First two-seater sports car from MINI


August 6, 2013 By Mike Lee
Last updated on July 27, 2015

First two-seater sports car from MINI

Posted on 23 September 2011

First two-seater sports car from MINI

Typically MINI: characterful design, signature go-kart handling, high standard spec including unique active rear spoiler, extensive personalisation programme

John Cooper Works variant has range-topping acceleration and top speed.

Four-model engine line-up; three petrol, one diesel.

Built in Britain at Plant Oxford.

On sale 1st October 2011 priced from £16,640 OTR.

And then there were five. The next exciting chapter in the continuing MINI success story has begun with the launch of the all-new MINI Coupé, the fifth unique model in the family.

Selling alongside the MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman, the British-built MINI Coupé is the first two-seater sports car in the UK brand’s long and proud history. It’s a contemporary and authentic reworking of the classic performance car concept, bringing MINI’s intoxicating blend of go-anywhere attitude and practicality to a new type of customer.

First two-seater sports car from MINI First two-seater sports car from MINI

The MINI Coupé’s mission is a simple one; to maximise the thrill of being behind the wheel. Keen drivers will be rewarded with a level of handling agility unmatched in the small car segment. Every aspect of the MINI Coupé – from the choice of engines and chassis set-up to weight distribution and aerodynamics – is focused on delivering the optimum dynamic performance. To prove the point, the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé has the fastest acceleration and top speed of any volume-produced MINI to date.

The four-strong MINI Coupé range will go on sale through MINI dealers from 1st October 2011 and MINI Coupé customers can expect an exceptionally high standard of equipment including; DAB digital radio, air conditioning, park distance control, alloy wheels, 3-spoke sport leather steering wheel and sport stripes on the body work. A wide range of accessories and personalisation choices will be available.

First two-seater sports car from MINI First two-seater sports car from MINI

MINI’s industry leading tlc servicing packages will also be available on all MINI Coupé models. MINI tlc offers owners 5 years or 50,000 miles of peace of mind motoring for just £249.00. For owners who are looking for even more service coverage the MINI tlc XL package is also available and covers 8 years or 80,000 miles for £275.00.

Model OTR Price CO2 MPG* Insurance Group
MINI Cooper Coupé £16,640 127g/km 52.3 18E
MINI Cooper S Coupé £19,775 136g/km 48.7 31E
MINI Cooper SD Coupé £20,510 114g/km 65.7 22E
MINI John Cooper Works Coupé £23,795 165g/km 39.8 36E

Striking styling meets practicality

Key to the MINI Coupé’s appeal is its stunning exterior design, unlike anything else in the compact sports car segment. Immediately identifiable as part of the MINI family, it’s a genuine and appealing re-interpretation of the classic MINI design cues which have become so familiar on UK roads in the last decade. The car’s design language – the clever combination of athletically sculpted surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines – takes the brand’s styling in an exciting new direction, with a fresh and clear emphasis on the marque’s sporting DNA.

The MINI Coupé is also an innovative new vehicle. It’s the first modern MINI to adopt the traditional ‘three-box’ body structure, splitting the car into distinct segments – the engine compartment, cabin and boot. While the overall length and width are almost identical to the dimensions of the MINI Hatch, the Coupé’s overall height is 29 millimetres lower. Visually, this and the stepped rear end give the car a more aggressive, forward-thrusting profile. The lower roofline doesn’t come at the expense of driver and passenger comfort, though. Oval recesses in the headlining provide extra headroom, perfectly illustrating MINI’s ‘no compromise’ ethos.

The styling team led by Head of Design Anders Warming has given the MINI Coupé a distinctive appearance from every angle. The most striking view is undoubtedly the profile, with horizontal layering of the car into three separate tiers – the body, the wrap-around glass and the eye-catching roof design. The A-pillars and windscreen are sharply raked by 13˚ compared to the MINI Hatch, resulting in a smaller frontal area that gives the MINI Coupé excellent aerodynamic properties and a real sporty look.

Air flow is also optimised by the integrated spoiler at the rear of the roof, and via a unique active rear spoiler housed in the bootlid. It deploys automatically when the car reaches 50mph – and drops down again at 37mph – but can be operated manually via a button in the overhead control panel. The MINI Coupé is the first car in BMW Group history to feature an active rear spoiler, which reduces lift at the rear axle to improve aerodynamic balance and road grip.

MINI enthusiasts will immediately recognise the interior of the Coupé. The much-loved large central circular speedo, chrome toggle switches and numerous other MINI trademark features are all present in the two-seater cabin.

Behind is a spacious 280-litre luggage area – 20 litres larger than the MINI Clubman – easily accessible by the driver or passenger from inside the cabin as well as externally via the boot. The large, high-opening tailgate makes for simple loading and the car offers excellent cargo-carrying possibilities that will suit a wide range of needs. Whether it’s for daily routine, fun weekend leisure trips or more adventurous touring for two, the MINI Coupé is ideal transport.

Tried and tested engines

Power for the MINI Coupé comes from the latest generation of BMW Group four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Outputs range from 122hp/90kW in the MINI Cooper Coupé to 211hp/155kW in the highly desirable flagship MINI John Cooper Works Coupé. The recently launched performance diesel engine, the 143 hp/105 kW Cooper SD, is also available and the line-up is completed with the Cooper S which offers 184hp/135kW.

Fuel economy on the combined cycle stretches from 39.8mpg in the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé to a frugal 65.7mpg in the Cooper SD model while CO2 emissions are as low as just 114g/km on the Cooper SD. Even the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé emits only 165g/km.

Likely to prove popular with many potential MINI Coupé customers is the Cooper SD variant, which offers the best fuel economy, lowest emissions and highest torque output of any MINI Coupé model. What’s more, it will still sprint to 62mph in under eight seconds and carry on to a top speed of 134mph. With a BIK value of just 13%, and zero first year road tax, user chooser company car drivers and fleet managers will also see its obvious appeal. The MINI Coupé boasts class-leading residual values, with the Cooper SD model retaining 47% (£9,575) of it’s original value over three years or 60,000 miles and the John Cooper Works model retaining 45% (£10,625).

Model % value retained** £ value retained**
MINI Cooper SD Coupé 47% £9,575
Audi TT 2.0TDi 70hp Quattro Sport 44% £12,250
Peugeot RCZ HDi 163hp Sport 37% £8,550
VW Scirocco 2.0TDi 140hp BlueMotion Tech 36% £8,075
Renault Megane Coupé DCI 130hp Dynamique TomTom 28% £5,425
Model % value retained** £ value retained**
MINI John Cooper Works Coupé 45% £10,625
Porsche Cayman 2.9 265hp 41% £15,875
Renault Megane Coupé Sport 2.0T 250hp 38% £8,375
Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP 200hp Sport 38% £8,850
Porsche Boxster 2.9 255hp 36% £13,200
VW Scirocco 2.0 TSI 210hp GT 34% £8,175

Source: CAP Monitor

**Over three years/60,000 miles

Outstanding MINI dynamics and record-breaking speed

In the MINI Coupé, engine power is converted into pure driving fun more directly and comprehensively than ever before. This car is the clearest illustration yet of MINI’s legendary sporting DNA being transposed into a cutting-edge new vehicle. The MINI Coupé provides a complete re-interpretation of what a contender in the compact sports car class should offer the driver.

The MINI Coupé takes the legendary go-kart handling of every new MINI to a new high. That each of the four model variants carries the Cooper name in its designation is indicative of MINI’s faith in the performance credentials of its newest car. Traditionally, this badge has been a sign of outstanding sporting ability and a nod to the brand’s long-time association with legendary Formula One designer John Cooper.

One of the main attractions of owning a new MINI Coupé will be its straight-line speed. In the case of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé, it’s a MINI record-breaking performance. With a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 149mph, it’s the fastest volume-produced MINI to date on both counts.

Advanced chassis and suspension technology

Using top-quality components and a design that draws on the outstanding engineering expertise of the BMW Group, the MINI Coupé offers suspension quality that’s unique in this segment. The advanced set-up is responsible for the car’s excellent balance between ride comfort and cornering stability, as well as the remarkably low levels of torque steer, even when accelerating hard.

The suspension effortlessly translates the power of the MINI Coupé engines into a fun-filled and agile driving experience. The result is the sharp handling that MINI owners have come to know and love, engineered to an even higher level to offer the purest illustration yet of MINI’s trademark ‘go-kart’ thrills. It also contributes to a high level of active safety.

MacPherson strut front suspension provides excellent wheel location, while the sophisticated kinematics of the multi-link rear set-up maintains optimal road grip at all times. The longitudinal control arms are made of lightweight aluminium, while anti-roll bars reduce body roll to a minimum. A low centre of gravity, a long wheelbase measuring 2,467 millimetres, and a front and rear track width of 1,459 mm and 1,467 mm respectively also contribute to the sure-footed handling.

The optional sports suspension has firmer damper settings and comes with sturdier anti-roll bars. For a more hard-core racing experience, the accessories range offers John Cooper Works suspension, with a 10mm drop in ride height, ultra-firm damping and more heavy duty anti-roll bars.

Even when pushed hard, the outstanding quality of the components and engineering ensures confident control of the vehicle at all times. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system is fitted as standard on the MINI Coupé, and includes Anti-lock braking, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Cornering Brake Control, Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist. As an option the system can be extended to include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) for the driven axle (standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé).

DTC is activated at the touch of a button and raises the response thresholds of the system. The benefits are two-fold; DTC makes it easier to move off on loose ground by allowing the driven wheels to spin slightly, and permits controlled slip when powering through corners.

Standard spec on the MINI Cooper Coupé are 15-inch alloys, with 16-inch on the MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé. The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé gets 17-inch weight-optimised alloy wheels in JCW Cross Spoke CHALLENGE styling with integrated run-flat technology; a £75 option on every other model.

Precision steering and powerful braking

The MINI Coupé’s compelling handling is in part due to Electric Power Steering, which gives the MINI Coupé excellent directional control in all situations. This electro-mechanical system is particularly effective at soaking up road surface vibrations. Speed-dependent power assistance reduces the steering effort required from the driver when parking and manoeuvring, then cuts the amount of assistance at higher speeds to improve road feel.

The MINI Coupé’s model-specific braking system provides powerful, fade-free deceleration, even under the most aggressive use. The vented front discs have a diameter of 280mm on the MINI Cooper Coupé, 294mm on the MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé, and 316mm on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé. Optimal braking performance at the rear is provided by 259mm discs (280mm on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé).

A sport button on the centre console is standard on all MINI Coupé models, pressing the sport button alters the response characteristics of the accelerator and steering to deliver sharper, sportier reactions and is designed to support a more performance-minded driving style which requires more steering input but provides more responsive feel.

MINIMALISM environmental technology as standard

All versions of the MINI Coupé come with the brand’s critically acclaimed MINIMALISM environmental technology as standard, providing exceptional powertrain efficiency. Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start/Stop±, Shift Point Display±, Electric Power Steering and the need-based operation of ancillary components help to make efficient use of fuel with low emissions. Additional features include innovative thermal encapsulation of the drivetrain, which shortens the fuel-sapping warm-up period after a cold start. All of these result in the MINI Cooper SD Coupé being the cleanest Coupé in its class today.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox sets a new benchmark in the segment with its short-shift travel and precise action. A ready-to-drive weight of 44.8 kilograms makes this the lightest gearbox of its kind. The carefully considered ratios guarantee unbeatable agility in mid-range acceleration. In addition, the MINI Cooper S, John Cooper Works and Cooper SD Coupé models all come with an innovative self-adjusting clutch. Automatic readjustment ensures that the pedal feel you expect from a MINI is there to be enjoyed over the car’s entire life.

For drivers who prefer the simplicity offered by an automatic transmission, a six-speed gearbox with Steptronic function, available with shift paddles, can be ordered as an option for the MINI Cooper Coupé, MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé.

Outstanding standard equipment and options

The comprehensive list of standard kit includes Park Distance Control with rear sensors, height-adjustable sports seats (Cooper S upwards), air conditioning, electrically adjustable heated exterior mirrors, DAB digital radio and the MINI Radio Boost CD audio system with AUX IN connection. Standard safety equipment includes twin front and head-thorax airbags.

MINI has become synonymous with high-quality and desirable optional extras covering comfort, convenience, performance and styling. A full range is available on the MINI Coupé, but highlights include automatic climate control, heated seats, multi-function steering wheel (standard on Cooper S, Cooper SD and John Cooper Works), automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system, Bluetooth, USB audio interface, storage package and preparation for a rear luggage rack. Additional options are available from the John Cooper Works ranges.

Unrivalled entertainment and communication via MINI Connected

Customers specifying the MINI Visual Boost radio or MINI Navigation system will also be able to access internet-based services inside the car courtesy of the optional MINI Connected. MINI-specific functions can be uploaded via a MINI Connected software application and operated using a joystick, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor. It enables simple and intuitive control of all functions while minimising driver distraction.

The MINI Connected App gives Apple iPhone owners access to innovative functions designed to enhance driving fun, entertainment and social networking. They can receive Facebook and Twitter posts, display them on the on-board monitor and even have them read out by the optional MINI Connected voice output function. Among the other functions unique in this segment are web radio, Google’s Local Search and Send to Car services, plus reception of user-definable RSS news feeds.

Baptism of fire: 24 hours at the Nürburgring

The MINI Coupé carries the historical motorsport success of MINI in its genes, so it was fitting that the car’s first official appearance was on the track. On 23 June 2011, the 39th running of the legendary 24-hour event on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit provided a spectacular stage for the debut of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance, a stunning race-trim version developed specifically for the competition.

The aerodynamic properties and weight balance of the standard MINI Coupé provided the perfect platform for high-speed handling in race conditions. But expertise developed through the MINI CHALLENGE series, coupled with the known rigours of the gruelling day/night event, meant modifications were necessary.

They included a race suspension set-up tuned specifically to the Nordschleife, while power from the standard MINI John Cooper Works Coupé engine was boosted to 250bhp. The car had optimised aerodynamics for a higher top speed and was clocked at more than 150mph during the race. Competition-standard safety technology included a welded roll cage, single bucket seat with six-point safety harness and a F1-style HANS (Head And Neck Support) system.

Two cars were prepared for competition and in front of a crowd of 250,000 enthusiastic fans, and after completing 114 and 108 laps respectively, they secured very respectable 11th and 13th places in the high-calibre SP3T category.

Panel – tech spec on engine variants:

All MINI Coupé four-cylinder petrol engines come with VALVETRONIC technology – a fully variable valve control system which adjusts valve lift and opening times in direct relationship to the driver’s command on the throttle pedal, delivering more torque and better fuel consumption. The MINI Cooper S Coupé comes with BMW Group’s International Engine of the Year award winning 1.6 litre four-cylinder unit.

MINI John Cooper Works Coupé:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection, plus numerous technological details carried over directly from motorsport.

Displacement: 1,598 cc

Output: 211hp/155kW at 6,000 rpm

Max torque: 260 Nm/192 lb-ft at 1,850 – 5,600 rpm

(280 Nm/207 lb-ft with Overboost at 2,000 – 5,100 rpm)

Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 6.4 seconds

Top speed: 149 mph

Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 39.8 mpg

CO2 emissions: 165 g/km

MINI Cooper S Coupé:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection.

Displacement: 1,598 cc

Output: 184hp/135kW at 5,500 rpm

Max torque: 240 Nm/177 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm

(260 Nm/192 lb-ft with Overboost at 1,700 – 4,500 rpm)

Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 6.9 seconds

Top speed: 143 mph

Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 48.7 mpg

CO2 emissions: 136 g/km

MINI Cooper SD Coupé:

Four-cylinder turbo diesel with aluminium crankcase, common-rail injection and variable turbine geometry.

Displacement: 1,995 cc

Output: 143hp/105kW at 4,000 rpm

Max torque: 305 Nm/225 lb-ft at 1,750 – 2,700 rpm

Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 7.9 seconds

Top speed: 134 mph

Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 65.7 mpg

CO2 emissions: 114 g/km

MINI Cooper Coupé:

Displacement: 1,598 cc

Output: 122hp/90kW at 6,000 rpm

Max torque: 160 Nm/118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm

Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 9.0 seconds

Top speed: 127 mph

Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 52.3 mpg

CO2 emissions: 127 g/km

Exterior dimensions :

Length: 3,728 millimetres (MINI Cooper Coupé)

3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper S and Cooper SD Coupé)

3,758 millimetres (MINI John Cooper Works Coupé)

Width: 1,683 millimetres (1892 millimetres including door mirrors)

Height: 1,378 millimetres (MINI Cooper Coupé)

1,384 millimetres (MINI Cooper S, Cooper SD and John Cooper Works Coupé)

Wheelbase: 2,467 millimetres