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First Drive: 2012 Mini Coupe

Mini introduces its fastest model ever.

by on Sep.27, 2011

The 2-seat Mini Cooper John Cooper Works edition is the brand's fastest car ever.

Small is big, or so it seems, these days, with all manner of new products, small, smaller and smallest coming to market as buyers put a premium on fuel efficiency.  But no brand has done more to change the perception of what a small car can be than Mini, the British marque showing that downsized automobiles can be much, much more than just econoboxes.

And now, just short of a decade after the 2002 launch of the reborn Mini nameplate, the British marque is getting ready to roll out an assortment of new offerings that will bring to seven its model line-up.  We had the chance to spend a couple days in Nashville, this month, with the first of the next-gen products, the 2012 Mini Coupe.

The good news is that these latest offerings are not just more of the same.  True, many of them are modern takes on models Mini originally offered decades ago.  But there’s no confusing the Mini Cooper with the Countryman crossover or even the new Coupe, which Mini’s U.S. chief Jim McDowell suggests is “not like any Mini you’ve ever before.”

Drive on in!

Our trip through Nashville and into the surrounding countryside suggests he’s right, wherever we headed, passersby stopping to stare at the first Mini to adopt what designers like to call a “three-box” design.  Nor will you confuse the 2012 Mini Coupe with a classic sedan.  Then there’s the steeply raked windshield, angled another 13 degrees compared to the standard-issue Mini.  But perhaps the most distinctive feature is the new 2-seater’s “helmet roof,” which adds to the Coupe aggressive stance.

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First Look: Mini Coupe

Maker officially adds 2-seater to growing line-up.

by on Sep.14, 2011

Mini adds a new Coupe to its growing line-up, the John Cooper Works shown here.

It may build some of the smallest cars on the market but Mini is one very fast-growing brand, the British maker bringing to the Frankfurt Motor Show its new 2-seat Mini Coupe.

The 2-seat fastback is promised to be the sportiest model to bear the Mini badge, officials said during a Frankfurt preview.  Four different variants will be offered, including the basic Mini Cooper, the Cooper S, a diesel-powered Cooper SD and the top-performing John Cooper Works.

The Inside Story!

The JCW Coupe will come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine capable of making 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque in overboost, enough to launch it from 0 to 60 in just 6.3 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph.

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