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MINI’s Coupe and Roadster Concepts are being fast tracked through the final design phase in order to see production next year. News of these developments comes from the team over at the MINI-obsessed website MotoringFile.
Both models debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show and were recently on display at the LA Auto Show and for the most party they look production ready – although there are still a few wild design ideas that seem too extreme for a production car. (Then again, MINI has never been one to built “normal” looking vehicles).
The final design tweaks could have both models entering pre-production in June of 2010 at the MINI plan in Oxford, with series production started in October – just in time of the 2011 model year.
Both concept cars are powered by the same John Cooper Works turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder as the current line of top-level MINIs, making 211-hp and 192 ft-lbs of torque, with a bump to 206 ft-lbs possible thanks to an overboost function. What isn’t clear then is how, other than the lack of a hatchback, these models differ significantly from the Cooper.
More developments in this story are expected tomorrow.
Deal would see Toyota give BMW iQ platform for future mini-car models
Last week we reported on a story that BMW was in talks with Toyota to use its iQ city car platform as the basis of a future mini-MINI. Now it appears that deal may be two-sized as AutoCar is reporting that in exchange Toyota may get use of the MINI Coupe and Roadster platform to use as the basis of a new sporty vehicle.
Neither automaker has made any official comments on the exchange and while unlikely, both companies would benefit in certain ways. Currently BMW is in need of a mini-car platform to underpin a new line of cars including a small electric city car and a possible replacement for the Isetta. There have already been numerous rumors that BMW was working with Fiat to develop such a platform although Toyota’s reputation for quality is certainly more in line with BMW’s way of doing business.
At the same time, Toyota is desperate for a small sporty car that can capture the attention of younger buyers and enthusiasts.
Toyota is already in talks with Aston Martin, which wants to use the iQ base for its Cygnet city car.
When MINI officially debuts its Coupé Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month, that model will be joined on stage by a Roadster Concept as well.
According to Inside Line, both models will see production for the 2011 model year. MINI also plans to offer both models in all of its international markets.
The picture above was snapped by the folks at Edmunds at the official 50th anniversary party for the MINI in Nice, France, where Alex Issigonis designed the original model on a cocktail napkin.
In addition, BMW is reportedly in talks with Toyota over using the next generation of the iQ platform as the basis for an even mini-er MINI line, including both a coupe and roadster. A super-small BMW Isetta-sized car is also reportedly in the works.
As for the MINI Countryman, its debut has reportedly been delayed and will not take place at the Frankfurt Auto Show as first reported. Expect a Geneva Auto Show debut instead.