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Roadshow Video Reviews
Mini CoupeThe first two-seater from Mini, seen at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, is quite eye-catching and will undoubtedly be a hot seller.
Well, after 1000 years on the auto show circuit being teased and teased and teased, we finally have the real deal. Here's the production trim Mini Coop. Now what makes it a Coop versus the standard Mini? Well, first of all, as with any Coop, it's the roof line. Instead of coming back to that square little cam back thing that minis do, this one slopes down kind of like it's wearing a giant football helmet. Looks like it is a giant football helmet although interestingly, this car is basically from the beltline down a mini-Cabrio, a mini of any garden variety type. It's all the stuff up here and toward the back that's where it changes a lot. And of course, the inside is different. This is the first 2-seat full production mini of the modern era. I know there was a John Cooper Works GP but we must leave that out for now. Let's see what the space is like inside. Okay, inside here, pretty much standard mini, a couple small trim Differences, but really, that could just be model year as much as model style. So where things get interesting is when you turn back here and there are no rear seats. That's a big difference. But let's see what's behind what would be the rear seats. So while this car appears to be the dinkiest of the minis from the outside, it's actually one of the most spacious back here in the cargo bay. Look at this. It's not just a big space; it's a big usable space, a big old box and I guess we've got a nice large pass through up there as well for really long stuff. So this isn't one of those impractical style statements. You'll actually enjoy lugging stuff in this little thing. If there's any practical benefit having a Mini Coop, it's the fact that you do cut down wind resistance. There's less of a mass in the air and a lower center of gravity. There is less stuff sitting up high in the super structure. Alright, so this Mini Coop, these Coops are going to be production car coming to the market imminently. We also hear of a roadster version that's going to be coming in the market probably sometime into mid to late 2012. Now if you configure one of these, you've got a lot of the same choices. You've got the same engines, the standard or the blown engine to give you 120 or 210 horsepowers, something around there. You've also got the same connectivity options. Do you see on that back wall, there are many connected. They are emphasizing their Google search and Twitter and web radio, but again that stuff is already on the Mini platform. So this car is largely a top-half body styling stand. But you know what? They might sell a lot of them just for their cookie cuteness.