Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mini Cuts a Dash in Europe

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mini Cuts a Dash in Europe

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN MURDOCH

THE great British Mini now has a new flagship model capable of taking your breath away.

The stunning Mini Coupe not only has wow factor looks - it also has the performance to match.

Unveiled to the world at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Mini Coupe increases the Mini range to five models and 51 versions. The coupe is a Mini the like of which we have never seen before but it does provide a fantastic driving experience. Last weekend I drove the top John Cooper Works version for hundreds of miles and at one point clocked nearly 150mph on an unrestricted German autobahn. It also has the acceleration to match with the sprint to 62mph taking just 6.4 seconds and the top speed being 149mph - making it the fastest Mini ever.

The newcomer also looks great. From the front you will immediately notice the steep windscreen and pillars raked back 13 degrees more than the hatchback and the car is 29mm lower than its supermini stablemate. The 'helmet-design' roof is unique and the rear features a boot which can hold a useful 280 litres of luggage and an active spoiler which deploys at speeds of over 50mph or at the touch of a button if you want to show off. Purchasers can select from an array of personal touches, including contrasting roofs with standard full-length stripes and the JCW version also gets larger alloys and twin exhaust tailpipes.

Inside it's traditional Mini. Modern technology is combined with retro charm and excellent build quality to create an interior almost identical to the hatchback. A digital radio is standard and the satnav option is well worth taking.

There is a real quality feel to the leather and all the other materials and although rear visibility could be better, the driving position is difficult to fault.

With just two seats the Mini Coupe is firmly in the sports market and will compete against the likes of the Pugeot RCZ, the VW Scirocco and the Megane CC.

A cabriolet version will follow next year for driver's who want to attract even more attention. …

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