Mini's mini-er Coupe

Mini showed off photos and confirmed production of its new, two-seat Mini Coupe.

Mini Cooper Coupe
Mini showed off photos and confirmed engine specifications for its new, smaller Mini. Mini

The rejuvenated and now BMW-owned Mini followed its retro-classic Cooper model with the longer Clubman and plumper Countryman during the last decade. Given this trend, you would think Mini was heading toward a limousine model. But no, the next Mini model will be even smaller than the standard Cooper, a two-seater designated the Mini Coupe.

Mini Cooper Coupe
The new Coupe is designed as a two-seater, meant to offer a sportier driving experience than other Mini models. Mini

Mini released a series of photos showing the new Mini, and specified the engine choices. Similar to the other Mini models, the Coupe will get the same engine choices as the original car, starting with a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The S model will get a turbocharged, direct-injection 1.6-liter producing 184 horsepower, and the company will even produce a John Cooper Works version with 211 horsepower.

Although no performance numbers have been released, the Coupe should be lighter than the hatchback Cooper, and so achieve better acceleration and fuel economy using the same engines.

Expect Mini's model name structure to remain the same, with the full name of the new car being the Mini Cooper Coupe and Mini Cooper S Coupe. This naming style is used for all its current models.

Mini showed off a concept of the Coupe at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show, and the new model appears little changed. Although Mini announced it will soon be producing the car, it has not specified North American sales dates at this time.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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