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 |  Aug 21 2011, 5:14 PM


MINI had not one, but two surprises in store for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, debuting both the Goodwood model and the new Coupe at the annual historic auto show.

Looking expectantly similar to the hardtop hatch, the Coupe is distinguished by its trademark roof, which is style to look like a backwards ball cap. It also gains an active rear spoiler that deploys at speeds above 50 mph. Plus, JCW models gain an aggressive aero kit.  Oddly, despite its name, the Coupe still opens in the back like a hatch.

With dimensions essentially the same as the hard top, the Coupe also shares its powertrains with a Cooper Coupe using the a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making 121-hp and delivering a 8.3 second 0-60 mph time. The Cooper S Coupe gets a turbocharged 1.6 to deliver 181-hp with a 6.6 second 0-60 time. Topping out the range is the 208-hp JCW model, with a 6.1 second 0-60 time, making it the fastest production MINI ever.

Look for the MINI Coupe to get its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with our first drive shortly after.


MINI Coupe JCW 08.JPGMINI Coupe JCW 01.JPGMINI Coupe JCW 02.JPGMINI Coupe JCW 04.JPGMINI Cooper S Coupe 02.JPGMINI Coop S Coupe 01.JPG


 |  Jun 21 2011, 7:37 AM


The latest flavor of Cooper to join the MINI lineup is the all new Coupe. Yet another variant of the similarly styled Brit-car, this two-door forgets about even trying to have rear seats instead trading them for a small cargo shelf and a fixed rear wall.

With a more distinctive coupe profile the new model’s rear liftgate opens more like a hatchback and there is a rear passthrough for larger items. Easily the car’s most distinguishing feature is its roof which resembles a backwards baseball cap. Another major design piece that’s also a performance addition is an active rear spoiler that pops up at 50 mph and drops back to sit flush on the rear deck below 37 mph. John Cooper Works models (shown) can be distinguished by more aggressive aero package.

While unique chassis tuning is a part of the package, the car’s overall dimensions are much the same as the standard hard-top MINIs; as are the engines. Powering the base Cooper Coupe is the brand’s 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making 121-hp at 6000 rpm and 118 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm, delivering a 8.3 second 0-60 mph time. The Cooper S Coupe gets a turbocharger added to the mix to deliver 181-hp at 5500 rpm and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm and with a special overboost function will bring on 192 lb-ft. MINI claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds.

As for the gotta-have-it John Cooper Works model, it delivers a peak 208-hp at 6000 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque at 1850 rpm, with overboost upping that number to 207 lb-ft. Edging ever-so-close to the 5 second range, this is the fastest MINI ever and will hit 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.

Acceleration numbers for the base Cooper and the top-trim JCW are a 10th of a second faster than their hard-top counterparts, likely due to a reduced curb weight – although MINI has yet to release those figures. Tossing the extra pounds is sure to help in adding performance on all levels, while the fixed rear divider is also likely to improve the chassis rigidity, thus improving performance further. We’ll find that out later this year when we first get behind the wheel of the new MINI Coupe.

GALLLERY: 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe JCW