Mini Coupe: On the Road Soon
Mini is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its original model by confirming plans for a new compact performance-oriented coupe.
The two-seater, revealed 50 years to the day after the premiere of the first Mini back in 1959, will make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show. At the show, the BMW-owned carmaker also will unveil a similarly styled two-seat roadster, which sources say will head into production as part of a strategy aimed at further raising the appeal of the wildly popular and iconic small car.
Confirmation of the coupe and roadster pairing comes less than a year after Mini revealed that it would build a new four-wheel-drive SUV in the mold of its high-riding Crossman concept. Together, this trio of new models will double the number of Mini derivatives on sale within the next three years–a move that analysts say will help boost the company’s worldwide sales above 400,000 annually, despite increased competition in the form of the upcoming Audi A1, the Citroën DS3 (both Frankfurt debuts) and the recently introduced Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Although it is described as a concept and the official line is that no decision on production has yet been made, the Mini Coupe to be revealed in Frankfurt is no mere fantasy destined to be toned down in appearance and mechanical makeup before it reaches dealerships. High-ranking Mini insiders revealed to AutoWeek that the production version due out in 2011 will be a virtual carbon copy both in looks and in the hardware that lurks beneath.
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