This is the Mini Coupé Concept, a car BMW is calling a “pocket Porsche”.
The coupé may be billed as a concept designed to celebrate 50 years of the Mini, but BMW is serious about building the car; it hopes to bring it to market in two to three years’ time as a rival for the Audi TT and forthcoming Peugeot RCZ.
The concept is a Mini John Cooper Works under the skin, but the production version will be more focused than the standard Mini JCW.
The biggest change is the new top half of the car. The aluminium roof makes the coupé 136mm lower, reduces weight and significantly lowers the centre of gravity.
The design of the roof was inspired by a baseball cap that Mini design director Gert Hildebrand’s teenage son was wearing backwards.
“We were never asked to do a coupe,” Hildebrand told Autocar. “But we follow internet blogs closely and thought people would like the idea of a car like this. It’s a pocket Porsche.”
The windscreen is raked 16 degrees further back than that of regular Minis, while the roof curves down to a large roof spoiler.
BMW says the angled back window and low rear end optimise airflow and reduce turbulence behind the car.
No decision has yet been made on production of the Mini Coupe, but it is a real possibility.