The modern incarnation of the Mini has had a lot of ‘firsts’ claimed for it by its BMW parent. The first four-wheel-drive Mini, the first four-door version, the first diesel.

And, now, Mini’s first two-seater (if you’re prepared to overlook the limited-run Mini GP special) and the first three-box body structure has arrived, too, in the shape of the Mini Coupé.

To us, it’s even more simple than that: the Mini Coupé is the first of the modern breed to look like a sports car. (A curiously shaped one, perhaps, but we will come to that in a moment.)

As manufacturers explore ever more diverse market sectors, this one – the ultra-compact two-seat coupé market – is, you might think, a particularly small niche. And you’d be right – Mini is expecting less than five per cent of its sales to be of this variant.

To make the numbers work, the similarities between the hatchback and the coupé are legion. What is common across both models is the naming conventions. Within the Coupe ranger, you'll find Cooper, Cooper S, JCW and Cooper SD.

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • Porsche Cayman
    The Porsche Cayman is now in its second generation

    Porsche Cayman

    1
  • The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

    Toyota GT86

    2
  • BMW M235i
    The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

    BMW M235i

    3
  • Costliest car gets the deftest chassis to ever underpin a TT - the best reason yet to buy into Audi’s coupe.

    Audi TTS

    4
  • Peugeot RCZ R
    The front-drive RCZ R packs a 266bhp turbocharged engine

    Peugeot RCZ R

    5

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