- Looks like: A Mini Cooper trying to be a coupe
- Defining characteristics: Roof-hinged liftgate, two seats, turbo four-cylinder engine, blue-and-silver paint scheme
- Ridiculous features: Roof-mounted spoiler, racing stripes
- Chance of being mass-produced: Wouldn't put it past 'em
Mini's Coupe Concept is a new take on the Cooper hatchback it currently sells in the U.S., and the automaker says it offers a glimpse of what future Minis may look like. It's scheduled to appear at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens in mid-September.
The Coupe Concept is instantly recognizable as a Mini from the front, as its hood, headlights and grille are similar to those on a Cooper S. It isn't until you get to the roof where the Coupe Concept starts to differ from a Cooper; as its name suggests, the concept has the profile of a traditional coupe with its slanted rear window and short rear deck.
Unlike many coupes, though, the Coupe Concept doesn't have a traditional trunk. You open a liftgate to access the cargo area — just like in the Cooper. The concept has an 8.8-cubic-foot cargo area. That's larger than the 5.7-cubic-foot space the Cooper has behind its rear seats, but the concept benefits from not having a backseat at all.
The Coupe Concept is powered by the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder from the John Cooper Works edition of the Mini. In the concept, it's rated at 211 horsepower and 192 pounds-feet of torque.
The Mini Cooper has carved out a niche for itself in the U.S. as a premium hatchback, and a car like the Coupe Concept, if produced, is a smart way for the brand to branch out. It gives shoppers who don't like the look of a hatchback a reason to consider Mini.