Mini launches racy new John Cooper Works Anniversary Edition
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the partnership between Mini and John Cooper.
Born in Surrey, England, on July 17 1923, Cooper was a veteran of Formula 1 who in the 1950s pretty much revolutionised the sport forever with the advent of his lightweight rear-engined chassis design that was soon embraced and adapted by all serious constructors.
Cooper in 1961 also lent his considerable engineering talents to developing the original BMC Mini into a proper piece of performance kit. The resultant Mini Cooper was an instant hit with everyday driving enthusiasts (and still is to this day) while the more potent Cooper S would claim overall victory at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. The rest is history and the Cooper name has been synonymous with the Mini brand ever since.
To acknowledge this famous collaboration Mini has gone and released the new 2021 Anniversary Edition that can be had in either Cooper, Cooper S or John Cooper Works specification. Limited to just 740 examples worldwide, this newcomer comes licked in your choice of Rebel Green, Midnight Black or British Racing Green metallic paint with a contrasting white roof, bonnet stripes, door handles and headlight surrounds. Other standout design touches include red brake calipers and a number 74 on the bonnet and doors — a hat-tip to a classic Mini Cooper that wore the starting number 74 when it won its first race at the Snetterton Lombank Trophy back in the day. Yeah, not obscure at all.
Climb inside the cockpit of the John Cooper Works Anniversary Edition and you'll find black leather John Cooper Works sports seats, an anthracite headliner, stainless steel pedal set and interior trim with a high-gloss piano black finish. Meanwhile the inside of the driver's door frame features an emblem with John Cooper's signature, the handwritten note “1 of 740" and the words “60 years of Mini Cooper — the unexpected underdog.”
SA is only getting six Anniversary Editions and all are based on the current Mini John Cooper Works model, which means you get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine developing 170kW and 320Nm worth of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. In terms of performance you can expect a claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds and a maximum top speed of 246km/h.
The Mini John Cooper Works Anniversary Edition will arrive in Mzansi in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing will be confirmed closer to that time.