Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mini Design, Maximum Momentum; Chris Russon Has Fun Testing a New Look for the Mini

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mini Design, Maximum Momentum; Chris Russon Has Fun Testing a New Look for the Mini

Article excerpt

LOVE it or loathe it the great British Mini is about to take on its most dramatic look yet. The Mini Coupe is a radical departure from the norm and a car which almost defies convention. It is the first two seat Mini, the first with an active rear spoiler and the first with what car designers call three box construction. Basically that means it has a boot but whichever way it is viewed this is a Mini like no other.

With a steeply sloped roof and dramatically raked windscreen the coupe is sleek on top but chunky below.

The effect is emphasised by short overhangs front and back and while the coupe is more than an inch lower than the Mini hatchback it is slightly longer.

For those wanting to make a statement out on the road the coupe is compelling kit and in the style stakes it will be running against the likes of the Peugeot RCZ, the VW Scirocco and Renault''s Megane CC. Mini says the coupe also has the Audi TT and even the Porsche Cayman in its sights and with the high performance John Cooper Works models costing in the region of pounds 30,000 once they have been personalised with extras that''s a fair comparison.

The Mini Coupe had its world premiere only a few days ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will be on sale from October 1 with four models priced from pounds 16,640 for the Cooper version, pounds 19,775 for the Cooper S, pounds 23,795 for the John Cooper Works and pounds 20,510 for the diesel engine Cooper SD.

Conservatism is going to be an unlikely trait of those who will be attracted to this car.

There''s a cosy feel to the cockpit and despite the low roofline there is good headroom - but there is a compromise when it comes to side and rear visibility.

Uprated damper settings and stiffer suspension produce a ride which is sportier than that of the hatch but the brand''s characteristic go-kart handling remains. …

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