In 1959, Alec Issigonis created one of the great automotive icons, the Mini. That same year, sports car constructor John Cooper won his first F1 World Championship title with Jack Brabham at the wheel. Fifty years on, BMW has decided to celebrate both occasions (and make more money) with this: the MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 (what a mouthful!), which is limited to 500 units worldwide.

Unveiled to the public at the 2009 MINI United Festival in Silverstone, the JCW C50 comes in retro Connaught Green paint with a white roof and bonnet stripes. These, plus Challenge alloys in black and the JCW aero package, makes the C50 stand out in a sea of lesser MINIs. Apparently, the colours were provided by the legend’s son John Michael Cooper, whose signature appears on one bonnet stripe and a plaque.

The bi-xenons rest in black housings and there’s a host of carbon fibre parts, among them the bonnet scoop, rear diffuser, exterior mirror caps and tailgate handle. Owners will be keen to show off special numbering on the side scuttles finishers. Inside, it’s black with red touches and carbon pieces, plus an Alcantara wrapped wheel.

No need for added power, so under the hood is the JCW’s 211 bhp 1.6-litre turbo four-pot with 260 Nm between 1,850 and 5,600 rpm, which can even be briefly increased to 280 Nm thanks to an overboost feature. Should be a riot to drive, litreally. Drive goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual. 0-100 km/h in done in just 6.5 seconds, on to a top speed of 238 km/h.

Two units (008 and 288) are available in Singapore. Priced at S$168,800 with COE, each unit comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by John Michael Cooper. How expensive is that? A BMW 325i is S$2,000 cheaper! More images after the jump.

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