Tony O'Kane | May 29, 2009

BESIDES LENDING his name to the hi-po variants of the current MINI range, John Cooper was known for two things: having a hand in the development of the original BMC Mini Cooper, and building indomitable Formula One cars in the late 1950s.

To celebrate the achievements of the late John Cooper, MINI unveiled its own rolling tribute to the man at the recent MINI United festival at Silverstone - the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50.

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Built to commemorate Cooper's first F1 World Championship victory in 1959, the special-edition MINI comes decked out with black 17-inch alloy wheels, a carbon-fibre bonnet scoop and an exclusive paint colour - John Cooper's signature Connaught Green.

There's also a few extra splashes of carbon-fibre on the tailgate, rear apron, mirrors and dash, while black leather seats with red piping spice up the interior.

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Power is supplied by the same 157kW 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the regular John Cooper Works MINI, but the JCW 50 special edition gets a load of extra goodies as standard equipment. Things like Sat-nav, a Harmon Kardon stereo system with USB input, Bluetooth, parking sensors, heated front seats and a multi-function steering wheel.

Only 250 will be built, and unfortunately it's strictly a Europe-only model. Pricing and sale dates have yet to be released.

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