Mini’s U.S. boss expects the Coupe Concept production to be approved

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

If people respond well to this Mini Coupe Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it just might go into production. The still-unnamed concept has a low, sleek-looking roof that's made of aluminum. Nothing less than Mini's most powerful engine was used for the model.

The radical Mini is targeted at a "younger, higher fraction of male purchasers" according to Jim McDowell, Mini USA president.

Currently, Mini buyers are evenly split between males and females. If approved for production, the car would be Mini's fifth model. The three Mini models that are available are a hatchback, a convertible and the Clubman.

The fourth model -- the larger, front-drive, five-door Crossover -- will debut in 2011. When asked who the Crossover is targeted, McDowell said many Mini owners have a Ford Explorer or other SUV in the garage.

He's hoping that the Crossover will displace those vehicles. He said that since the Crossover "is big enough, more practical, and it has all-wheel drive," it functions like an Explorer in a much smaller package but still offering a lot of room.

All-wheel drive will be optional. McDowell said that Mini's dealer network is growing. Last June, 17 more dealers were announced, bringing the total number to 86 dealers. Mini expects to have 120 dealers by 2012. [via autonews]

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