The MINI turns 50 today and it has given itself and the automotive world a special gift.
MINI announced the presentation of the MINI Coupé Concept at the Frankfurt Motor show from September 17 to 27.
"MINI is unveiling an unusually attractive vision of how the model family may well develop in future. The source of inspiration is once again the fundamental motive so characteristic of every MINI: driving pleasure," MINI said in a statement.
Is this something we can expect to roll on our roads soon, with the MINI announcing its entry to the Philippines? We'll see. In the meantime, you can check out the excerpts of the MINI statement below.
The typical MINI look in particularly sporting style.
The new concept car carries over the unmistakable front end look from the four-seater MINI. Smoothly balanced contours on the engine lid characterised by wide and sweeping radii, the large headlights, the homogenous shape of the radiator grille and the wide lower air intake give each model that unique look, openness and charm so typical of the brand. Through the greater rake of the windscreen on the MINI Coupé Concept, the car looks even more striking and dynamic, the low and streamlined body proving clearly that the MINI Coupé Concept is a particularly outstanding performer.
The hexagon radiator grille and the large round headlights are unmistakable design features re-interpreting the front view of the classic Mini in particularly modern style. The direction indicators are integrated in the headlights, just above the innovative three-dimensional surrounds for the positioning lights and the foglamps. The entire front air dam has been adjusted to the sporting look of the car, standing out even wider and more striking than before.
The chrome radiator grille on the MINI Coupé Concept is the same as on the MINI ¬Cooper S. The inner section in the grille is however finished with bars in body colour creating a clear sign of distinction at very first sight from the other members of the MINI family. The bonnet stripes also extend into the radiator grille to provide an even more sporting and dynamic touch.
With its very dynamic curvature and the stylised opening, bearing testimony to the power of the engine lurking within, the front lid likewise comes in the same look as on the particularly powerful versions of the MINI.
Individual roofline as a sign of sporting presence.
The side view of the MINI Coupé Concept also brings together features typical of the MINI family and new highlights in design to form a fascinating whole. The front side panels, for example, come straight from the MINI Convertible. The body joint forming the diagonal line characteristic of every MINI along the front lid and the surrounds on the front side indicators bearing out the style of the MINI Cooper S again provide an unmistakable sign of distinction with historic roots - here the classic Mini had a visible welding seam along the body.
The familiarity in design resulting from these features forms an attractive contrast to the far greater rake of the A-pillars leading into the brand-new, sweeping line of the roof.
Large wheels and a high waistline already give the MINI, the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible a particularly powerful and sporting look, with the black strip around the lower section of the body underlining this compact appearance and short body overhangs front and rear emphasising the athletic stature of the car and bearing testimony to that typical go-kart feeling at very first sight.
All this now comes out even more convincingly in the MINI Coupé Concept, also through the unique flow of the roofline. The glazed section of the passenger cell referred to as the greenhouse, for example, is much lower and even more dynamic than on the brand's "regular" models.
Another feature of the MINI Coupé Concept is the strongly inclined windscreen merging gently into the roof. At the rear the roofline initially moving straight back above the heads of the driver and front passenger flows on into the sturdy C-pillar. The entire roof with all its contours thus comes in a bridge shape quite unmistakable and featured for the first time on the MINI, made up of a strong rear cornerstone formed by the C-pillar and the almost filigree structure above the passenger cell.
The C-pillar is a strong visual expression of the particularly solid and torsionally rigid body structure providing not only superior occupant safety, but also the agility typical of MINI in fast manoeuvres. The C-pillar very powerful in design serves at the same time to guide your perspective towards the rear end of the car, while the side view of the MINI Coupè Concept forms a very strong and convincing wedge shape created by the roofline tapering out to the rear and the waistline rising up slightly in typical MINI style.
All this gives the MINI Coupé Concept a forward-moving impression right from the start, the car clearly expressing its power and muscle even at a standstill. Through its design alone, therefore, the MINI Coupé Concept authentically visualises sporting qualities of the highest standard.
Striking contours and smooth flow of air ensured by the roof spoiler and the rear spoiler edge.
The rear-end design of the MINI Coupé Concept consistently follows the need to optimise the flow of air in the interest of both driving dynamics and efficiency. The principle of "form follows function" so essential to MINI, the look and design of various body elements, fully reflects the characteristic features and qualities of the car. Through its design alone, therefore, the MINI Coupé Concept clearly confirms its sporting potential in a particularly credible and convincing manner.
The rear spoiler with its wing profile at the same level as the C-pillar also makes a particularly effective contribution in guiding the air along the rear end of the MINI Coupé Concept. This large air guidance element spans the entire width of the roof, increasing aerodynamic downforce on the rear axle.
Tapering down elegantly, the rear window on this unique two-seater merges into a short and low rear end with staged contours in typical coupé design. Again, this follows the overriding objective to ensure an optimum flow of air without any turbulence harming the car's aerodynamics - which is also why the air spoiler on the rear panel is appropriately sharp and clear in its profile.
Beneath the air spoiler at the rear the overall look and design of the MINI Coupé Concept follows the typical philosophy of the brand. Horizontal lines running parallel to one another emphasise the wide track of the car, the body growing wider from top to bottom in cascading style highlighting the muscular stance of the car resting on its wheels in that characteristic style.
The rear light clusters in upright arrangement and surrounded by a wide chrome frame are also typical of the brand. The rear air dam on the MINI Coupé Concept, in turn, comes with a diffuser split up into two sections and ensuring a smooth, swirl-free flow of air beneath the car.
Impressively functional: wide-opening tailgate, generous luggage space.
The tailgate on the MINI Coupé Concept is yet another highlight of the car. Deliberately foregoing the rear seat bench, this unique two-seater offers lots of additional space for taking along all kinds of luggage.
Luggage capacity is 250 litres or 8.8 cu ft. To use this space most conveniently, the rear end of the MINI Coupé Concept comes with a large and wide-opening tailgate. Hinged above the roof spoiler, the entire tailgate including the rear window swings up gracefully, offering convenient access to the generous luggage space behind the rear seats of the car. And thanks to the low loading sill, accessing the luggage compartment with even heavy and bulky objects is significantly easier.
The complete design of the rear end with its large tailgate is yet another example of the functional design so typical of MINI. All options offered through the concept of the car are optimised to the highest standard through carefully thought-out solutions and a good overall balance. Indeed, this principle already to be admired on the brand's existing models, for example through the easy-load function on the MINI Convertible, makes a significant contribution to the overall substance of the car. The result is a wide range of innovative solutions quite unique in the market, emphasising the premium character of the MINI brand.
On the MINI Coupé Concept this philosophy is borne out by yet another distinctive feature providing extra space and practical value: The bulkhead between the passenger and the luggage compartments comes with a lockable opening. The through-loading provided in this way, quite unusual on a two-seater coupe, gives the driver and passenger direct access even while driving to travel items they are taking along in the luggage compartment. So that bags with, say, beverages, a music CD or maps are stowed away safely but always within easy reach.
Interior: sports car ambience with an exclusive range of colours and materials.
The MINI Coupé Concept combines the vision of a compact sports car with thrilling agility, on the one hand, and the individual flair and style of the MINI, on the other. Through its entire concept, the car is perfectly designed to offer concentrated driving pleasure of the highest standard. This is borne out not only through the extroverted exterior in its fascinating, sporting look, but also through the interior conceived from the start for active motoring.
Wide-opening doors give the driver and passenger convenient access to the interior, where they enjoy sports seats with strongly contoured side supports for a secure seating position even in particularly fast bends. A three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons enables the driver to steer precisely into bends and control the audio or communication functions with maximum ease. All other control units, in turn, are arranged ergonomically on the dashboard, taking their frequency of use into account.
The breakdown of the cockpit, the dashboard and centre console again follows that special interior design so typical of MINI. Horizontal lines and air vents placed far to the outside emphasise the sheer width of the instrument panel and, at the same time, the generous style of the interior, the slender centre console giving the driver and passenger maximum legroom. The structure of the door linings so typical of the brand, finally, has also been re-interpreted, with the elliptic main element now completely closed in.
The MINI Coupé Concept also comes with a large rev counter directly behind the steering wheel, while the speedometer is part of the central instrument in the upper section of the dashboard. This circular instrument well known as the Center Speedo also houses the audio system as well as the optional entertainment and navigation functions.
Two Chronoswiss clocks to the right and left of the rev counter provide a close link to earlier concept cars by MINI, bridging the gap between the analogue age of the classic Mini and the digital age of the MINI. One clock is a purpose-built stopwatch for taking lap times, the second clock shows the time in classic style.
The colours and materials featured inside the MINI Coupé Concept symbolise the classic sportiness of the car. Like the dashboard, the roof lining of this unprecedented two-seater comes in black providing a calm atmosphere just right for concentrating on driving conditions and essential requirements. Black trim bars combined with a carbon interior trim strip, finally, further enhance this purist look.