2009 Mini Coupe Concept leakEnlarge Photo
It's not even on the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show floor, but the MINI Coupe Concept is heading for a showroom, eventually, as company executives confirm two new models for the BMW-owned brand.
Earlier today, BMW UK corporate communications manager Graham Biggs indicated on BBC that MINI will get two new models, while the company itself announced plans to hire 1000 more workers at the MINI plant in Oxford.
"I think bringing these two new models to Oxford is a great sign to the Oxford area, to all the workers here at the plant, that the future for Mini and for this operation is very bright indeed," Graham Biggs, corporate communications manager for BMW UK, told the BBC, without directly confirming the Coupe would be one of the two new models.
MINI's plans for new vehicles have been in some flux, with the global recession possibly pushing the MINI Countryman crossover off the list of new 2011 models. The Coupe could be joined by the Speedster concept it'll pair with in Frankfurt--or could be joined by the Countryman (nee Crossman).
MINI had previously said it would ultimately be the public and press reaction to the concept that would guide Mini's plans on the matter, with its unveiling in Frankfurt and a possible U.S. showing at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show in December being the touchstones for that reaction. It seems the early reaction was so strong that MINI went ahead and made the decision to build it--even before revealing it live.
Recent reports suggest the Countryman crossover won't be coming until 2010 at the earliest, meaning both the Coupe and whichever model that comes with it are still likely at least a year, and possibly as many as three years, away from production.
Stay tuned for High Gear Media's coverage of the 2009 Frankfurt Auto show, where we'll bring you live photos and news from the show and from MINI: