With the imminent introduction of its new 2009 Mini John Cooper Works, the British maker will be taking racing to the streets.
Named for the man who turned the original Mini into a rally racing threat, back in the 1960s, the John Cooper Works is a street-legal version of the current Mini Challenge car, complete with sodium-filled valves, polished pistons, a composite camshaft, lightweight crankshaft – all boosting engine output to 208 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque.
First seen, earlier this month, at the Geneva Motor Show, the 2009 Mini John Cooper Works is set to go on sale in the U.S. on July 14th at a base price of $29,200. That’s for the hardtop version. The JCW Clubman will command $31,450.
Mini recently acquired the complete rights to the John Cooper Works name from the racing legend’s son, Michael Cooper. That means a lot more performance versions should grace the brand’s growing line-up in the near future, according to Mini spokesman Andrew Cutler. “We want to have a whole family of performance cars,” he told TheCarConnection.com, folllowing the 2009 Mini John Cooper Works preview at this year's New York Auto Show.