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by Adam Lynton
Following spy shots of the next-gen regular MINI Cooper are a few new snaps of the sportier Cooper S prototype.
MINI's next-generation model, known internally as the F56, was spotted in prototype form testing on the public roads of Europe just last week wearing a full-body camouflage wrap. Following the MINI Cooper, set to be revealed sometime later this year, will be replacements for each of its variants such as the S and John Cooper Works trims, in addition to new versions of the Countryman, Clubman and the host of other body styles that MINI offer.
The regular Cooper will hit showrooms early 2013, while the second model - the sportier MINI Cooper S - will arrive in the second half of next year. Caught while lapping the Nurburgring, the Cooper S can be distinguished by its centrally-mounted exhaust tips, while its also wearing bigger wheels than the regular Cooper prototype, suggesting high-performance tires and bigger brakes. Very few details are currently known about the new Cooper, however we know it will share a chassis with the next-generation BMW 1-Series and carry a lineup of four-cylinder turbocharged plants.
These should at least match the current model's 208hp rating but with fewer emissions produced in the process. A three-cylinder option has also been touted by BMW as something new for the iconic British car.