IN THE SPACE OF two weeks, MINI has unveiled its ambitious Coupe Concept, and today comes the announcement from the British brand's owners BMW that it will form the basis of one of two new production models.
Speaking with workers at MINI's factory in Oxford England this week, BMW boss Dr Norbert Reithofer confirmed that the Coupe will be joined by a second new model - likely to be the rumoured Speedster - to be revealed at Frankfurt this month.
MINI has confirmed that the production Coupe is likely to be powered by the same turbo-charged 1.6 litre petrol engine that drives the MINI John Cooper Works, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque (up to 280Nm through the JCW MINI?s Overboost function).
No specific production or launch date has been offered, but more information is likely to be revealed during the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The news of the Coupe Concept's future production confirmation comes on the heels of MINI Communications Manager, Natalie Bauters, telling Automotive News, "There are no plans for this vehicle at the moment, but obviously we are looking at expanding the Mini brand in the future."
But hints that the Coupe was a genuine prospect for production came when a MINI spokesman said this week: ?The crossover launch has been pushed back, as we wish to first explore differentiation within future MINI smaller models and get feedback."
MINI has this week confirmed that its crossover - likely using the Countryman name - will miss its planned Frankfurt debut, postponed to some time in 2010.
With the Coupe Concept due for its 'in the metal' unveiling at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show, MINI will be closely watching media and public response to the car.