These may well be the first official undisguised photos of the new 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe, but it’s hardly our first look at the car. Mini issued photos of “camouflaged” prototypes a few weeks back, but the subterfuge was pointless: the swirled tape appliqué still allowed us to see the roofline was virtually identical to the original 2009 Coupe concept.
The Mini Coupe will come in three flavors: Cooper Coupe, Cooper S Coupe, and John Cooper Works Coupe. The base Coupe will come with the same 1.6-liter inline-four cylinder from the base Cooper hatchback that produces 121 hp and four more lb-feet of torque at 118 lb-ft, with the Coupe’s 0 to 60 mph time coming in 8.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 127 mph. Stepping up to the Cooper S Coupe gains some more power — and fun, if we’re to judge by the difference between Cooper and Cooper S hatches — 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque (192 lb-ft with the overboost) from the turbocharged 1.6-liter. It scoots from 0 to 60 mph 1.8 seconds quicker than the base Coupe, and will top 142 mph.
For those who want the ultimate in sporting fun should perhaps opt for the 208-hp John Cooper Works Coupe. Using the same turbocharged mill from the Cooper S Coupe, the JCW experts boosted output by 27 hp and 15 lb-ft, added seven mph to the car’s top speed, and cut the 0-60 mph time by 0.4 seconds. We enjoyed the extra dynamic flavor of the JCW Coupe when we recently drove it in Austria; like the JCW hatch, it’s nimble and remarkably fun to drive on the track. All of the Mini Coupe models are front-wheel drive and will come standard with a six-speed manual; a six-speed automatic will be optional on the Cooper Coupe and Cooper S Coupe but not the JCW model.
As was expected, the Mini Coupe is strictly a two-seat affair, although it does offer some extended luggage capacity behind the front seats. This may not be dubbed a hatchback, but the Coupe actually uses a rear hatch to access the cargo area. Integrated into the hatch are two spoilers: one at the roofline, and a BMW-Group-first automatically retracting deck spoiler that deploys at 50 mph. The Coupe’s design uses a color-contrasting roof (like the rest of the Mini lineup) and blacked-out pillars to create a “helmet roof” that floats about the greenhouse.
Pricing figures have not been announced yet for the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe lineup, but we expect it to slot in above the Cooper hatchback that starts at $20,100 and the $25,550 Cooper Convertible.