MINI is always up for something new, especially when it comes to adding more people to the MINI community. Back in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show we saw a coupe and roaster version of the popular MINI Cooper unveiled. At the time there was no confirmation as to whether this shortened Coopers would go into production. Then, later that year MINI seemed to confirm the coming of these to mini MINIs when they announced two more models would be built at the Oxford plant. So it has been over a year and no a lot of news has surfaced—that is until recently.

Mini Coupe vs Audi TT, by Michael Banovsky

Mini Coupe vs Audi TT, by Michael Banovsky

Car and Driver recently ran a post on their blog showing spy shots of the 2012 MINI Coupe and Roaster. Both cars in the spy shots, one looking to be in John Cooper Works trim and the other in S trim, seem to be pretty well sorted which seems to indicate that they will be debuting at an auto show somewhere around the globe any day now. Geneva is coming up March 1st or maybe they will wait until the Frankfurt show again. Either way, the cars are definitely smaller and there is some question as to whether MINI is on the right track or has missed the boat completely with these two new additions.

Some people are comparing the spy shots to the Suzuki X90, a car that isn’t necessarily the pinnacle of driving enthusiasm. Others have compared it to a Honda Del Sol, Geo Metro or the first gen Audi TT. Personally, I think the roadster looks quite well put together, especially if you were in the market for something Miata-like. In fact, if the roadster went to production as it currently is in the spy shots, it would break through the stigma that convertibles look terrible with the top up. The coupe gives us more pause. There is something about the window/roof line that keeps catching our attention. Is it good or bad? Hard to tell, but it definitely looks likes something out of “Demolition Man.”

Whether you love it or hate it, you can most likely expect the MINI Coupe and Roadster to arrive in base, S and JCW trim with the appropriate motors to go with each. In other words, we expect the Coupe and Roadster to be powered by the same powertrain options. Talk about a micro machine; we can’t wait to see one in person!


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