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.
The removal of the cabrio’s rear seats means that this car also has the largest boot capacity of any current Mini model, at 280 litres. There are two spoilers on the rear of the car: a fixed spoiler on the trailing edge of the roof and a flip-up spoiler (designed to reduce lift over the rear wheels)that rises out of the tail at 50mph.
The 1.6-litre turbo JCW engine is good for 208bhp and 207lb ft in overboost mode. It will take the car to 62mph in 6.4sec and on to 149mph. The JCW’s combined fuel economy is 39.8mpg.
The standard Cooper S is good for 181bhp and 192lb ft in overboost mode. It has a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec and an average of 48.7mpg.
The Cooper SD gets a 141bhp, 225lb ft 2.0-litre turbodiesel, which offers 7.9sec 0-62mph performance as well as 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard for all Coupés and a six-speed automatic is optional on all but the JCW.
On-the-road prices kick off at £16,640 for the Cooper and top out at £23,795 for the JCW. The Mini Coupé will reach UK showrooms on 1 October.