MINI : Coupé set for launch at Frankfurt Motor Show in September

MINI Coupe
MINI Coupe

The MINI Coupé’s one of the most-scooped MINIs of them all but its maker has unveiled images of semi-camouflaged, pre-production prototypes. It’s certainly an interesting looking addition to the MINI range, which appears to be expanding at an exponential rate – and also on the day that scoop images of its parent car’s replacement are filtering out on to the Internet.

However, the MINI with minimised head-and rear legroom looks set to be a successful addition to the range, with the marketing emphasis being placed firmly at the fun end of the market. The Coupé is the first two-seater in the MINI line-up, but will be sold with a similar selection of model variations as its three-door cousin – but suffused with what MINI describes as the ‘brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling with a whole new depth of intensity’. One thing is for sure, it will be the fastest of all the MINI varations.

The MINI Coupé can be ordered with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines in the brand’s arsenal. Outputs range from the 122bhp of the MINI Cooper Coupé, through the MINI Cooper SD Coupé (with 143bhp) and MINI Cooper S Coupé (with 184bhp), to the range-topping MINI John Cooper Works Coupé – an exciting prospect with 211bhp to play with.

The ‘helmet roof’ will be a talking point and features an integral roof spoiler which, in addition to an active rear spoiler, optimises airflow at higher speeds. Helped by its extremely high-opening tailgate and large luggage area with through-loading facility, the MINI Coupé will be a practical proposition – for two.

Keith Adams


  1. I’m getting a bit bored with the BMW MINI – it’s been seen in so many variants of late that it’s become a bit like the song ‘The Power of Love’. except that should never haven been written at all.

    I’m glad BMW did the MINI… I liked it with three doors and quite like it in four door form – although it should have five seats. However, I think the short mini-MINI and this Coupe are unnecessary and that BMW needs to take a really different approach with the next MINI’s shape…

    I expect, though, that they are probably still selling plenty. I guess that just begs this question: where is the competition in the small to medium car stakes?


  2. The MINI Coupé will doubtlesss drive nicely, go like stink and have a huge amount of charisma. That’s why people keep buying them. Expanding the range of body variants means that the appeal is spread and helps avoid buyers getting bored with the same old design.

    However, am I alone in thinking that, despite its driver-appeal, the MINI is mainly sold to people who aren’t really interested in cars?

  3. I really don’t want to be the first person to be down on the MINI brand. We all know what my feelings about them are but I do, at least, try to be objective when looking at cars and I can quite honestly say that thing is butt ugly!

    There is no question that the MINI Coupé will sell because people are sheep and will buy anything connected to BMW… Really, though, they can do better than this – it’s horrid!

  4. The MINI is a platform – it’s a simple as that.

    I quite like this, but then I’m a fan of the Countryman as well and it seems most people find that repulsive. I like its look myself.

    I guess that, in some ways, the current MINI is very much like its father in that respect. The original Mini never really looked that much like anything else and the same goes for the new MINI in all its guises.

  5. @Jonathan Carling
    I have just bought a MINI Cooper Clubman for my wife as she needed a small, practical, fun but economical everyday car. It fitted the bill perfectly. She loves it.

    I have an Aston DB7 V12, an XJS V12 and my daily driver is an MG ZT V8. MINIs, then, are hardly bought by people who “aren’t really interested in cars”! I would say it’s just the opposite. How do some people arrive at their conclusions?! Stop the world I want to get off!

    By the way, am I right in thinking you drive a Proton Rio or some such nonsense? Hardly the stuff of “car enthusiasts”, what!

  6. Well, I saw a couple of these MINI Coupés tonking down the A303 a couple of months back. You’d like to think that these will look better in the metal. However, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but they don’t.

    You can sort of excuse the MINI Hatch, Cabrio and, to a point, the Clubman, but that must surely be about all. BMW owns other brands from Britain’s past – if they want other MINIs, why can’t they use these brands? They would then be more free to come up with new designs rather than more variants of the classic MINI shape.

    The Coupé and forthcoming Roadster could have been Triumphs and brought a whole new nostalgia trip to the world’s motoring fans.

    Incidentally, is the Countryman the new Maxi?

  7. The upper half of the MINI Coupé’s looks like the Peugeot 206CC but with the disatvantage of a fixed roof. It seems as though the Designers actually created the model of the new MINI from a block of soap – the more often they washed their hands the smaller and less contoured the car got.

    However, the MINI Coupé will be sold with success, even though it is remix 51 from the original theme. Production seems to be cheap, prices are abnormally high – no risk for stupid ideas. The Coupé is just another teenie lifestyle car for the purpose of getting young people into BMW showrooms.

  8. I think the new MINI is, indeed, ‘butt ugly’ in all its guises but reckon that this one could be nice because, finally, the car’s body is in proportion. I just like the idea of a car for two because not that many cars are occupied by more than one or two people.

  9. I think that the MINI Coupé looks GREAT and, for me, it’s the most appealing MINI variant yet.

    Let’s be honest, it’s an ‘ordinary’ MINI but deliberately made less practical, which sounds like a good recipe to me. Bring it on!

  10. I would not criticise BMW for the way they are extending the MINI range. After all, building on the success of one model is exactly what Rover did with the R8 very successfully.

    Perhaps Rover would have adopted a similar strategy for the MINI if BMW’s rape of MGR hadn’t happened…

    I am sure the Mini Coupé will sell well.

  11. Yuk – the MINI Coupé is as ugly as hell!

    The BMW Group is still raping the MINI name more and more. I hate the so-called new MINI.

    Paul from Belgium.

  12. I love it! A convertible ‘Roadster’ version is also on the way very soon and that will be built at Cowley, Oxford as well.

    I always liked the classic Mini Coupe made by Broadspeed in the 1960s and the MG-badged Mini-based sports car in the Heritage Motor Centre so bring on the variants BMW as BMC also did. Remember the Moke?

    The MINI Coupé will slot in well below the Audi TT in the market – especially the JCW version.

  13. I can’t blame BMW for maximising their investment by spinning another variant off the platform – and, if that means keeping British workers busy, then that’s fine with me.

    However, if people here think the MINI Coupé is ugly then what might they feel about the Aston Martin Cygnet? This automotive abomination is truly hideous and affront to the marque. I’d take a MINI Cooper SD over that ugly duckling anyday!

  14. @Viking Loon
    Is the new MINI Coupé definitely going to be built at the Oxford assembly plant, in another BMW Group-owned plant abroad or by a specialised company such as Magna Steyr?

  15. Jonathan Carling :
    @Charles Bishop

    Forgive me for finding your reaction a little excessive…

    I quite agree – it seems to me that there are a few folk on here who consider that patronising put-downs, combined with boasts of ‘megabucks’ car ownership are okay.

    I’m also disappointed Keith seems to ‘like’ that sort of response. I understood we had been ignoring these sorts – like our other ‘friend’ from several months ago…

    Hey, ho!

  16. The MINI Coupé and Roadster are both being built at Oxford in new, extended facilities which have already been completed. We saw the Coupé bodies on the line during a recent factory tour.

  17. The MINI Coupé is another hideous and unnecessary addition to the MINI range – a range which caters to the style over substance market rather than the market that the Mini (BMC) was created for in the first place. Unfortunately, I guess that’s a sign of the times…

  18. Well, accepting that I, personally, don’t like the MINI Coupé, I believe the following to be true:

    1) Lots of folk will like it
    2) It’s made in the UK
    3) It will provide employment.

    Surely, then, provided you overlook the word ‘MINI’, it’s all good?


  19. @Charles Bishop
    Sorry for saying this Charles, but I think you just shot youself in the foot. You say that your wife had her new car bought for her (by you) which seems to imply that she didn’t really have much of a say in the decision and confirms Jonathan’s assertion that MINI drivers are not really interested in cars.

    Indeed, they seem to be mostly interested in selling properties or cutting hair.

  20. @Charles Bishop
    I’d say that reaction was rather OTT. Is your wife interested in cars or just you? If it’s the latter, then you’ve not really dispproved Jonathan’s point.

    All of the MINI owners that I know (and I know more than a dozen) are women with no interest in cars whatsoever. There will always be exceptions to every “rule”, so there’s really no need to take someone’s opinion so personally!

  21. Is it me or have BMW failed to produce a good looking car since the E38 7 Series, the E39 5 Series and the E46 3 Series in the Nineties?

    I mean, really, we’ve had a decade of hideous monstrosities and it just keeps getting worse.

  22. The MINI has had its own dedicated enthusiast magazine on sale in most newsagents, Modern MINI , for several years, has several busy international enthusiast forums, dozens of regional clubs and forums in the UK and most other countries where it is sold, large turnouts at all the major Mini/MINI shows and events (Beaulieu this weekend is celebrating 10 years of the MINI and 50 years of the classic Mini Cooper), several MINI only specialist tuning companies and aftermarket suppliers, a MINI Challenge Race series in the UK, Europe and Australia with enthusiastic drivers, supporters and spectators… However, according to some, the MINI is bought by people with no interest in cars…

    Like the classic Mini before it, which reached peak annual sales of around 300,000 in 1971, the MINI now sells in similar volumes, inevitably the majority will not be car enthusiasts, either now or back then!

  23. @Simon
    I think we can agree that the whole argument is getting a little out of hand. Yes, the MINI is a great, British-built fun car and yes I would say most people who buy them are, in their own way, car lovers.

    My wife did indeed choose a Clubman herself, and no, she’s not a Hairdresser – she had quite a laugh at that. Actually, if anything’s a little OTT that comment was! Oh, and if my comment to Mr. Carling was a little OTT, then sorry Jonny – may you have many happy miles of enthusiastic driving in your Kia Rio.

  24. Nick Sumner :
    Is it me or have BMW failed to produce a good looking car since the E38 7 Series, the E39 5 Series and the E46 3 Series in the Nineties?

    I mean, really, we’ve had a decade of hideous monstrosities and it just keeps getting worse.

    I completely agree with that. Mind you, I think that the new Z4 is a brief blip and the 8 Series was, to say the least, brave…

    I quite like this new MINI, though. I sort of put it with the Range Rover Evoque and the Volkswagen Scirocco – they aren’t as practical as their siblings but they sell/will sell really well because they’re trendy, probably great fun to drive and alternative i.e. something a little different to the run of the mill hatches and standard looking crossovers which many people who will buy these were probably shopping for in the first place.

  25. Hmm… about the “not being interested in cars” point. I can think of someone in that category who was persuaded to buy a JCW by the salesman and still doesn’t appreciate “what they have” beyond the fact that “it’s a car”. A One or the regular Cooper would’ve sufficed.

  26. @MattH
    Well, that’s how you make money! There’s no way Western Europe can compete at the basement end of the market, hence the latest Nissan Micra being built in India and Thailand whilst Sunderland is now producing the ‘trendy’ Juke. The blinged up Range Rover Sports you see around suggest that Land Rover is successfully upselling too!

  27. Nick Sumner :
    Is it me or have BMW failed to produce a good looking car since the E38 7 Series, the E39 5 Series and the E46 3 Series in the Nineties?

    I mean, really, we’ve had a decade of hideous monstrosities and it just keeps getting worse.

    I agree with both you and Pete-109. BMW has lost the plot when it comes to styling in recent years. After Chris Bangle’s ‘Shock and Awe’ period, very little excites me about BMW’s current line up.

    They missed a trick with the ‘M’ version of the 1 Series – they should have based it on the three-door rather than the ‘Top Hat’ saloon. Imagine a three-door, rear wheel drive compact hatch pumped up on steroids, a sort of modern day Talbot Sunbeam Lotus or Vauxhall Chevette HSR.

    Anyway, back to the MINI Coupé, I like it and it will sell – it looks fun and, if it’s built here by a bloke in Oxford, then even better. Good luck to them.

  28. @Alex Scott
    Well, actually just look at how many variants there were of the original Mini: Saloon, Estate, Van, Pickup, Moke, Hornet/Elf and then we had the aftermarket Broadspeed Coupes as well as the factory-produced Cabriolet.

    I’d agree with others who are saying BMWs are ugly. However, the fact is, though, most people who buy BMWs do so because they’re a BMW regardless of how hideous they are – providing they’re not completely crap they’ll still go on buying them.

  29. I’m sort of with Charles here. Some AROnline readers constantly knock the MINI because it’s a BMW, German, well made and successful and manages to sustain a productive, happy workforce at Cowley which doesn’t want to go out on strike all the time. That’s not the British way of doing things at all and, as for a car being fashionable, well what’s the world coming to aye?

    I believe that to state that MINIs aren’t bought by people interested in cars to support this view is, frankly, nonsense. I can’t think of a single road test of the MINI in any guise – even the Countryman – in which it has not been praised for its dynamic qualities.

    I would suggest that some of this website’s readers aren’t real car enthusiasts, but beardy, nostalgic types who would be quite happy if Cowley was still churning out Marinas and Maxis.

  30. This is a much better variation on the MINI theme than the Countryman. This Coupé version has more a feeling of ‘Mini’ whereas the Countryman, as someone has said before, gives more a feeling of ‘Maxi’ !!

  31. Clive Goldthorp :
    I thought that sometime AROnline Contributor Andrew Elphick was the owner of a Kia Rio and not Jonathan Carling…

    …and the best looking mid-1990s BMW too! I’m the devil!!!

  32. I’ve no doubt that the MINI Coupé will be a great drive. It may regarded as the spiritual successor the the Midget, Sprite or Frog-Eyed Healey. That said, when I look at the back end, I’m haunted by the site of a chav wearing a baseball cap back to front!

  33. it had a good response in the 24-Hours Nürburgring as well lets see what will be the response in here.

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