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2012 Mini Coupé (Cooper, SD, S, John Cooper Works) Review


The MINI Coupé is the first two-seater in the MINI ranks. The new model further increases the variety within the brand’s vehicle line-up and, at the same time, offers customers a depth of driving fun unmatched by any rival in the small car segment.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance photo

2012 Mini John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance photo
Find more new 2012 Mini Coupé pictures in our 2012 Mini Coupé photo gallery

The fifth model of the new MINI generation to wear the British brand’s famous badge represents a reinterpretation of the super-compact sports car category. The MINI Coupé is the first premium car of its genre, faithfully transplanting the MINI brand’s sporting genes into a cutting-edge vehicle concept.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

The MINI Coupé is set to thrill customers with levels of agility and performance beyond the reach of even its MINI stablemates. The engines, chassis set-up, weight distribution and aerodynamic properties of the new model all serve the cause of optimum performance.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

Added to which, the rigorously applied two-seater concept – emphasised clearly by both the exterior and the interior design – underlines the stand-alone status of the new model. Its extremely high-opening tailgate and large luggage area (capacity: 280 litres) with through-loading to the passenger compartment allow the MINI Coupé to display outstanding versatility in day-to-day driving, when transporting leisure items or sports gear, and on touring trips for two.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance photo

Design: a unique character cut from the brand’s unmistakable mould.

The MINI Coupé is the brand’s first model to adopt a three-box body structure with a strikingly stepped rear end. Its distinctive, exceptionally sporty characteristics are also reflected in a low-slung silhouette and expressively styled “helmet” roof. Resting atop the MINI Coupé’s glasshouse, the roof is painted in a contrasting colour as standard; a new take on Sport Stripes is among the additions available as an option. The distinctive lines of the Coupé body take their lead from the established MINI design language, while stand-out design features in time-honoured MINI style also offer clear hints as to the brand identity of the new model.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

The two-seater measures 3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper Coupé: 3,728 millimetres) in length, 1,683 millimetres in width and 1,384 millimetres (MINI Cooper Coupé: 1,378 millimetres) in height. Its exterior length, width and wheelbase (2,467 millimetres) therefore match the measurements of the MINI virtually to the millimetre, but the MINI Coupé has a significantly lower body height.

Once inside, the two-seater’s distinctive character is underlined by oval recesses in the roof liner; these also serve to optimise headroom for the driver and front passenger. A conspicuously three-dimensional, two-piece luggage compartment cover is another feature of the MINI Coupé interior.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

Engines: maximum power, typical MINI efficiency.

The most powerful petrol and diesel variants in the brand’s engine portfolio are primed for action in the MINI Coupé. This drive system technology is underpinned by the development expertise of the BMW Group and offers the hallmark MINI combination of instantaneous power delivery and exceptional efficiency.

Outputs range from the 90 kW/122 hp of the MINI Cooper Coupé, through the MINI Cooper SD Coupé (105 kW/143 hp) and MINI Cooper S Coupé (135 kW/184 hp) all the way to the range-topping sports performance of the 155 kW/211 hp MINI John Cooper Works Coupé. The MINI Cooper Coupé, MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé can also be specified with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the six-speed manual item fitted as standard across the Coupé range.
Chassis: the go-kart driving experience at its most intense.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

The bespoke suspension set-up of the MINI Coupé gives the brand’s traditional go-kart driving experience an unmatched intensity. The customary MINI front-wheel drive, MacPherson struts at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle, powerful brakes and Electric Power Steering ensure seductively agile handling properties. Sports suspension, which brings stiffer damper characteristics and sturdier anti-roll bars, is available as an option. And customers in search of an even sharper racing edge can order John Cooper Works suspension from the accessories range.

The MINI Coupé is fitted as standard with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), while Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) – standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé, optional on all other models – adds even greater assurance on slippery surfaces and additional sports performance under dynamic cornering.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance photo

Body and safety: ideal weight balance, optimised aerodynamics, complete protection.

Like its chassis technology, the body structure and weight balance of the MINI Coupé are also geared to providing maximum driving fun. Innovative pedestrian protection measures and technology developed to improve body rigidity shift slightly more of the car’s weight to the front, which has a positive effect on the traction of the front-drive Coupé. In addition, increasing torsional rigidity with carefully targeted, model-specific strengthening measures further enhances the car’s agility and safety rating.

An active rear spoiler teams up with the sharply raked windscreen, low-slung silhouette and integrated roof spoiler to optimise airflow at higher speeds. Making its MINI debut, the active rear spoiler is integrated into the boot lid and pops up automatically when the MINI Coupé reaches a speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). In so doing it provides an optimised aerodynamic balance between the front and rear axle. When travelling at maximum speed, the active rear spoiler provides 40 kilograms (88 lb) of extra downforce. The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé also comes as standard with a John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit.

The range of standard safety equipment on board the MINI Coupé includes front airbags and head-thorax airbags, which are integrated into the sides of the seat backrests, three-point inertia-reel seat belts including belt force limiters and belt tensioners, and a Tyre Defect Indicator.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

Equipment with premium character: high-quality, innovative, individual.

The customary MINI variety in the range of available exterior paint finishes, interior colours, upholstery variants and equipment features, together with a selection of other options specific to the Coupé, give owners unprecedented scope when it comes to customising their MINI Coupé. The car’s premium character is underlined by an expansive range of standard equipment, which includes speed-sensitive power assistance for the steering, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, height-adjustable seats, air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Coupé, MINI Cooper SD Coupé, MINI John Cooper Works Coupé) and an audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Optional equipment includes black headlight housing, xenon Adaptive Headlights, Comfort Access, automatic climate control, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and exterior mirrors, the storage package, preparation for a rear luggage carrier rack, the John Cooper Works Pack and exclusive options from the MINI Yours range.

Also unrivalled in the small car segment is the MINI Coupé’s range of entertainment and communications systems. Customers can choose from equipment such as a Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a USB audio interface. And, if the MINI Visual Boost radio or MINI navigation system is specified, MINI Connected functions such as web radio, Google local search and Google Send to Car services, reception of RSS news feeds, and in-car use of Facebook and Twitter, are also available.

2012 Mini Coupé photo

Made in England: MINI Plant Oxford adds the MINI Coupé to its product line-up.

The MINI Coupé also underlines its links to the brand’s successful motor sport history through its British roots; it will be produced alongside the MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible at MINI Plant Oxford. The arrival of the new model sees the assembly plant on the outskirts of Oxford, the press shop in Swindon and the Hams Hall engine factory near Birmingham playing an even more important role for the BMW Group. The start of MINI Coupé production is part of another increase in capacity, a process which will be boosted further through the ongoing development of the MINI model range. The BMW Group is investing around £500 million in the homeland of the MINI over the next three years as part of the expansion and modernisation of its manufacturing facilities in Britain. MINI already ranks as the country’s third-largest carmaker.

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