This month, Mini will add its new two-seat Mini Cooper Coup to its model lineup. The sporty new model will be the first of three new body styles joining the lineup over the next twelve months and will bring the total number of models available to seven. According to Mini product manager, Vinnie Kung, the company plans to increase that number by an additional three over the next five years.
The new coupe will reportedly share the convertible models chassis but will feature a smaller, sportier top. The base model will sell for $22,000, including shipping, and will be powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of delivering 121-horsepower, and will be available with an optional six-speed manual transmission. Standard features include power mirrors, air conditioning, height-adjustable seats and an auxiliary input-equipped audio system.
A Roadster variant based on the Coupe will be launched next spring. In the fall of 2012, Mini plans to launch its Paceman model. The Paceman is a three-door version of the five-door Countryman and was introduced at last winter’s Detroit auto show.
In addition to the Coupe, Mini will offer a Coupe variant of the popular Cooper S. The model will feature a turbocharged 181-horsepower four-cylinder engine and will be priced starting at $24,600, including shipping.
A John Cooper Works edition of the Coupe will also be available. It will come with a turbocharged 208-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a manual six-speed transmission and a base sticker price of $31,900, including shipping. Cooper anticipates that it will compete against some icons of the performance coupe sector, like the Porsche Boxster and Audi TT.
Mini’s brand marketing manager Tom Salkowsky concedes the recent decline in sales of two-seater vehicles, but is confident that the Coupe will quickly become a halo model for the company as it attracts younger motorists who will respond to the car’s sportier styling.
Salkowsky said, “We’ve seen the two-seater segment go from selling more than 50,000 a year to selling fewer than 10,000, but we believe this coupe will single-handedly bring new interest to the segment.
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