Secret Power Plans; It's long been suspected that BMW were developing a high-octane MINI. Now the rumour is reality, writes BILL CAVEN, as the lightweight 218bhp super Cooper S is set for a right rollicking ride in the fast lane.
BMW have been slow to admit that they've been hatching plans to speed up the MINI. But one of the industry's worst kept secrets is finally out with the news that next year sees the introduction of the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works (JCW) GP kit. The German marque set a new standard in the small car market four years ago with the irresistible wee cutie and this latest release will be their fastest supermini to date.
And it will more than realise the dream with a power output of around 218bhp and a weight loss of 40 kilos.
The only spot of bad news in all this is that just 2000 of the speedsters will be built for MINI fans around the globe and, sadly, the UK limit is liable to be about 50.
The MINI Cooper S with JCW GP Kit will be a two-seater in exclusive colours, and extra safety and interior options will come as standard.
A modified chassis and engineering tweaks deliver the weight reduction.
The longitudinal control arms on the rear axle are now made of aluminium and the omission of the sound- deadening material and the rear seats has cut weight too.
Modifications to the intercooler and engine tuning measures have boosted power output of the supercharged 1.6-litre engine on a standard MINI Cooper S JCW by 8bhp.
In order that such power and the high maximum torque of 245 Nm are transferred securely to the road, this exclusive special edition features a limited slip differential and dynamic stability control as standard. High-performance brakes featuring red-lacquered callipers on the front wheels ensure optimum stopping power.
In addition, the GP kit includes weight-reduced 18-inch alloy wheels.
The special edition will be available only in grey-blue metallic paint combined with a silver roof and red wing mirrors. The air scoop on the bonnet and the front apron is also painted silver.
Interior standard spec includes Recaro sports seats, single CD, air conditioning and a multi-function steering wheel.
A new aerodynamics package - front and rear aprons, a wing-shaped rear spoiler, underbody panelling and even lower side sills have all been added.
Which all help to equip this MINI flier with even more ability to perform.
No doubt the UK's allocation will disappear from showrooms like free Mars Bars at a Weight Watchers meeting FactfileModel: MINI Cooper S Engine: 1.6-litre Power: 218bhp Warranty: Three years/unlimited miles Price: TBC On sale: Next year
SUPPLY AND DEMAND: BMW are building just 2000 of the little Cooper S fliers, with around 50 bound for the UK