The 2006 MINI John Cooper Works GP1 was a limited-edition, high-performance variant of the MINI Cooper S. As a tribute to MINI's racing heritage, it featured upgrades inspired by the MINI Challenge race cars.
Ever since the classic Mini debuted in 1959, the name John Cooper has been synonymous with performance versions of the iconic British car. John Cooper, along with his father Charles Cooper, operated the Cooper Car Company which produced successful Mini-based race and rally cars in the 1960s, most notably the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S.
When the modern MINI was introduced in 2001 by BMW, the top performance model was once again called the Cooper S. BMW also offered John Cooper Works tuning kits for further enhancement. The racing heritage continued with the creation of the MINI Challenge race series.
MINI John Cooper Works GP1
In 2006, MINI introduced the limited-edition John Cooper Works GP1, inspired by the racing MINI Challenge cars. Only 2000 units were produced for worldwide sale.
Performance and Specs
With a supercharged 1.6L engine, the GP1 produced 218 horsepower, allowing for a 0-60 mph time of around 6.5 seconds. The top speed was electronically limited to 150 mph.
The GP1 featured upgraded brakes, a stiffer suspension, and a unique body kit with a large rear wing. The roof and mirror caps were finished in contrasting colors. The stripped-out interior had carbon fiber racing seats and deleted the rear seats.
Reviews and Reception
Reviews praised the GP1's track-ready performance and racy exterior styling. However, the stiff ride and lack of rear seats made it impractical for daily use. As a lightweight, limited-edition model, the GP1 has become a sought-after collector's item for MINI and John Cooper Works enthusiasts.