The following is the first official UK press release on the new John Cooper Works GP Kit. We expect more information as the week progresses.

The launch of the new MINI in 2001 set a new standard in the small car market for handling and driving enjoyment. Over the next four years rumours came and went regarding the arrival of a lightweight, high-performance MINI.

From July 2006, the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works (JCW) GP Kit will realise the dream with a power output of around 218bhp, a stunning 136bhp per litre, and a weight-drop of 40 kilos. Only 2000 will be built for MINI fans around the globe with approximately 20 per cent staying in the UK.

The MINI Cooper S with JCW GP Kit will be a two-seater in exclusive colours, and extra safety and interior options will come as standard.

The reduction in weight over the standard MINI Cooper S has been achieved by modifications to the chassis and engineering tweaks. The longitudinal control arms on the rear axle are now made of aluminium, and the omission of the sound-deadening material and the rear seats have made further weight reductions.

Modifications to the intercooler as well as engine tuning measures have increased power output of the supercharged 1.6-litre engine on a standard MINI Cooper S JCW by 8bhp. In order that such power and the high maximum torque of 245 Nm are transferred securely to the road, this exclusive special edition features a Limited Slip Differential and Dynamic Stability Control as standard.

High-performance brakes by John Cooper Works featuring red-lacquered brake calipers on the front wheels ensure optimum stopping power. In addition, the GP Kit includes specially-designed weight-reduced 18-inch alloy wheels.

The special edition will only be available in grey-blue metallic combined with a Pure Silver roof and Chili Red wing mirrors. The air scoop on the bonnet and in the front apron also come in Pure Silver.
Interior standard equipment includes Recaro sports seats, single CD, air-conditioning and a multi-function steering wheel.

A new aerodynamics package – front and rear aprons, a wing-shaped rear spoiler, underbody panelling and even lower side sills have all been added. This has resulted in a distinctly reduced drag coefficient and enhanced downforce on the front and rear axles.


Update: Surprisingly MINI UK did not include the official pricing figures for the JCW GP in the press release above. However we’ve since learned that MINI UK will be pricing the JCW GP at �22,000 (exactly what had been rumored). We should have more performance and pricing information soon.