I was undecided at first what to think of this. My first instict was to exclaim “what’s wrong with them?” but then I had another look and thought, hey, this isn’t really that bad. What came to mind is a German take on the Suzuki Cappucino or Daihatsu Copen with a British badge. Maybe MINI got pissed off that Daihatsu ripped off the MINI with the Mira Gino, so it did the same with the Copen :P For some reason it also looks like its top is supposed to come off like a targa top or something but it’s actually a normal coupe with a fixed roof.
Don’t be fooled by the name MINI Coupe Concept – this baby is definitely going into production, looking at how ‘ready’ it is, as with every other concept car BMW has unveiled in the past year. You’ll struggle to point out any major difference between the production 5-Series GT and its concept.
The MINI Coupe Concept is a two-seater – with that sloping rear roof, both legroom and headroom for the area behind the front seats are compromised so MINI cannot pretend its a 2+2 anymore, like with the MINI Cooper. Other than rear wheel drive, like any other car that BMW makes, they claim the Coupe Concept has perfect axle load distribution and a low gentre of gravity, but BMW boldly claims the Coupe Concept will take the agility typical of a MINI to a level never seen before.
The concept measures 3,715mm long, 1,683mm wide, and 1,356mm tall. The rear tailgate opens upwards to unveil a 250 litre boot space. Under the hood is a 1.6 litre turbocharged Prince engine carried over straight from the MINI John Cooper Works, and this means 211hpand 260Nm of torque, with a 280Nm overboost.
I think the MINI’s design team has got one of the toughest jobs in the BMW Group now. BMW’s designers have always followed this simple rule: revolution, then evolution, and repeat. The original New MINI was clearly a revolution of the old school MINI and then the second generation R56 MINI Cooper was an evolution of the first new MINI. Soon it will be time for another revolution, and how do you do that with a car that has so much of its identity ingrained in its looks?
Look after the jump for a hi-res photo gallery.
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