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4How Mini shacked up with John Cooper

The late Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, Alec Issignonis to his Internet friends, designed a car that was sold as the Morris Mini-Minor, the Austin Seven and later the Austin Mini. Go to the Mini USA website and check out the models, though, and every one of them is called a Cooper of some sort, e.g., Mini Cooper Paceman or Mini Cooper S Roadster. So who is Cooper?

482013 Mini John Cooper Works GP

Location, Location, Location

8Watch Mini JCW GP's official Nürburgring run

Let's just go ahead and say it: a sports car is not really, truly a sports car until it has set a time on the Nürburgring. Until then, it's just seats on wheels. The Mini John Cooper Works GP edition has, however, earned its car stripes: just 2,000 of the fancy Minis are headed for production, and one of them has lapped the 'Ring in 8:23.

13Mini working up new John Cooper Works GP edition

The Mini faithful fondly remember the John Cooper Works GP (pictured above). Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006, the GP edition was the fastest version of the first-gen Mini hatchback. It packed 218 horsepower, 180 pound-feet of torque, a beefier suspension and – thanks to the removal of the back seats and air-conditioning – 88 fewer pounds to motivate. The result was a 6.5-second sprint to 60 and a 146-mph top speed. Only 444 examples were made available shortly before the se

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