Wednesday, June 22, 2011
New Car: 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe
Mini’s cars are known for their flingability, but the company is dragging its feet releasing info on its new Cooper Coupe. Last week, we got our first official photos of the car (albeit still partially covered in camouflage) and then got to drive a prototype (again, still partially covered in camouflage). This time, we’ve finally got photos of the whole car—not the concept, not spy shots of a camouflaged production car, not official shots of a camouflaged car, but official shots of a fully exposed production coupe, its thin quarter and rear glass uncovered, its helmet roof and racing stripes revealed in all their glory.
There is very little new information accompanying these new photos. For those of you who missed the last few stories, however, here is a recap of this re-capped Cooper: the Mini Coupe is a two-seat, trunk-ated (though not truncated) version of Mini’s feisty hatch, based on the Cooper convertible’s structure. It has the same footprint as the Cooper hatchback, but its roof is roughly an inch lower and it features a faster windshield angle. All three of the 1.6-liter engines offered on other Coopers sold in the States will be available in the coupe: the 121-hp naturally aspirated base four-cylinder, the raucous 181-hp turbocharged version of same, and the wild-child 208-hp John Cooper Works turbo four. Wheels will come in 15-, 16-, and 17-inch sizes, with plenty of different designs available as options.
Thanks to added bracing in the rear bulkhead and elsewhere, the Mini Cooper Coupe will be torsionally stiffer than the hardtop, but, at least in JCW form, it also will be roughly 55 pounds heavier. However, we already know that, thanks to bespoke suspension tuning and brake-based torque vectoring, the coupe is more fun to drive than any other Mini body style. (At least it is for now. Engineers on our drive of the JCW car told us the final calibrations could still change.)
Thanks to: Car and Driver