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MINI's two-seater breaks the mould

THIS is another newcomer to the MINI family -- a coupe, writes Eddie Cunningham.

It's a two-seater for what they describe as the super-compact sports car class. With a mix of chassis tuning and sprightly engines, they claim it will heighten the basic car's go-kart feeling.

In terms of performance, it is a MINI leader.

Petrol and diesel engines are the most powerful across the range. The Cooper Coupe pumps 122bhp while the SD Coupe manages 143bhp. But then there is the Cooper S (a swashbuckling 184bhp) and the rip-roaring John Cooper Works Coupe with a massive 211bhp on tap.

The coupe has electric power steering, DSC stability control system and big, powerful brakes.

Not so sure about the 'helmet roof' but no doubt it will grow on us. There is an integral roof spoiler as well as an active rear one that works best at higher speeds. Because it has a high-opening tailgate, access to the large luggage area is fairly easy.

The carmaker is describing it as the first "three-box" MINI and it sits 29mm lower than your standard MINI. Because it is a two-seater there's more stowage and loading capacity behind the driver and passenger seats.

Irish Independent