MINI less equals MINI more

2012, MINI, Cooper Coupe

The MINI Cooper Coupe crouch commands attention. MINI calls the Coupe's top "helmet roof." Gone is the box shape of previous MINIs. The new MINI-less is chopped, scraped, and recoiling, ready to pounce. This next installment from MINI, the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe two seat hatchback model arrives in American MINI dealers October 2011. The MINI Cooper Coupe's sibling, the Roadster, will make its production debut in February 2012.

MINI 's chief designer since 2000, Gert Hildebrand, has retired. The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe and Roadster were Hildebrand's last production vehicles. Gert Hildebrand, and his team, oversaw the entire development and evolution of the cabriolet, Clubman and Countryman. MINI fans were happy that Hildebrand's last vehicles were not just 2009 Frankfurt auto show unveils, but that the vehicles have come to life for the motoring faithful.

"... this ain't no Mudd Club or CBGB..."

David Byrne's "Life during wartime" iconic lyric, "... this ain't no Mudd Club or CBGB..." references two historic music/art urban clubs that set their generation's ethos apart from the past. Likewise, the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe is the distilled, essential sports car demeanor that all the other automobile manufacture models attempt to gleam.

Clarity, agility, and functionality in a machine are no accidents. Once strapped into the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe a confident, determined and joyful smile appears on BOTH the driver and the only possible passenger. The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe appears to be crouching because the vehicle sits 1" lower that the MINI Cooper hardtop.

The alphabet soup of engineering handling technologies, namely DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) standard, DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) optional on MCC but standard on the top of the line MINI John Cooper Works Coupe, come inherited from parent company BMW Group. All this clever software electronic connection translates to a handling backbone that sticks to the road with ease, confidence and safety. The MCC suspension and body structure has been modified from the MINI hardtop to compliment the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe unique stance and shape. This body structure includes the interior's "helmet roof", scalloped for 6'4" motorist such as myself. I think there was room for a helmet on me too.

The MCC models embrace the MINI powerplant assortment of both the standard aspirated 1.6 and the twin-turbo engines with either the manual or automatic 6 speed transmissions. Plus, as noted by Vinnie Kung (USA Product Manager), MINI engineers greatly reduced torque steer to a wink starting in the 2011 powertrains and the MCC inherits this steering wheel taming engineering accomplishment. Both the standard aspirated and twin-turbo engines wonderfully illustrate physical moment of air/fuel through BMW's "VALVETRONIC" marvel of calculations to deliver the horsepower/torque for motoring satisfaction. And yes, blessed burble exhaust sound when you come-off the accelerator has returned in Sport mode too! Combined 28-32 mpg EPA rated from the MINI Cooper Coupe standard 1.6 aspirated to the fastest (149 mph, 239 kph) MINI yet in the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe version of the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe.

"What's out back Jack?"

The eye is instantly drawn to the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe roof top designed-in rear spoiler. Shapes are deceiving but aerodynamics is not a frivolous companion. The "helmet roof" as MINI calls the top does have a function of aerodynamic down-force on the rear of a front wheel drive vehicle. The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe is also the first MINI to have a trunk (boot), actually hatchback, automatically speed activated spoiler that lifts at 80 km/h (50 mph) and returns flush below spoiler speeds.

But the expansive hatchback lid, seemingly half the vehicles length had me shaking my head when I opened it to store my camera bag mumbling, "Wow! This big?" The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe cargo hole even has a driver/passenger accessible 14" by 8" pass through door to the cargo (boot) space.

"But I only want black?"

Like all the MINI family, online customer configured MINI interiors, colors, and accessories continue with the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe. There are nine exterior colors for the MCC plus the "helmet roof" comes in contrasting racing strip colors. Scream fast to the world with the exclusive only for the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe racing stripe Chili Red "helmet roof."

"Can I check my email?" (MINI Connected unleashed)

The 21st century's insatiable need to be connected 24/7 will find that MINI Connected is MINI's unique visual/audio/data interface that includes more than just a navigational and radio display. MOG, a music streaming software provider is one of the coming apps that the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe motorer will enjoy. MINI Connected's audio interface will read back your Twitter, Facebook threads and Google local search and RSS news feeds to insure eyes on the road safety.

MINI commentary

The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe has increased the legendary endeared MINI legacy of fun and economy without that silly empty backseat.

By Mark 'Stretch' Batchelor

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Images of the 2012, MINI Cooper Coupe

2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe