Mini Coupe: One for the real drivers

Unlike the main Mini range, the Coupe spec starts at 'Cooper' with a 90kW 1.6. Photo / Supplied
Unlike the main Mini range, the Coupe spec starts at 'Cooper' with a 90kW 1.6. Photo / Supplied

The Mini Coupe promises to be a real driver's car.

While the standard hatch is already one of the sharpest models on the road, the Coupe will be aimed purely at those who like a 'motivated' drive when it goes on sale in Britain in October and in New Zealand next February or March.

The Coupe borrows the regular Mini's suspension but benefits from a lower centre of gravity that will help limit body roll and increase agility.

At the rear, a spoiler rises at speeds above 80km/h to increase downforce - a first for the brand.

Optional sports suspension is available with stiffer anti-roll bars and firmer dampers, while a rock-hard John Cooper Works set-up pack can also be specified. This drops the ride height by 10mm and firms up the anti-roll bars and dampers even further.

Unlike the rest of the Mini range - which starts with the entry-level One - the base Coupe model is the Cooper, powered by a 90kW 1.6-litre engine.

The flagship is the JCW, which adds a turbo for a total of 155kW.

In between is the 135kW Cooper S, with a detuned version of the JCW's unit, while a hot new diesel SD gets a 105kW 2-litre oil-burner.

The Coupe Cooper will cover zero to 100km/h in a claimed nine seconds flat, and the JCW completes the benchmark sprint in 6.4 seconds - both a tenth up on their hatchback counterparts.

With a 'helmet' roof grafted on top of the Mini Convertible's body, the two-seater Coupe looks unlike anything else on the road.

Its 'three-box' shape means there is room for a 280-litre load bay - 120 litres up on the normal Mini - plus there are extra storage bins behind the seats and a hatch for posting longer objects through.

While the roofline is 29mm lower than the standard car's, scallops in the headlining ensure tall occupants will fit in comfortably, says Mini.

The trademark Mini cabin is carried over, blending the usual stylish, retro-inspired design and high-quality materials.

- NZ Herald

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