Mini coupé and roadster (2011) revealed in patent pics

Published: 06 April 2010

Our friends over at Autoblog have snared a handful of European patent pictures of next year’s new Mini twins – the Coupé and Roadster. The 2011 debutants are revealed in their likely showroom spec in these new sketches that lodge the trademarks required to stem Chinese rip-offs.

The 2011 Mini Coupé and Roadster were trailed in the 2009 concept cars shown at the Frankfurt motor show and, as predicted, the production cars are little different.

So what’s new on the production Mini sports cars?

Not much. These four leaked images shown that the front fascia, bumpers and aero addenda are only mildly changed from their concept brethren. It’s all about style: the Mini’s already pointless rear seats will be junked on both the coupé and rag-top roadster. These sportier Minis are Germany’s answer to the Honda CRX and Ford Puma.

Marcus Syring, Mini’s head of exterior design, told CAR: ‘Mini is a very elastic brand. The Coupé and Roadster are authentic Minis true to our core values. Every Mini must steer like a go-kart and be one of the three best handling cars in class It must be one of the smallest cars in the sector. And it must possess a unique Mini design you’ll recognise at first glance. Both cars meet our criteria.’

Dubbed the ‘Oxford Twins’ internally, BMW will build the latest addition to the Mini family at Plant Oxford in the UK instead of outsourcing assembly to a third party as is the case with the new Mini Crossover, which will be built in Graz, Austria.

Mini’s really squeezing its heritage here…

You bet. Munich has enjoyed a successful firework sales story with the new Mini; since launch in 2001, it has eked out new bodystyles (hatch, convertible, Clubman estate), fresh engine tech (stop-start, diesels) and even special editions (John Cooper Works, Mayfair etc) to keep interest in the brand alive.

But now the time has come for more radical additions. Hence the arrival of the Crossover and Coupé/Roadster duo a decade after BMW’s first Mini – designed to prop up support in what is essentially a fashion label. Many critics on CAR Online have savaged some of the new bodystyles being rinsed off the front-drive Mini architecture, but it’s difficult to argue with BMW’s commercial logic.

Expect to see the new Mini Coupé and Roadster in production spec in early 2011. The whole Mini engine line-up is likely, although you can expect petrols first in keeping with the sporty aspirations.

>> Click here to see Autoblog’s original story on the leaked Mini images

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet