Sam Philip26 August 2009

Mini’s minier Mini

Mini Coupe Concept is inspired by teenage boy wearing baseball cap backwards. No, really. Really…

Mini Coupe Concept

See more Mini Coupe pics

We knew Mini was cooking up something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alex Issigonis’ original design, and here it is: the Mini Coupe Concept.

It’s a two-door, lower-roofed take on the John Cooper Works car which, says Mini, could reach the market in a couple of years’ time to take on the Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT.

Near-identical to the JCW below the beltline, the Coupe Concept stands 5cm shorter and features a more steeply raked windscreen and a big roof spoiler.

Mini design director Gert Hildebrand says the design of the floating roof was inspired the sight of his teenage son wearing a baseball cap backwards. Oh dear. ‘Ah, my precocious child! Your attempts to emulate style icon Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit shall be forever immortalised in roof form!’

Despite ourselves, we can actually see where he’s coming from – just take a look at the Coupe Concept in profile. However, we suspect it might have been one of those awful golf visors rather than a baseball cap that provided the inspiration. We don’t know if this makes Herr Hildebrand’s confession better or worse.

The Coupe Concept shares the JCW Mini's 208bhp, 1.6-litre turbo engine. Expected to weigh in around 100kg lighter than the Mini hatch – thanks in part to the removal of the rear seats – that should guarantee lively performance. We’d expect a 0-62mph time of around six seconds flat, and tidy handling thanks to the lower centre of gravity.

We’ll don our yoof headwear in reverse fashion for a full perusal of the Coupe Concept at the Frankfurt show next month. Though BMW says it has not yet decided whether to put the Mini Coupe into production, the Germans insist it is a definite possibility.

Reckon they should build it? 

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