The Mini Coupé has been shown at the Frankfurt motor show today. The strict two-seat fastback promises to be the most dynamically capable Mini yet.
The Coupé is based on the Mini cabriolet and will come in four model variants: the entry-level Cooper, the Cooper S, the Cooper SD and the range-topping John Cooper Works (JCW).
The Coupé’s unusual layout is said by insiders to be at least partly influenced by the Mini-based Mini Marcos coupé, which was launched in 1966 and mated a glassfibre body with Mini subframes and running gear.
The Coupé’s floor structure is taken over from the cabriolet. this means that it benefits from extra bracing in the oversized sills, as well as substantial box-section stiffening between the rear wheel housings and a fixed bulkhead behind the front seats. The upshot, says Mini owner BMW, is that the Coupé has the stiffest body of all current Mini models. However, it is also about 20kg heavier than the hatchback.
The Coupé’s windscreen is angled rearwards by 13deg more than in the cabrio’s, which means that the new aluminium hard-top is 29mm lower than a Mini hatchback’s. The new roof section (which gets oval cut-outs in its headlining for improved headroom) also incorporates a large hatchback.