With the exception of the extra-large Mini Cooper Countryman, the Mini Cooper Coupe is probably the Mini model most likely to draw stares and comments.
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The front end is classic Mini styling. Not much has changed since the new Cooper debuted at the turn of the century.
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Bi-xenon headlamps are a $500 option that greatly improves your night vision.
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Under the hood breathes a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that makes use of direct-injection technology.
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In John Cooper Works trim, the Coupe is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
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The Coupe may be lower in height than the Cooper hatchback, but it's also about 2 inches longer overall.
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The coupe's profile hides the fact that it is, in fact, a hatchback.
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Larger 17-inch wheels and four-piston, JCW-branded Brembo brakes are part of the John Cooper Works trim.
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Viewed from the rear, the Cooper Coupe crouches in what Mini calls a "bulldog stance."
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A louder, more free-flowing exhaust helps the Mini Cooper Coupe JCW to reach 208 horsepower and make quite a noise in the process.
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Mini's trademark contrasting roof is present and accounted for, but those racing stripes will cost you extra.
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An integrated roof spoiler guides air down the Coupe's rear glass and onto the rear deck.
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That rear deck hides a second motorized spoiler.
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At 50 mph (or the flip of a switch) the spoiler rises, generating up to 88 pounds of downforce.
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The Coupe lacks a back seat, but gains quite a bit of storage space behind its rear bulkhead.
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Inside, the Mini Coupe uses the standard, goofy Mini design.
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Our model is equipped with chrome interior trim and leather seats, both of which will cost you extra.
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The chunky steering wheel feels great in the hand and communicates every detail of the road through your fingertips.
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Audio and voice controls can be found on the wheel's left spoke.
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Cruise controls are on the right, but if you're interested in a JCW, you probably don't care about that.
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At the top of the telescoping steering column is a large tachometer with an integrated digital speedometer. This is where you'll get all of your speed data, because the larger central speedometer is... well... useless.
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When equipped with the optional navigation, the Mini's dinner-plate speedometer is filled with a 6.5-inch display.
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Despite appearances, this interface is not touch-sensitive. Rather, it's controlled with a small iDrive-esque controller on the center tunnel.
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Mini's navigation system features traffic data and maps that are basic, but still attractive.
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Hands-free calling features voice command for dialing after an address book sync.
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Bluetooth audio streaming is included in this generation of Mini, which is a welcome addition.
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A standard six-speaker audio system supplies sounds for any Mini Cooper Coupe model.
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Stepping up to a premium Harman Kardon audio system greatly improves audio quality, but even then it's barely a match for the JCW Coupe's loud cabin at highway speed.
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Drivers are able to monitor many of the Coupe's systems from the vehicle info page of the dashboard display.
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Mini Connect is an optional telematics system that uses a paired iPhone to bring Facebook, Twitter, and Pandora into the dashboard.
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Fuel economy for the JCW Coupe is pretty good, particularly considering the lead-footed manner in which we drove it.
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The rotary controller was a turnoff at first, but I liked that it made it easy to input data without staring at the screen.
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At this point, we're used to finding the climate controls and window toggles on Mini vehicles. New users should expect to be confused for a bit.
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Everywhere we went in the Cooper Coupe, we attracted stares and comments from onlookers.
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