Mini John Cooper Works, a division of BMW AG, says it plans to debut the new hard-top John Cooper Works GP II in May. It is intended to be an improved sequel to the much-coveted 2006 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GP, or the Mini Cooper GP, which had a very limited run.
To debut next month in France
Never known for its comfort, there were only 2,000 of the performance-skewed 2006 Mini Cooper GPs ever made; and of those, only about 415 were ever shipped to the U.S.
The unveiling of the new Mini GP II will take place at the Mini United Festival, which runs from May 11 to May 13 in La Castellet, France.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Dr. Kay Segler, the CEO of BMW’s M division, at a press event for the New York Auto Show. The New York Auto Show opens to the public on Thursday, April 5.
Highest-performing Mini ever
The original Mini Cooper GP was a commemorative run, marking the end of production of the automaker’s Mini Series 1. Packing 215 horses and lacking the burden of 100 pounds of back seat, the Mini Cooper GP was the highest-performing model Mini ever produced. Eminently collectable, the entire line was snatched up, despite the lofty $30,000-plus price tag.
In the intervening six years, the value of used 2006 Mini Cooper GPs has declined somewhat, although they still have plenty of appeal for collectors.
Details remain sketchy
The exact details about the Mini Cooper GP II remain intentionally vague, but Mini hinted that the model will feature a “particularly high-performance turbo engine, racing-oriented suspension technology and exclusive, aerodynamically optimized body components.”
Despite the mystery, most experts speculate that its engine will pack more than the 208 horsepower available in the current Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. World Car Fans goes so far as to predict that it will “have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, with approximately 220 horsepower.”
Car and Driver speculates that the Mini Cooper GP II will be even lighter still than the first Mini Cooper GP, giving its performance that much more of an edge. The automotive site also believes the GP II will come in a short, limited run, like the original GP did, no doubt to increase its clout with collectors.
Mini also said at the New York Auto Show opening event that it will be commemorating its decade in the U.S. by releasing a special edition Mini available in red, white or blue.