[Additional information posted 10/31/05, 11:55 AM]

The final model for the current MINI series was unveiled this weekend at the MINI United fan-fest in Italy. The MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP will be built by Italian specialty builder Bertone, for launch in the summer of 2006. Only 2000 of the GP version will be built.

This track-day version of the MINI is reported to have a modest power increase to 218 hp, but performance also benefits from an 88 pound weight reduction. Weight savings come from new Recaro front seats, removal of the rear seats, elimination of sound-deadening material, and replacement of the rear axle control arms with aluminum units - all of which are traditional track-car modifications.

[Added info: The JCW GP kit also includes a limited-slip differential and Dynamic Stability Control. Brakes are uprated, with de rigueur red calipers. The wheels are 18-inch lightweight alloys. Air conditioning is included - the earlier post was in error. More pictures added - after the jump. [Source: BMW Group]

The aero body kit and special edition wheels are the only exterior changes. More information at Autocar and Mini2.com.

<a class=MINI JCW GP pr photo" src="http://www.weblogsinc.com/common/images/3060000000051579.JPG?0.3372589940591044" align="top" border="1" height="230" hspace="4" vspace="4" width="349" />
MINI JCW GP pr photo228" hspace="4" vspace="4" width="345" />
MINI JCW GP pr photo


[Source: BMW Group]


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