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New! Mini Tongue-Twister With Less For More!

Can you say Mini Cooper Coupe ten times fast? You'd better get practising if you want a slice of Mini's newest additional to its ever-expanding line-up. Or if you want one with a longer name, you could go for the Mini John Cooper Works Coupe pictured here. Expected in Australia later this year, the Coupe chops two rear seats and a bit of rear roof from the standard Mini to turn it into a three-box sports coupe. I can't quite decide whether I like the design of the roof or not, but it certainly fits the brand's quirky young image. Expect to see the Coupe in Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works guises, as well as possibly the diesel version on Australian shores, with engines just slightly updated versions of those found in other Mini variants.

Now if you thought that a coupe would have a traditional sedan-style bootlid (like my favourite pocket two-door, the BMW 1-Series Coupe), you would be wrong. While the Mini Coupe certainly looks like a traditional coupe, its stumpy rear-end actually hides a hatchback for easy load access. While certainly a feature, I do question how useful this really is, especially given there are no rear seats to fold. Thanks to the lack of rear seats the Mini Coupe does gain quite a reasonable boot, however comparing it to a standard Mini with the rear seats folded would no doubt be less favourable to the Coupe.

Like almost all other Minis (AWD Countryman excluded) the Coupe is a wrong-wheel-drive affair (that's front-wheel-drive for the uninitiated). However, the Mini has remained the dynamic benchmark in front-wheel-drive, and would certainly be my first choice of front-driven vehicle to take for a long spin on some twisty blacktop.

While Australian pricing is yet to be announced, expect to pay a small premium for the Coupe over its hatchback sibling. On paper, that seems a little ridiculous given that the coupe has less seats, less roof and less practicality, yet I know there will be plenty of people willing to part with a little more of their hard-earned to get a little more sportiness and a little more exclusivity.


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