MINI USA GP press release

At the New York International Motor Show, MINI USA officially announced the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP kit (although online readers of MotoringFile have known about it for ages!)
Via eBay, I acquired a press kit which includes a CD of photos, a few pages of text and figures, and a “postcard” picturing the GP:

Here’s all the CD images:

Here is the text of the press release:
Limited-Production 2-Seat Model Offers Even More Performance

Woodcliff Lake, NJ, April 12, 2006 MINI USA announces the North American Debut of the 2006 MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit (GP) at the New York International Auto Show.

This limited-production, sport tuned model comes exclusively in a two-seat configuration and offers a level of performance that makes it the most powerful MINI available from the factory. The “GP” produces 214 horsepower and is approximately 100 pounds lighter than the standard MINI Cooper S model, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 150 mph.

The two letters “GP” in the name of this unique model stand for “Grand Prix”, paying tribute to MINI’s motor sport pedigree – a pedigree not only demonstrated by the Classic Mini’s Monte Carlo rally wins in the 60s, but by MINI’s competitive successes today, including road racing, auto cross, rally sport and even drag racing.

The MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit will be limited to a production run of exactly 2,000 units worldwide. The US market will receive an exclusively limited number of only 415 of these cars which go on sale this fall with a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $31,150 including a $550 destination charge.

Under the bonnet, the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit features additional modifications to the intercooler, the supercharger and the electronic engine management system. With these modifications this model now boasts a 46 horsepower increase in engine power over that of a standard Cooper S model, producing 214 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque at 4600 RPM. The low restriction twin-pipe sport exhaust, adds an impressively throaty sound, underscoring the enhanced sport-tuning of the engine.

The performance-enhanced power plant in the new MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit offers even more on-road performance with acceleration times of 6.5 seconds from 0 to 62 mph. To transfer this extra power to the road, the car comes standard with a limited-slip differential, enhancing traction under acceleration. This feature not only helps to optimize traction on slippery roads, but also during spirited driving. DSC Dynamic Stability Control adds a further level of active safety on the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit.

An essential feature of the John Cooper Works GP Kit is its sport suspension and sport brakes with components carefully matched to the greater power of the engine. Even firmer springs and stronger dampers enhance the outstanding agility of the car while larger sport brakes with special composition pads add greater stopping power.

The new MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit stands out with an exclusive Aerodynamics Package with deeper, more contoured front and rear air dams and side sills. The roof spoiler with its racing wing profile is a prominent feature at the rear of the roof line.

The MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit also features an exclusive metallic paint scheme in Thunder Blue with the roof finished in Pure Silver. Adding exclusivity to this limited-production model, each MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP kit is sequentially numbered with a distinctive roof graphic just over the side door. The surrounds on the air scoops along the engine compartment lid and in the front air dam are also finished in Pure Silver. The exterior mirrors come in an attractive contrasting Chili Red. And white side direction indicators come standard.

The purist interior of the MINI Cooper S with its John Cooper Works GP Kit exudes more than just a “touch” of motor sport. The rear seat bench was removed to help reduce the weight of the car, and is now a flat loading area. For even greater convenience, the floor can be folded up in a Z-arrangement for easy access to two additional storage boxes. An aluminum finished cargo brace bar behind the front seats helps to keep cargo secure.

The sport interior is fitted with driver and passenger sports seats that come in an exclusive GP cloth/leather upholstery combination and a special three-spoke leather sports steering wheel. The dashboard again underlines the sporting character of the car with a center mounted speedometer and the tachometer mounted on the steering column. Both displays come in Anthracite, with red needles ensuring excellent clarity and readability.

Additional weight saving measures included replacing the conventional rear control arms with ones made from aluminum. This along with modifications the body and omission of some of the sound-deadening material come together to help reduce the overall weight of the car by approximately 100 pounds compared to a MINI comparably equipped Cooper S.

(quoted from MINI US press information)

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