Mini muscle car
Lighter weight, more power, added priceIf you’re a Mini Cooper fan with means, get up, and drive as fast as you possibly can to the Mini dealership to reserve one of the 415 special edition models coming to the United States this fall. For $31,150 including a $550 destination fee, the 2007 MINI Cooper S is available with a John Cooper Works GP package, one that adds power, saves weight, and comes with a higher price tag – though Mini Cooper fans with means won’t care about the price premium.
The John Cooper Works (JCW) package is a pricey add-on that bumps power output on any Mini Cooper S. But this new GP kit, which stands for Grand Prix, doesn’t turn a Cooper into a flabby Pontiac rental car. Instead, it ditches the Cooper’s tiny back seat, drops some of the sound deadening materials, and swaps the steel rear control arms out for aluminum components to save 88 pounds over a regular Cooper S. Add tweaks to the JCW’s intercooler, supercharger, and engine management system, install a low restriction twin-pipe exhaust, and you’ve got a factory-backed Mini Cooper putting out 214 horsepower for a zero-to-sixty acceleration time of less than 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph.
But this new 2007 MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP does more than go fast in a straight line. A standard limited-slip differential helps ensure that the power makes it to the pavement, while firmer springs and dampers add more zest to the handling. Brake pads made of special material improve stopping distances, and buyers can add a stability control system at no cost if they choose.
Cosmetic enhancements include a standard Aerodynamics Package that adds a deeper front air dam and a larger rear valence panel, plus lower side sills and a rear roof spoiler. Every one of the Cooper S JCW GP models will be painted in a unique Thunder Blue metallic hue with a Pure Silver roof and Chili Red side mirrors. To make sure you never forget which one of these limited production Minis is sitting in your garage, there’s a sequentially numbered roof graphic just over the side door. Inside, this special Cooper gets sport seats with exclusive cloth and leather upholstery and a unique three-spoke steering wheel. The gauge faces are anthracite with red needles, which doesn’t sound like it provides high contrast, but then, you’ll probably be watching the world blur by and grinning like an idiot as you run this Mini muscle car through the gears, not checking speed and revs.
Photos by Ron Perry and courtesy of Mini