Video: Designer Details MINI Coupe Concept

September 2, 2009

We're just weeks away from the automotive extravaganza known as the Frankfurt Auto Show, but MINI's 50th anniversary celebrations have been spilling onto the web through its Coupe Concept for days now. The latest addition to the party: a video with the design team leader explaining the car's roots.

Moderately annoying techno-esque music aside, the video is a rare behind-the-scenes look at what went into the MINI design team's thought process and inspiration for the Coupe Concept's design.

The awkward roofline - called a "toupee" by an intrepid commenter - shows it's not as awkward as it seemed on first sight, with several of the angles in the video proving it can be at least tolerable, if not attractive.

As noted in the video, MINI never officially produced a Coupe during its original run, begun back in 1959, but a cottage industry of conversion kits quickly sprang up to fill the void. This model, which is already tipped to be production-ready if public affection is strong at Frankfurt, would be the first factory MINI Coupe to be built.

It will also be joined on the stand by a Roadster Concept, being similarly tested for public sentiment. Between these two new concepts and the Crossman/Crossover already nearing the end of the development stage, the MINI lineup is getting ready to expand from its current Cooper hatchback, convertible and Clubman.

With that expansion, MINI will expand its niche appeal, especially its already strong enthusiast/sport based, thanks to the 211-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged John Cooper Works powertrain that lies at the heart of the two new two-seat concepts.

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