Development of a successor to MINI’s 2006 limited-build JCW GP appears near complete, with these thinly disguised prototypes spotted recently near the Nürburgring.
The previous GP model was used to farewell the R50 model MINI, and featured several weight-reduction measures and the 163kW John Cooper Works (JCW) mechanical spec, making it the quickest of all R50s.
These spy shots appear to be a prototype GP version of the current R56 MINI, and clearly reference the original with its four spoke wheels.
With R56 production set to end in 2013, the timing of a new GP model would be in line with tradition.
MINI boss, Dr Kay Segler announced recently that such a model would be unveiled at next month’s MINI United event in France, and that it would feature mechanical, suspension, and body upgrades akin to the original GP.
The prototype pictured hints at a carbon fibre roof, unique front and rear bumpers with more aggressive intakes and diffuser, all in line with Segler’s announcement.
Meanwhile, some reports suggest that MINI may be preparing a range of GP models, and using the moniker as somewhat of an equivalent to parent company BMW’s ‘M’ brand.
These reports are supported by the appearance of a prototype MINI Coupe wearing GP-style wheels in the featured shots parked at BMW’s Nürburg test centre.
A more hardcore GP sub-brand could be distinguished from regular JCW models, in a similar approach used by BMW with its ‘M’ cars in their more extreme performance focus than ‘M Performance line’ models.
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