Mini Coupe (2011) spied on test

Published: 11 March 2011

Mini continue testing the new Coupe version of the Mk2 Mini hatchback ahead of its sales debut later this year.

At first our spy photographer (standing a long way away, judging by these long-range snatched scoop photos) thought this was the Roadster, but close inspection confirms it is the tin-top coupe.

There’s no rear deck like on 2009’s Roadster concept, and you can make out the spoiler and fastback glass of the Coupe. We’ve added some pics of the blue show car to remind us what the 2009 Mini Coupe concept looked like.

What are we peering at through a telephoto lens, then?

Following on from CAR reader Jon Spinner’s scoop photos on the M1 we ran last month, these new spy shots from a UK test facility give us a look at the Mini Coupe in profile, and our first glimpse of the production car’s front end.

That’s just standard Mini Cooper S, isn’t it?

An anticlimax, we know. The vent in the front wing and the door handles are covered up, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything radically different in profile below the Coupe’s controversial ‘cap backwards’ roofline. 

The front end shares the Cooper S’s bonnet and bumper, mirroring the shared plastic trims we’ve already seen at the back of the two-seater Mini. It’s all in the name of saving money, which is what makes the economics of this model stack up. 

Why would I want the Mini Coupe then?

A lower coupe roofline, space for two and a decent amount of luggage – plus the Mini hatchback’s handling prowess – makes us think this is a modern-day Honda CRX by BMW.

Whether the reality engenders as much enthusiast goodwill as the ’80s Honda remains to be seen.