The long and the short of the Mini Coupé

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Fred­eric Manby

FOR­GIVE the art­ful dis­guise: this slightly ob­scured car is the next BMW Mini, the MINI Coupé.

The cu­ri­ously styled two-seater is be­ing built at Ox­ford for sale in Oc­to­ber. Claimed to “in­dulge the keen driver with a level of agility un­matched in the small car seg­ment”, it will be avail­able with the Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works petrol en­gines and the newly launched Cooper SD diesel unit.

BMW says it has the best per­for­mance fig­ures of any model in the MINI line-up. How­ever, be­cause it is the same length and width as the hatch­back, though 1.1 inches lower, per­for­mance de­tails are vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal. Ex­am­ple, the Mini Cooper Coupé with 122ps de­liv­ers 0-62mph in nine sec­onds, 127mph max­i­mum, 52.3mpg and 127g/km CO2. Gears are six man­ual, with a six-speed auto of­fered on all bar the Works en­gine.

The “hel­met roof” has an ac­tive rear spoiler to “op­ti­mise air­flow” at higher speeds and ex­tends au­to­mat­i­cally at 50 mph.

There is lug­gage ca­pac­ity be­hind the seats, throughloaded from the boot proper which is reached by a wide, high-lift tail­gate.

BMW notes: “New pedes­trian pro­tec­tion sys­tems and mea­sures to en­hance body rigid­ity shift the car’s weight bal­ance slightly fur­ther for­ward, giv­ing the fron­twheel-drive MINI Coupé op­ti­mised trac­tion.”

Prices will be an­nounced on June 21, by when non­camo pic­tures will be avail­able.

BMW Group an­nounced on Thurs­day an­other £500m in­vest­ment in its UK pro­duc­tion net­work over the next three years and con­firmed that the UK will be a “pro­duc­tion lo­ca­tion” for its next-gen­er­a­tion MINI mod­els. The next is the Mini Road­ster, in 2012.

HOT SHOT: BMW’s lat­est Mini is said to have the best per­for­mance fig­ures of any mod­els in the line-up.

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