Early delivery rumours

From Chief_Charlie on this MINI2 post:
Heard that the GP’s were discussed at the Regional Sales Manager’s meeting in South Carolina this past week. There are approx 80 GP’s to be delivered at both locations, pretty evenly split between the 2 locations. The GP Delivery Program has been closed out, and no one else can apply. So, sounds like there will be a good number of folks West and East, which is good for us (and good for MINI)

MINI Mania & Monterey

A press release from MINI Mania says a few interesting things about the Monterey event
… Mini Mania will also be participating in the anticipated largest gathering of Mini Cooper in US history. Special parking is being provided for both the original classic Mini and the new generation BMW MINI Cooper. The expected 1,000 owners will be able to not only view an entire week-end of historic races but also to visit the various trade booths …

Paul Mullett at the GP media launch

See this MINI2 thread:
… in Italy attending the International Media Launch of the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit. The main focus of the launch will the chance to spend a few hours putting the new limited edition MINI through it’s paces on the Adria International Raceway, in northern Italy

UPDATE:
The Adria International Raceway has a webcam which allowed us some peeks of the GPs being driven today – here are copies of all the pics collected by MINI2 members:

Thanks to all the MINI2 members that grabbed pics while I was still asleep 🙂

UPDATE #2:
Paul is posting comments on the MINI2 thread now:
… noisier, faster, easier to turn, stop…. Just better overall.
Stereo is not so hot, just a boost with two speakers missing.
Numbers are also random, and No.1 is not first built, nor is 2000 the last. Certain countries were given a set of random numbers, some bartered for cool ones, but other than that, they’re random.
Congrats to those who’ve ordered one, it’s brilliant …

Paul also posted some fabulous pictures:

(picture credit Paul Mullett / MINI2)

 

UPDATE #3:
Paul is posting more comments on the thread:
I’d like to know about the noise levels inside the cabin – Surprisingly civil when idling or pootling around, much like a regular JCW S. When you floor it though very nice indeed. Exhaust is amplified a lot …

The way the rear end handles is very different from the regular S, much more controllable and predictable I felt. It’s a very managable car, I would think very easy to have fun with. The effects of the spoiler kick in around [50 mph] apparently.

As for the rear view, I asked about that. Apparently the changes to the under car aerodynamics, and the lower, but further out position of the spoiler, creates a very low pressure area (of course), but it’s further out than the regular S, so under testing (in September in Germany) they found it no worse than the regular S, in fact less so, so the rear wiper delete shouldn’t really be a big issue.

GP production number

I got my production number today from MINI of Peabody! However it’s clearly not yet a real MINI, since the website says it’s a BMW (and following the links takes me to the BMW owner pages!)
GPonMINIUSA1.jpg

If you’re brave enough to pretend to be a BMW owner, this is what you see:
GPonMINIUSA2.jpg

1-866-ASK-MINI says “vehicle is in production, estimated completion date July 14, 2006” …