2012 MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP II Spy Shots

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The second generation MINI Cooper’s run is coming to an end, and just like the previous model it too will be going out with a bang.

To celebrate its end, MINI will be launching another high-performance ‘Cooper GP’ model, a prototype of which was recently spotted near Germany’s Nürburgring race track.

Unless you’re a hard-core MINI fan, chances are good that you’ve never heard of the Cooper GP.

First released in 2006, only 2,000 of the special edition MINIs were built and of those only 415 made it to the U.S. Not surprisingly prices for these cars were well north of $30,000.

The cars came with 215 horsepower on tap and significant weight saving mods, making them the most competent models in MINI’s lineup and guaranteeing their collectable status among MINI die-hards. Now it’s time for a Cooper GP II.

At the start of the 2012 New York Auto Show, MINI boss Dr. Kay Segler announced that a new MINI Cooper GP II would be launched at this year’s MINI United event, to be held in La Castellet, France, in May. He went on to reveal that the car would feature a particularly high-performance turbo engine, racing-oriented suspension technology and exclusive, aerodynamically optimized body components.

As our spy shots reveal, the Cooper GP II, whose full name is MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP II, will come with a lightweight carbon fiber roof, unique bumpers with enlarged intakes, a discrete rear spoiler and more carbon fiber used for the side mirror housings. We also expect the interior to be stripped out and fitted with racing paraphernalia.

Interestingly, a MINI Cooper Coupe prototype with similar GP II modifications has also been spotted, suggesting that there may be more than one bodystyle used this time around.

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