Not only has Mini's lineup grown since Bmw
relaunched the brand in 2001, but so have Minis themselves. Each new Mini introduced since then, from the second-generation MINI COOPER
to the MINI CLUBMAN
and most recently the Countryman, grew progressively bigger. While the 2012 Mini Coupe is roughly the same size as the base Mini Cooper
it's spawned from, it looks and feels smaller and nimbler.
The Mini Coupe (first previewed in concept form at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show) is the first modern two-seat Mini and the first to use a three-box design -- engine compartment, passenger compartment and trunk. The design effectively is carried through and lends the Coupe a handsome look. The Mini Coupe features what Mini calls a Helmet Roof, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a roof that looks like a helmet. Mini was able to achieve the helmet through the use of wraparound glass, which not only looks good, but gives you the impression the vehicle would be just as aerodynamic backwards as it would forwards, like Porsche 928
s of yore.
Helping the Mini Coupe achieve that look are unique A-pillars and a windshield that's raked more than the standard Mini's. In back, the Helmet Roof opens up with an "extremely high-opening tailgate," according to Mini, which allows access to the cargo area. The Helmet Roof also features an integrated rear spoiler, which at low speeds directs the air down the wraparound glass. At 50 mph and up, an active rear spoiler automatically rises out of the trunk lid and works with the roof-mounted spoiler to reduce lift and further improve aerodynamics and grip.