BMW hatches a right ugly duckling


The Mini division of BMW is adding another variant to the Mini series with the Cooper Coupe, releasing details ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.  This coupe is very similar to the coupe concept shown in the Frankfurt show in 2009.

According to BMW, this two seater coupe has also retained close stylistic ties the rest of the Mini range – only its sharply raked A-pillars, booted rear-end and chopped “helmet” roof design differentiate it from the three door four seater hatch upon which it is based.

New Mini Coupe New Mini Coupe

The new model will be built alongside the hard-top hatch, soft-top Cabrio and long-wheelbase Clubman wagon in Oxford, England, and is to be branded as a “Cooper”.

The company says the front-drive Cooper coupe, “Radiates the brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling with a whole new depth of intensity and achieves the best performance statistics ever recorded by a volume-produced Mini.”

Official dimensions reveal the Mini Cooper Coupe to be 35 mm longer overall than the Cooper hatch at 3728 mm (3734mm for the Cooper S and John Cooper Works edition).  The coupe’s silhouette sits 52 mm lower than the regular Mini, thanks to the cropped roofline, and it is this chopped and channeled look combined with the overhanging roof that contributes to it fugliness.

For those who like gimmicks, the Coupe also has a pop-up rear wing that is housed within the rear deck lid and deploys automatically at 80 km/h to bring claimed aerodynamic benefits at high speeds.  Items like this certainly do increase the ‘impression’ ratio, but not much else.  It is still a house brick front on.

The Coupe will get electric power steering, electronic stability control and dynamic traction control systems, plus a standard six-speed manual transmission.

A six-speed automatic will be optional for all models except the JCW flagship, which will be the only version to come standard with Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), although the weight balance of all models has been shifted slightly further forward to increase front-wheel drive traction.

The most basic Cooper Coupe’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four produces 90 kW at 6000 rpm and 160 Nm of torque at 4250 rpm, with a zero to 100km/h time of nine seconds and a top speed of 204 km/h.

The diesel version of the Cooper Coupe will be powered by BMW’s 2.0 liter all-alloy common-rail turbo-diesel developing 105 kW at 4000 rpm and 305 Nm at 1750-2700 rpm.  This gives a zero to 100 km/h time of a claimed 7.9 seconds and has a 216 km/h top speed, and a frugal fuel consumption of just 4.3 L/100 km.

The Cooper S variant delivers the same outputs as the regular Mini Cooper S – 135 kW at 5500 rpm and 240 Nm at 1600-5000rpm, while fuel consumption is listed at a respective 5.8 L/100 km.

The flagship Mini John Cooper Works Coupe will feature the most powerful version of the new 1.6 liter twin-scroll turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine announced by BMW earlier this year.  This engine delivers 155 kW at 6000 rpm and 260 Nm of torque between 1850 and 5600rpm, giving performance figures (released by BMW) of zero to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds – one-tenth quicker than the most rapid JCW hatch.  Top speed is listed at 240 km/h, yet fuel consumption remains relatively frugal at 7.1 L/100 km.

But isn’t it ugly!