Set to be shown at the Frankfurt motor show is BMW's Mini Coupe Concept, designed to celebrate 50 years of the Mini. Said to be a Mini John Cooper Works under the skin, the car will make it to the market in 2-3 years time to rival the Audi TT and upcoming Peugeot RCZ. The production version is believed to be more focused than the standard Mini JCW however.
The most dramatic revision is the new top half of the car that now boasts of an aluminum roof, making the coupe lighter and 136 cm lower, while also significantly lowering the center of gravity.
Mini design director Gert Hildebrand said that he got his inspiration from a baseball cap his teenage son was wearing backwards. Hildebrand said that there were no instructions for him to do a coupe but he had been following internet blogs and got the idea. BMW is calling the car 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 claims that the angled back window and low rear end optimize airflow and reduce turbulence behind the car.
Hildebrand said that the company hasn't decided yet regarding the production of the Mini Coupe but that he's hoping the decision will be made before the year ends. He added that the coupe isn't cheap but that it is "do-able." The coupe is around 100kg lighter than the Mini hatch since it has a lighter roof and it also has no rear seats.
Boot capacity is 250 liters. The compartment features a lockable internal opening that allows the car's occupants to access luggage from the cabin. Similar to earlier concept cars from Mini, it has two Chrono swiss clocks to the right and left of the rev counter.
The left one is for lap times, the other tells the time. The turbocharged 1.6-litre engine from the JCW produces 208bhp and 192lb ft of torque, but 206lb ft is available on overboost. During the Frankfurt motor show, the coupe will be shown alongside a Mini Roadster.
The stunning appeal of the new MINI Coupe is based on its spectacular exterior that is very much unique in the compact sports car segment. By reinterpreting the classic MINI design cues, the new MINI Coupe is easily recognizable as a member of the MINI family. As penned, the design language of the new MINI Coupe smartly combines parallel lines, sculpted surfaces and harmonious curves, thereby guiding the brand’s sporty styling to a whole new level.
Innovation is also the name of the game for the new MINI Coupé. This is evident from the fact that it is the first modern MINI to adopt the traditional 'three-box' body structure: engine compartment, cabin and boot. Although the new MINI Coupe has similar length and width as the MINI Hatch, it is around 29 mm lower. Along with its stepped rear end, this low height lends the MINI Coupe with a more aggressive, forward-thrusting profile. Although the roofline is lower, it doesn’t compromise interior comfort, thanks to the fact that oval recesses in the headlining allow for extra headroom.
Led by Head of Design Anders Warming, the styling team gave the new MINI Coupé a distinct yet stunning look. For instance, the profile of the new MINI Coupé offers visual pleasure as the car’s horizontal layering has divided it into three layers: body, wrap-around glass and its 'helmet design' roof. Compared to the MINI Hatch, the A-pillars and windscreen of the new MINI Coupe are raked by 13 degrees, resulting to a smaller frontal area for better aerodynamic attributes.