It’s the first to take a set of golf clubs and goes like the clappers
The Mini Coupe is no small coup, marrying the charm of the iconic brick with boot space for your golf clubs
THE Mini Coupe is two-faced. To look at and drive, it is the most agile Mini yet and the sportiness is only reinforced by the lack of a rear seat.
Yet it is also the best cargo carrier in the family with generous interior space and a 280-litre boot. That makes this the first Mini to take a set of golf clubs— and if you consider the car as a baby grand tourer rather than a hot hatch, it suits it to a tee.
BMWGroup Australia spokesman Piers Scott says the boot space should be a major selling point for the car.
‘‘ The performance side of the car is one aspect, but a lot of Mini buyers buy into the whole look and lifestyle,’’ he says.
‘‘ Some people who just like the brand haven’t come across because they needed more boot space. Now they’ve got it.’’
Pricing is expected to start at about $50,000 for the base Cooper S when the Coupe goes on sale here in October or November and the rangetopping John Cooper Works version is expected to be $60k-plus.
The SD (sports diesel) will slot between the two. ‘‘
When Carsguide drove pre- production prototypes, final Australian specifications had yet to be set. They will need to be high, given the Coupe range will take on the Audi TT, Volkswagen Scirocco and Peugeot RCZ.
Performance was a priority for the Mini Coupe. The JCW has been fitted with a buttonoperated traction-control system and an electronic diff lock that adjusts the amount of wheelspin permitted before the software intervenes. It’s great for track days or driving on sand (that’d be off the track).
The Coupe is 30mm lower than a Mini hatch and 25kg of stiffening has been added to the rear to improve handling. That reinforcement will also help when the roof is lopped to make the Mini Roadster. An active rear spoiler deploys at 80km/h and adds 40kg of downforce at the car’s top speed of 240km/h.
Mini design chief Anders Warming is proud of the
backwards baseball cap’’ roofline that marks the Mini Coupe from any angle. ‘‘ It shows the character of this car,’’ he says. ‘‘ This is about attitude, a little bit macho and about being street smart. And it goes like stink.’’
It is the first ‘‘ three-box’’ Mini (distinct engine, passenger and boot areas) and Warming says it represents what Mini stands for: ‘‘ Good looks without being conventional, a bias on handling and a fun-loving attitude. People who buy these cars are extroverted and they want to enjoy themselves and be seen to be enjoying themselves.’’
The Mini family hasn’t had a problem with scoring five-star ANCAP ratings and the extra
TheCoupe is quick, sticks to the road
and is the best-looking Mini yet
reinforcing in the Coupe can only help. The car sits so flat you have to try really hard to get it out of shape. If this occurs, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and stability control intervene to get things back on track.
If they can’t, a pedestrianfriendly bonnet will help those outside while the occupants are cushioned by airbags.
The top-spec John Cooper Works version is the Coupe of choice and it’s not just down to its 155kW/260Nm 1.6-litre turbo engine. The ride height is 20mm lower and it picks up firmer suspension settings and bigger brakes. The two-seater corners flat and ferociously fast — the only thing delaying it out of the turns is the traction control intervening.
To disengage the traction control, push the button to the right of the six-speed manual gearbox and the JCW engine is let off its electronic leash, howling down the straights and barely dipping its nose under
Get active: Performacne is a priority in thenewMini Coupe