This year is the 50th anniversary of the original Mini, which was launched in 1959. To celebrate, BMW has released official details of a new Mini Coupé Concept, set to wow crowds at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
The Mini Coupé Concept is the same length and width as a regular Mini hatchback, and it shares some of its body panels with the current . But an all-new roof and glass area has given the Coupé Concept a dramatically streamlined new shape, some 51mm lower than the hatchback.
New steeply raked A-pillars merge into an arching, all-aluminium roof structure that incorporates a swooping rear spoiler. It’s still a hatchback, however, and actually offers more boot space than the standard Mini – 250 litres instead of a mere 160.
The secret to this is the pure two-seater interior, which does away with the rear bench entirely. Sporty bucket seats support the front occupants, while the usual centrally-mounted speedometer is flanked by two new dials provided by watchmaker Chronoswiss. These comprise a regular clock and, more pertinently, a lap timer.
Fastest Mini ever
The Mini Coupé Concept is the sportiest official Mini yet. The reduced roof height and its aluminium construction lower the centre of gravity, sharpening up the handling, while power is provided by the 208bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine from existing John Cooper Works models.
This means it should comfortably dip below 6.5 seconds for the 0-62mph benchmark and exceed 150mph. Yet the Coupé Concept should still return fuel economy over 40mpg, while emitting in the region of 160g/km CO2. The improved aerodynamics and full suite of ‘Minimalism’ eco technology should see to that.
Further unique details include the radiator grille with its body-coloured spars and continuation of the bonnet stripes, plus the tri-coloured 18-inch alloy wheels.
Concept or reality?
Unfortunately, you can’t go and buy the Mini Coupé Concept – at least not yet.
BMW claims it is little more than a show car at this stage. However, given the similarity to current Mini models, the Coupé Concept does seem remarkably close to production-ready, and we would not be surprised to see a Mini coupé hit showrooms within the next couple of years.
Whether this is all Mini has in store for the remains to be seen. A Mini crossover (probably called ‘Crossman’) is scheduled for production in the near future, and rumours continue to circle concerning a roadster. Watch this space…
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