Image credits: © MINI.

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit
Sometimes less is more. For example when it comes to less weight in a particularly sporting car. Which explains why the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit is approximately 50 kilos or 110 lb lighter than the 'standard' model. Together with an increase in engine power to 160 kW/218 hp for top speed of 235 km/h or 146 mph, this strictly limited special model offers a standard of performance once again significantly better than the performance data of the most powerful MINI available from the factory so far, the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit.

The two letters 'GP' in the name of this very special model stand for 'Grand Prix' and thus clearly pay tribute to the motorsport DNA of this truly exceptional MINI. The MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit will be limited to a production run of exactly 2,000 units and will be available in Europe as of July 2006.

1.6-litre compressor engine developing 160 kW/218 hp.The unique MINI CHALLENGE Racing Series has been thrilling en­thu­siasts and racing fans in Germany and many other countries the world over since 2004. The MINI racing cars entered in these exciting events feature the 1.6-litre compressor engine of the MINI Cooper S boosted to an even higher level of output by the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit. In the production model available from every MINI Sales Partner and naturally covered by the full works warranty, the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit increases engine output to an impressive 154 kW/210 hp. Modifications to the intercooler on the compressor and the electronic engine management increase engine output on the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit to 160 kW/218 hp clearly symbolised by the throaty sound of the twin-pipe sports ex­haust.

With this kind of extra power, the fast-revving engine featured in the new MINI Cooper S boosted by the John Cooper Works GP Kit offers even more dynamic and agile performance with acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h in less than 6.5 seconds. And to get this extra power safely on to the road, the Limited Edition MINI comes as stand­ard with a limited-slip differential largely preventing the drive wheels from spinning on either side and thus optimising traction above all on slippery roads. DSC Dynamic Stability Control comes as a non-cost option, further increasing the driving safety of the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit.

High-performance brake system and sports suspension from John Cooper Works.

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit
An essential feature of the John Cooper Works GP Kit is the sports suspension with components carefully matched to the greater power of the engine. Even firmer springs and stronger dampers enhance the outstanding agility of the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit particularly in bends and on winding roads. The high-performance brake system with 16-inch inner-vented discs, in turn, ensures optimum deceleration and short stopping distances, red-painted brake callipers on the front wheels providing a particu­lar­ly visual highlight. Low-profile tyres and 18-inch light-alloy rims developed especially for the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit are further standard features. Through their lower weight, these wheels reduce the car's unsprung masses and at the same time enhance the sport­ing performance of the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit.
Special aerodynamic package and exclusive colour scheme.

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit
The MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit also features an exclusive Aerodynamics Package. New highlights are the front and rear air dams, the extra-low side-sills, and the underfloor cover. The roof spoiler with its wing profile, in turn, is already featured in a simi­lar configuration on some of the cars raced in the MINI CHALLENGE. The Aerodynamics Package significantly improves the car's drag co­efficient and downforces both front and rear, benefiting both the top speed of the MINI Cooper S and its driving behaviour at high speeds.

The new MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit stands out clearly from all other MINIs at very first sight through its exclusive metallic paintwork in Thunder Blue. Another exclusive feature is the combination of this highly attractive colour with the roof finished in Pure Silver. The surrounds on the air scoops along the engine com­part­ment lid and in the front air dam are also finished in Pure Silver, while white direction indicators come as standard. The exterior mir­rors, in turn, come in an attractive contrasting colour - fiery Chili Red.

The first production MINI with only two seats.

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit
The purist interior of the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit exudes more than just a 'touch' of motorsport. But at the same time driving and riding in the new model is not only more sport­ing and dynamic, but also more comfortable, both the driver and passenger enjoying sports seats from Recaro, the renowned German specialist, offering perfect side support, adjustable thigh support and integrated seat heating. The seats themselves are finished in finest Panther Black leather, with red seams again providing a dynamic and sporting contrast.
The special three-spoke leather sports steering wheel enhances the driving pleasure offered by the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit to an even higher standard. The direct steering trans­mission ratio, in turn, enables the driver to steer this exceptional MINI with ultimate precision round every bend, almost like in a go-kart. In­tegrated multi-function buttons, in turn, allow the driver to operate the radio and cruise control without even taking his or her hands off the wheel.

Through its particular design with the rev counter positioned behind the steering wheel and the central arrangement of the speedometer, the dashboard again underlines the sporting character of the car. Both displays in their classic circular design come in Anthracite, with red needles ensuring excellent clarity and readability. The display of the on-board computer featured as standard, finally, is integrated in the rev counter.

The principle that 'less is sometimes more' is also borne out clearly at the rear, with the entire rear seat bench being dropped in the inte­rest of weight reduction. So the space formerly taken up by the rear seats is now available as a flat loading area further enhancing the practical value of the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit. And for even greater convenience, the entire floor of the lug­gage compartment can be folded up in Z-arrangement for easy ac­cess to two additional storage boxes.

In the interest of even lower weight, the engineers responsible for developing this outstanding new model have taken a close and de­tailed look also at the technical features of this very special sport­ing MINI: On the rear axle track control arms made of aluminium replace the conventional units - again a special feature carried over from motorsport. Further modifications on the body of the car as well as the omission of air conditioning (which is however available as a no-cost option) and of some of the sound-deadening material all come together to reduce the overall weight of the car by approximately 50 kilos or 110 lb versus a MINI Cooper S with an average range of equip­ment, thus optimising the car's power-to-weight ratio.

Wide range of standard equipment.

The wide range of standard equipment boasted by this particularly sporting special version of the MINI leaves virtually nothing to be de­sired. Apart from the special components of the John Cooper Works GP Kit (power unit, suspension, Aerodynamics Package), this special model also comes as standard with an on-board computer, air condi­tioning (no-cost option) and velours footmats. Leather sports seats by Recaro, a radiator complete with CD player (Boost model), the leather sports steering wheel with multi-function buttons, a Lights Package as well as sundim glazing on the rear side windows and the rear window are all standard. Electronic DSC Dynamic Stability Control is available as a non-cost option.

Again reflecting the special features of a Limited Edition collector's item, the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit comes with an individual production number (1-2,000). And boasted on both the roof and the dashboard in Black on Silver, this number clearly confirms once and forever that this MINI is limited to just a small collection of very special cars for the very special customer.

Source - MINI
The British Motor Corporation came into existence in 1952 by the merging of two manufacturers, Nuffield Motors and Austin. Nuffield was known for its Morris line of vehicles, while Austin had its 'Seven' model line. The transition for the two manufacturers was difficult and had been forced out of necessity. After World War II, many vehicle manufacturers could not stay in business due to destroyed factories, recovering economies, strained resources, and lack of funds. Combining the two companies was a means to stay in business.

A fuel shortage was occurring. German engineers quickly adapted and began producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Examples include the Volkswagen Beetle. Leonard Lord, Chairman of BMC and former head of Austin, commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to design a vehicle to compete with the German-made vehicles.

Alec Issigonis was a graduate of Battersea Technical College. After graduation he worked as a draftsman for a plethora of engineering projects. Later, he joined Morris Motors where he was tasked with creating and fitting suspensions to the Morris vehicles.

Issigonis was outfitted with requirements to create a fuel-efficient, affordable, safe vehicle capable of carrying four individuals including luggage. To save on development costs, it was requested that an existing BMC engine be used. What he created was a vehicle that sat atop of 10 inch wheels. By using smaller wheels there was little need for wheel wells.

The car was expected to carry four individuals; the combined weight of the passengers being greater than the entire vehicle. A suspension was needed that could accept this pay-load. With his prior experience creating and working with suspensions, Issigonis designed a rubber cone suspension.

A 950 cc, four cylinder, BMC engine was selected. It was mounted in the front and expected to power the front wheels, a system that was revolutionary at the time. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally, it was place transversely. The transmission was place under the engine due to space constraints.

When Issigonis presented his designs and recommendations to Lord in 1958, changes were requested. Instead of the 950 cc engine, a 34 horsepower, 848 cc engine would be used, making the vehicle slower but more importantly, more safe. The other request was to make the vehicle two inches wider.

There were two versions of the car when it was first introduced on August 26, 1959. The only difference between the 1959 Austin and Morris versions was their badges.

John Cooper had designed vehicles that successfully won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960.

He proposed a marriage between his 1000 cc Formula Junior engine with the Mini. Lord approved the idea and in 1961 the Mini Cooper was born. It was fitted with a 997 cc engine producing 55 horsepower. Later, the Cooper S came into being with the advent of the 970 cc and the 1275 cc engine - the latter capable of 76 horsepower.

From 1964 through 1967 the little car dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. The car easily achieved these victories using a 91 horsepower engine.

Minis became more than just a practical car, they became a fashion statement. This, combined with their practicality, fuel efficiency, and success on the race track, created an overwhelming demand for the little car.

In the 1980's, the Mini was starting to loose momentum. Rover tried to revitalize the Mini brand by creating special editions. In all, there were more than 40 different editions created between 1980 and 2000.

A merger with British Motor Corporation and another company produced the Britsh Leyland Company. Later, it became Rover Group. Currently, it is owned by BMW.

In 2001, BMW introduced the MINI. The MINI currently has three Cooper models. Their main differences being the size of the engine and the horsepower rating. A convertible has also been included to the line-up.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007

Three generations of driving fun: The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S through the years.

For three generations and over 50 years, the Cooper name has identified a MINI offering even more in the way of driving fun. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car with an extra hit of performance and turn it into a sporting machine for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined with the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations of the legendary small car. These famous handling traits are enjoyed by drivers on bendy country roads and city streets around the world, with the classic Mini and 21st-century MINI still regularly crossing each other's path.

The small British car positively craves twists and turns demanding quick and precise changes in direction; this is where it feels most at home. The classic Mini was tailor-made for tackling hairpins and corner-strewn roads, and it still looks the part today – aided by the healthy 46 kW/63 hp available in a Mini Cooper towards the end of its production run. The classic Cooper was built up to autumn 2000, by which time its successor was already twitching in the starting blocks. In contrast to the original Mini, the new model was available in Cooper guise from the outset. And with 85 kW/115 hp under the bonnet, it would do its nameplate proud. From the word go, the car's powerplant and chassis formed a harmonious alliance to deliver unbeatable driving fun. As John Cooper realised, sometimes you actually can't have too much of a good thing. 50 years ago he unveiled the 70 hp Mini Cooper S. And today, its youngest descendant places 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of its driver. As if that wasn't enough, the turbocharged engine powering the latest MINI Cooper S also sets the benchmark for efficiency in its output class.

When Alec Issigonis set out to develop a new small car for the British Motor Corporation in the mid-1950s, his priorities were space and price. Indeed, at a touch over three metres in length, the classic Mini offered astonishingly generous accommodation for passengers and their gear alike. Issigonis settled on a front transverse installation for the four-cylinder engine, under which lay the gearbox, plumb between the wheels. The positioning of those wheels at the far corners of the car and the Mini's short overhangs did the rest. The Mini was small on the outside but roomy on the inside, not to mention – at around 600 kilograms – extremely light. The principles underpinning its design remain the template for small and compact cars in the modern era.

2006 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP Tuning KitHowever, it was left to another key figure in the brand's history to uncover the vast well of sporting talent under that diminutive shell. John Cooper, a friend and business partner of Mini creator Issigonis and winner of two Formula One constructors' world titles, was quick to spot the car's dynamic potential, and in 1961 the first Mini Cooper hit the roads. Production of the Cooper was temporarily suspended in the 1970s, but by that time the Mini Cooper badge had long since become the signature of a sporty and agile small car.

As well as the intervention of John Cooper, the launch of this famous sporting career also relied on the brilliance of the classic Mini's chassis. Issigonis had broken new ground with the steering and suspension of his new creation, and in so doing laid the foundations for the go-kart feeling appreciated by drivers to this day. Homokinetic joints reduced torque steer, a subframe (to which the rear wheels were fixed) improved directional stability, and rubber springs and small telescopic dampers ensured accurate responses and progressive spring action. The wealth of ideas packed into this small car still impresses. And the result of those ideas – the classic Mini's much-celebrated handling – explains why the car continues to enjoy such a loyal community of fans. When the successor to the original car came along in 2001, it was clear that highly advanced chassis technology would be needed in order to set the pace in driving fun all over again. The MINI Cooper rose to the challenge in some style, thanks to MacPherson spring struts at the front axle, axle shafts equal in length, a multi-link rear axle unique in the small car segment, disc brakes on all four wheels, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).

The latest-generation MINI Cooper S also features Electric Power Steering with Servotronic function and a DSC system including DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system gives the MINI a crucial edge through the tight bends of Alpine passes, for example, by braking a spinning wheel as required to enhance drive out of corners as well as the car's steering properties. Added to which, pressing the standard Sport Button in the MINI Cooper S makes the steering even more direct and stirs up a particularly sporty soundtrack from the engine. All of this was unimaginable 50 years ago, of course, but you get the impression John Cooper would have wholeheartedly approved.

Source - BMW
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