Mini has been celebrating its 50th anniversary for most of 2009, with special editions--even a Rolls-Royce custom Mini--multiplying like rabbits. But the next few weeks are set to be very busy for Mini as the company is set to host the reveal of a pair of all-new concepts, the first of which has just been revealed in the form of the 2009 Mini Coupe Concept.
August 26 is the actual 50th anniversary of the Mini brand, and to celebrate the occasion, the company has unveiled the startling "Coupe Concept," which is set to go on display next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show alongside a rumored open-top speedster concept. Furthermore, the new Coupe Concept previews what could possibly the next Mini variant destined for production and the by the looks of it we sure do hope so.
Mini is calling it a prototype for now but its John Cooper Works-tuned 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with 211 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque (206 pound-feet with overboost) is entirely plausible for a production model.
It is based on the regular Cooper Hatchback but sports a lightweight aluminum roof to help lower its center of gravity. Strictly a two-seater, the low roof line, compact dimensions, perfect axle load distribution and lightweight construction are all trademarks of a genuine sports car. Other unique elements include a body colored grille and matching inserts on the wheels and rear diffuser.
The muscular stance of the car is a result of carefully calculated exterior dimensions. The Mini Coupe Concept is 1,356 mm high and the steep rake of the A-pillars is accentuated by the high waistline common to every Mini. Sat on 18-inch triple-tone finish light alloy wheels, the concept is 3,714 mm in length and 1,683 mm wide.
Inside, sports seats with strongly contoured side supports feature, as does a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with multi-function controls. Two Chronoswiss clocks to the right and left of the rev counter provide a close link to earlier concept cars by Mini, bridging the gap between the analogue age of the classic Mini and the digital age of new Mini. One acts as a stop watch and the other a standard clock.
A luggage capacity of 250 liters is offered and can be accessed at the rear by a tailgate which is hinged above the roof spoiler, meaning easy access to goods stowed in the rear. The bulkhead between the passenger and luggage compartments comes with a lockable opening, giving passengers access to the rear section at any time.
With a Crossover model in the final stages of development and Hatch, Clubman and Convertible models currently on the roads in nearly 80 countries worldwide, Mini aims to offer a varied range of compact premium cars to customers in the coming years. Hinting that the latest Coupe Concept may eventually enter production, Mini states that it offers a "vision" of how the company's lineup may continue to grow.