Long Awaited MINI Coupé Concept Debuts
Photos released on anniversary of original introduction of first Mini in 1959
By Peter D. DuPre, Editor-in-Chief
12:01 AM ~ It was fifty years ago today – August 26, 1959 – that the classic Mini was presented to the public for the first time, and today, in celebration of the golden anniversary of this iconic brand, MINI has introduced photos of their new Coupé Concept to the world.
The sporty two-seater will be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17-29) in Germany, and it is expected that this unique sports car will be the star of the show.
Additionally, word has leaked out that MINI may also display their speedster concept at the show. If this is indeed true, then MINI will definitely steal all of the limelight at the world’s premier auto show this fall.
One thing is sure; you won’t mistake the new Coupé Concept for any other product in the current MINI line-up. The swept back A-pillars, curved roofline and unique rear spoiler, which is integrated into the rear hatch, make this new model stand apart from the MINI line, even while retaining an extremely strong family resemblance, especially to the Cabriolet model. In fact, the coupé is more akin to potential rivals such as the Audi TT and Peugeot RCZ (which uses the same engine as the Coupé Concept). Additional unique visual touches include a body color grille that features racing stripes that continue from the hood line, body color highlights on the alloy wheels, blackout grille treatments to the fog lamp housings, and an entirely redesigned front valance.
Other noticeable features include an overall lowered stance with raked front end, lower center of gravity, wide entry doors, and a rear deck/window/spoiler hatch design that when opened, reveals cavernous access to the cargo storage area. Power will be supplied by MINI’s 1.6-liter, twin-scroll, turbocharged engine as used in the JCW models. Maximum output is 155 kW/211 hp, peak torque 260 Newton-metres/192 lb-ft of torque that increases with over boost to an even more substantial 280 Newton-metres/206 lb-ft or torque.
Overall dimensions for the new two-seater are:
Length: 146.2in (3,714mm)
Width: 66.3in (1,683mm)
Height: 53.4in (1,356mm)
On the inside, the door furniture has been reinterpreted, while still retaining the classic oval design and beefing up the bolster. Additionally, the seats have been redesigned to feature a more classic sports car look and feel, with brown center panels of interwoven leather, high thigh-bolsters and improved lateral support – all of which is in keeping with this car’s sporting personality. The seat covering in the concept is a brown leather with blue beading.
MINI has not yet announced if the Coupé Concept will make to production, but we think that there's a chance that it will be in dealer showrooms sometime late next spring, particularly since most of this new vehicle can be constructed from the parts bin, and with minimal retooling. MINI has long said that they want to grow the brand and increase the model lineup. The Coupé Concept goes a long way towards giving the brand appeal to those who do not see the need for a 4-seater and who are interested in the sporty, go-kart performance that MINI has to offer. You can expect that the excellent handling and performance will be giving competitors a run for their money.
Although the pricing of a production model is a long way off, if and when this car sees production, MC2 wouldn’t be surprised if the price tag was somewhere in the low to mid $30,000 range.
To read the MINI factory press release and see more photos on the Coupé Concept, click here.