its authenticity. Mike was consulted throughout the development by the MINI Design department. Mike’s full name is “John” Michael Cooper and he signs himself John Cooper. His signature appears on one bonnet stripe and on a facia plaque. Further accentuating the competitive character of the special edition are the John Cooper Works aerodynamics package and John Cooper


Works Cross Spoke CHALLENGE light-alloy wheels in Jet Black.

Designed for extreme sporting fun outside and in.

Ensuring both an optimal view and a striking look are bi-xenon headlights with black interior surfaces and additional driving lights with black housings. The MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 also features a plethora of carbon fibre features, among them the bonnet scoop on the bonnet, rear diffuser, exterior mirror caps and tailgate handle. These provide the link to the modern racing era. Special numbering on the side scuttles finishers identifies each MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 as an individual entity of an exclusive limited series.

Regarding the interior colour and trim, the racing theme is maintained by Carbon Black overlaid by subtle sporty red touches. The full leather sports seats come in black with red piping and the red theme is perpetuated with co-ordinating red knee-rolls, armrests and red stitching on the floor mats, gearshift & handbrake gaiters. Facia, and door grip finishers continue the carbon fibre theme, as does the John Cooper Works insert on the Sports Steering Wheel, which has an Alcantara rim conceived for sporty driving fun.


Technology from the race track: four-cylinder engine with 155 kW/211 hp.

Like the design features of the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50, the power source under its bonnet is similarly defined by the racing competence of MINI John Cooper Works. This 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit is based on the engine of the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE that was first fielded in the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE. It provides 155 kW/211 hp and develops maximum torque of 260 Newton metres between 1 850 and 5 600 rpm, which can even be briefly increased to 280 Nm thanks to an overboost feature. Power transmission is via a six-speed manual gearbox. All this enables the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds, going on to a top speed of 238 km/h. Average consumption in the EU test cycle is 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres, with a CO2 figure of 165 grams per kilometre.

Also key to the superior performance of the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 is its suspension technology, which is unique for this vehicle class. In addition to the McPherson struts on the front axle and a central-arm rear axle otherwise not found in the small car segment, electromechanical power steering (EPS) also helps guarantee safe and thrillingly precise handling. A Sport button (also standard) on the centre console activates a palpably more dynamic setting with sharper steering response and enhanced precision. In keeping with this, the Sport button also switches the accelerator pedal control map to an even sportier mode. The large sports brake system with red aluminium callipers guarantees short stopping distances. It responds with precision and brake power can be finely applied.

Standard equipment also features Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Hill Assist, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and Brake Assist. With DTC switched off, furthermore, an Electronic Differential Lock Control system (also fitted as standard) is activated for the drive axle, supporting more dynamic driving when accelerating out of corners or switchbacks, for example.


50 years ago: revolutionary concepts lead to success.

The MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 is the youngest and at the same time the most intriguing result of a long motor sport tradition shared by the MINI and John Cooper Works brands. Even before the classic Mini was launched onto the market, sports car constructor John Cooper had been casting his eye on this revolutionary new small car. A boost in engine output and a few minor tweaks rapidly transformed what was above all a practical two-door car into a thoroughly competitive sports machine. In the 1960s the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S models made their mark as serial winners both in rally racing and on the race track. Absolute highlights in the racing career of the classic Mini are its three overall wins in the Monte Carlo Rally of 1964, 1965 and 1967.

As a close friend and business partner of Mini creator Alec Issigonis, John Cooper paved the way for – and gave his name to – these Mini variants that were to prove so successful in the sporting arena. The man who recognised the competitive potential of the Mini early on and then systematically capitalised on it had previously already created a revolution on the world’s race tracks. He was the first constructor, along with his father Charles Cooper, to field a mid-engined sports car in the Formula One World Championship. In doing so, the team set a trailblazing trend for the entire motor sport sector. In 1959 and 1960, Cooper race cars scooped up the Constructors’ and Drivers’ title in the Formula One World Championship – a first in racing history for mid-engined models. It was a concept that caught on: to this day, all Formula One cars are built according to this principle.

50 years on, the legendary British race track at Silverstone provided the perfect backdrop for the world premiere of the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50. From 22 to 24 May 2009, MINI fans from around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the brand at the MINI United Festival. They gathered together to enjoy an exciting programme of live performances by top stars from the international music scene, lifestyle action in typical MINI style, and countless intriguing glimpses of the brand heritage. There was of course plenty of racing action as well: Silverstone hosted two rounds of the current German MINI CHALLENGE – reason enough to look back on a racing history as successful as it is diverse.

Full Specifications

Standard Equipment

  • 6-Disc CD Changer
  • Alarm System (Thatcham Cat1)
  • Anthracite Headlining
  • Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Bluetooth Telephone Audio Connection
  • Car Jack
  • Chrome Line Interior
  • Colour Line, Rooster Red
  • Comfort Access
  • DAB Radio
  • Darkened Rear Glass
  • Exterior Mirror Pack
  • Front Fog Lamps
  • Front Passenger Airbag Deactivation Switch
  • Full Bluetooth Preparation with USB Audio
  • Harman Kardon Hi-Fi System
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Interior Lights Pack
  • Multi-function Controls for Steering Wheel
  • Navigation System
  • Park Distance Control (PDC), rear
  • Passenger Seat Height Adjustment
  • Run-flat Tyres
  • Storage Compartment Pack
  • Universal Remote Control
  • Visibility Pack
  • Voice Control
  • Warning Triangle and First Aid Kit
  • White Indicators

Special Edition Content:

  • 17″ Cross-Spoke Challenge Alloy Wheels in Jet Black
  • Additional Driving Lights, Black
  • Bi-Xenon Lights with Black Interior Reflectors
  • Bonnet Stripes in Pepper White without Pin-Stripes, with John Cooper Signature on – – Driver’s Side
  • John Cooper Works 3-Spoke Sport Alcantara/Leather Steering Wheel
  • John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Bonnet Scoop
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Front Door Grips
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Interior Trim with John Cooper Signature Plaque
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Mirror Caps
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Rear Diffuser
  • John Cooper Works Carbon Fibre Tailgate Handle
  • John Cooper Works Floor Mats, Carbon Black with Red Stitching
  • Leather Gearshift Gaiter, Carbon Black with Red Stitching
  • Leather Handbrake Gaiter, Carbon Black with Red Stitching
  • Side Scuttle Finisher Chrome Frame with Edition Number (0-250)
  • I really like the green and white colors with the red accents. Hope that makes it’s way into the regular lineup down the road..

  • Adam

    What a tease. Shame its not comming to the states. Gorgeous car.

  • DUDE!

    I understand the pound/dollar/euro exchange thing but why couldn’t they offer it to us here in the US as a MINI/USA online buy? Offer up a % of them to the USA and if indeed they didn’t sell within a reasonable amount of time then put them back on the market in Europe and the UK. How hard would that be…? I think they would sell just fine.

  • that.guy

    This color should have been available from day one 8 years ago.

  • Brian

    Everything looks nice, except the same cheap looking plastic center console and the 3 inches of wheel gap in that picture. Does the JCW suspension suck so much that they don’t install it even on this car?

  • Cheswick

    Yeah I’m not sure why they wouldn’t allow a US customer to spec one out ot be delivered. Not sure how that would affect a US dealer since people custom order Minis all the time

  • DUDE!

    @Cheswick… it’s a no brainer, I think.

  • rkw

    Whooppee. comes standard with a CD changer! Giving it away was the only way they could clear out some inventory.

  • lavardera

    I wish I could get one of those here in the US, with the right hand drive even.

  • CraigE

    Realistically, how many people in the USA would be willing to pony up the $50-60 grand for this? Next to no one here knows anything about the history of the John Cooper Garage and MINI, let alone F1. So as a special edition, it is almost meaningless in the States. To most people in the USA it would be just another Cooper Works car, with a bunch of conventional JCW accessories special seats and a special color.

  • Micah

    As others have expressed, MINI should definitely bring Connaught Green to the USA, in addition to a non-metallic color or two…something similar to Porsche’s Mexico Blue for example. More non-metallics and “risky” color choices not only fit the character of MINI, but I believe would sell well in a world of current auto color choices that range between various shades of white, gray, and black.

  • Gary

    I want one but can I get it with an automatic trans? (joking). But I do agree with the others on the appeal of this color. Also that there should be more actual color choices. My wifes Hot Chocolate is nice but doesn’t appeal to me… the yellow does but they dropped the yellow shades this year.

  • DUDE!

    @CraigE… some really silly conclusions, I think.

    1. The USGP in Indianapolis drew more than some races in Europe, the Long Beach Grand Prix drew huge crowds when F1 was run there, I can attest to that as I went yearly and it was hard to sometimes get a ticket, as did many of the other F1 races around the USA. They no longer exist because of Bernie’s economics.

    2. Seems when the new MINI was announced in the USA we bought in droves, still do, and are still the biggest market for them. When the JCW package was offered here it did quite well. We have huge events where MINI/Minis of all types show up. AMVIV, MOTD, MITM, MOT and so on.

    3. Maybe the price tag that you speak of would curtail anyone from buying this car, anywhere.

    Respectfully, RB

  • matt

    But those ARE NOT the JCW seats. This is a euro only car, so they should be using the europe only JCW seats. Maybe MF got punked with these pictures so we would bitch less.

  • The seats above are the seats that come with the car. The WC50 doesn’t come with the JCW Accessory Recaro seats.

  • ftttubrgcm

    I saw this at MINI United@Silverstone earlier this year and instantly fell in love, as did the majority of others. MINI VP told me at the time it may come to US so there may be hope. BMW changes their minds so much, ie. Countryman release, US MINI diesels, etc.

  • dr
    Realistically, how many people in the USA would be willing to pony up the $50-60 grand for this?

    Your’e right….none….Because this is what a JCW is supposed to be in the firstplace! There would be no problem selling JCW’s if they were like this

  • Ellis

    I want one…..

  • Greg W

    There are only 500 being made total for world markets. MINI sells in 70 countries? thats seven each. New Zealand is only taking two cars. Remember that all special limited edition cars end up as collectors items andappreciate in value.

  • sorry gabe, you are wrong. the WC50 is already in production. the german cars (68 pieces) were produced first and have all been delievered in november. caused by the complex production workflow they wc50 will be produced only in packages of 15 pieces.

  • To some, this is a collectable masterpiece, to some, it’s the worst embodiment of badge engineering.

    And I thought they’d up’ed the quantity to 1000?

    anyway, a lot of money for what’s basically a stock car with custom colors.


  • Hoover

    Dear MINI,

    Make this green an option across all models, sooner rather than later. (Throw in a decent metallic blue while you are at it.) Horizon Blue is pretty boring.

    I’m guessing that many would also like the Bi-Xenon Lights with Black Interior Reflectors as an option, too.

    Sincerely, The MINI faithful

  • RJ

    @Greg W Remember that all special limited edition cars end up as collectors items andappreciate in value.

    Have to disagree with your rather broad sweeping statement….I don’t believe that all special limited edition cars will appreciate.

    Remember the limited edition MINI from a few years ago…towards the end of the 1st gen New MINI, what was it…..the Monte Carlo limited edition MINI? Red, Monte Carlo decals on the exterior…that was a limited edition..not really appreciating. Even the recent GP MINIs … very special cars indeed….aren’t perhaps losing alot of value, but they’re certainly not appreciating across the board.

  • b-

    @ RJ very special cars indeed….aren’t perhaps losing alot of value, but they’re certainly not appreciating across the board.

    I don’t think that 3 years is enough time for these cars to start to go up in value. While they are limited to the one year they are changing hands often and there is almost always a few for sale. It will take more time to really know if the GP is a good investment, but these cars are not investments, they are drivers!

  • Australia should be getting 10 WC50s, including #500.

    I understand two of the cars have already got deposits on them and the remaining cars are likely to be sold by ballot.