Based on info we’d received over the pasts few months we had expected the JCW GP to eventually make it to the North American market. I’m now happy to report that this has officially been confirmed by MINI USA today. US MINI dealers should get their an allotment of five cars starting around July of 2006.

As we mentioned last week the Recaro seats won’t make it (due to the seat cushion airbag sensors) and instead the US market will get black cloth and leather seating. That aside the rest of the car should stay relatively intact. In fact MINI USA is even studying the feasibility of a Delete Option for both the A/C (further reducing weight) and DSC. This Delete Option will be available elsewhere in the world.

Here’s the official press release just issued by MINI (as seen on the MINI USA press site). While it doesn’t include any US specific information, it does expand on the press release issued earlier in the day from MINI UK:

The exclusive MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit will serve as a real treat for the particularly sports-minded MINI fan. The special edition featuring a boost in power output to around 218 bhp and a noticeable reduction in weight will be produced as a limited edition of 2,000 units. Its performance will clearly surpass that of the most powerful ex-works MINI to date, the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works Kit.

The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit was first presented to the public during MINI United, the official MINI annual meeting and international seasonal finale of all MINI club sport series being held in Misano/Italy from 28th to 30th October. The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit is expected to be available in Europe from July 2006, the price tag in Germany being around 30,000 Euros.

Exclusive racing technology made for the road.

While developing the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, engineers focussed predominantly on even greater agility and high driving stability. Modifications to the intercooler as well as engine tuning measures have boosted power output of the free-revving 1.6-litre supercharged power unit to around 160 kW (218 bhp).

In order that such power and the high maximum torque of 180 foot-pounds are transferred securely to the road, this limited special edition features a limited slip differential as standard. Dynamic Stability Control DSC is available as an option. High-performance brakes by John Cooper Works featuring red-lacquered brake callipers on the front wheels ensure optimum stopping power. Additional standard equipment by John Cooper Works includes a sports suspension and an awesome sound generated by the specially constructed Tuning Kit. An additional new highlight are the weight-reduced 18-inch alloy wheels specially designed for the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit.

In order to reduce weight even further, engineers made extensive modifications to the technology and bodywork of this special edition. The standard longitudinal control arms on the rear axle now come in an aluminium version. Due to bodywork modifications and the omission of parts of the damping material, the air conditioning unit (optionally available at no extra charge) and the rear seats, weight has been additionally reduced by around 88 pounds. This value substantially enhances motoring performance and cornering ability, transferring the MINI CHALLENGE racing feeling to the tarmac.

Revised aerodynamics and exclusive body colours.
The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit features a thoroughly revised aerodynamics package. Front and rear aprons, the now wing-shaped rear spoiler, the even further lowered side sills and the underbody panelling have all been redesigned. This has resulted in a distinctly reduced drag coefficient and enhanced downforce on the front and rear axles.
The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit is immediately recognizable by its exclusive grey-blue metallic body colour combined with a roof painted in Pure Silver. The air scoops on the bonnet and in the front apron also come in Pure Silver. Likewise, the exterior mirrors feature a contrasting colour – fiery Chilli Red.

Purist interior design.
In keeping with true racing car tradition, the interior of the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit was intentionally designed to keep a low profile. Nonetheless, standard equipment still includes Recaro sports seats, Radio Boost with CD and a multifunction sports steering wheel.