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Mini whips covers off new Coupe

Around the corner: Mini will launch the 'helmet'-roofed Cooper Coupe in Australia this year.

Official pictures of Mini’s new Coupe released ahead of 2011 Australian launch

Mini logo21 Jun 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

MINI has stripped away the camouflage from its upcoming Cooper Coupe ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September and an Australian launch in the fourth quarter of this year.

The official images of the diminutive new fastback come just a fortnight after Mini released full details and official teaser shots of the car, and confirm that the company has stayed faithful to the original coupe concept seen in Frankfurt in 2009.

Mini’s first modern two-seater coupe has also retained close stylistic ties the rest of the Mini range – only its sharply raked A-pillars, booted rear-end and chopped “helmet” roof design differentiate it from the three-door four-seater hatch upon which it is based.

Also like the hard-top hatch, soft-top Cabrio and long-wheelbase Clubman wagon it will be built alongside in Oxford later this year (the Countryman SUV is built in Austria), the coupe will wear Mini’s iconic Cooper model nameplate.

Mini Australia product communications manager, Lucy McLellan told GoAuto today that the Coupe would arrive here before the end of the year – either October or November – and that local specification and pricing will be announced closer to the launch.

The company says the front-drive Cooper coupe “radiates the brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling with a whole new depth of intensity and achieves the best performance statistics ever recorded by a volume-produced Mini.”

39 center imageOfficial dimensions reveal the Mini Cooper Coupe to be up to 35mm longer overall than the Cooper hatch at 3728mm (3734mm for the Cooper S and John Cooper Works edition).

As with the Cooper hatch, however, the coupe measures 1683mm wide and rides on a 2467mm wheelbase. The coupe’s silhouette sits 52mm lower than the regular Mini, thanks to the cropped roofline.

The company also claims the Coupe is the first Mini to adopt a three-box body structure, however, the two-door’s rear tailgate hinges from the roof and includes the rear window, technically making it a hatchback and not a coupe.

The Coupe also comprises a pop-up rear wing that is housed within the rear decklid and deploys automatically at 80km/h to bring claimed benefits to airflow at high speeds.

The interior retains the modern Mini hallmark of a large centre speedometer, while clever oval recesses in the roof lining create extra headroom – a welcome addition considering the chopped roofline.

The cargo capacity of the Mini Coupe is claimed to be a comparatively voluminous 280 litres, thanks to the absence of pokey rear seats. This is up from the standard hatch’s 160-litre capacity.

While there is a choice of upholstery variants and coloured highlights, the interior colour scheme is predominately black, while anthracite headlining is standard.

The Coupe will be available in a choice of nine exterior colours, while the striking roof comes in contrasting colours as standard. The colour palette for the roof is limited to either black or silver, aside from the flagship John Cooper Works, which also comes in optional red.

The Coupe will get electric power steering, electronic stability control and dynamic traction control systems, plus a standard six-speed manual transmission.

A six-speed automatic will be optional for all models except the JCW flagship, which will be the only version to come standard with Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), although the weight balance of all models has been shifted slightly further forward to increase front-wheel drive traction.

The most basic Cooper Coupe’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four offers 90kW at 6000rpm and 160Nm at 4250rpm, with 0-100km/h acceleration of nine seconds and a top speed of 204km/h. Claimed fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 5.4L/100km and 127g/km respectively.

The Cooper SD Coupe will be powered by BMW’s 2.0-litre all-alloy common-rail turbo-diesel with variable turbo technology, developing 105kW at 4000rpm and 305Nm at 1750-2700rpm.

It sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 7.9 seconds and has a 216km/h top speed, while being able to return just 4.3L/100km and 114g/km.

The sporty Cooper S delivers the same outputs as the regular Mini Cooper S - 135kW at 5500rpm and 240Nm at 1600-5000rpm, while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are listed at a respective 5.8L/100km and 136g/km.

The flagship Mini John Cooper Works Coupe will feature the most powerful version of the new 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine revealed by BMW earlier this year.

The Mini JSW Coupe delivers 155kW at 6000rpm and 260Nm of torque between 1850 and 5600rpm, which Mini claims is enough to propel it to 100km/h in just 6.4 seconds – one-tenth quicker than the most rapid JCW hatch.

The newest JCW’s top speed is listed at some 240km/h, yet fuel consumption remains relatively frugal at 7.1L/100km and CO2 emissions are 165g/km.

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