With the recent conversation regarding the next generation MINI going from supercharging to turbocharging there have been some questions about whether the “S” in Cooper S will remain. For those that know MINI history that's an easy answer. However for those that don't it seems to be a logical question. So to clear the confusion up and make us all better students of automative history here's a bit of official information on the subject from MINIUSA PR:
The name 'Cooper S' has a true sporting pedigree: The Classic Mini Cooper S (developed by John Cooper Racing) dominated European rallying in the mid-sixties. The car won the '64, '65 and '67 Monte Carlo rally, (also being controversially disqualified in '66 after finishing first, second and third). The 'S' also scored multiple wins in European Touring Car and Saloon Car competitions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Mini motorsport remains popular in Europe.
However the true meaning of the “S” designation, as used on the famous Mini Cooper “S” of the '60s, is lost in time. It is believed that designer Sir Alec Issigonis and John Cooper disagreed over 'Sport' or 'Special' – so “S” simply came to mean “S”.
So while we're not entirely sure what it actually meant we know one thing… it wasn't supercharger!