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by Tim Beissmann

The MINI Coupe will be cheaper than anticipated when it goes on sale in Australia in February, with the Cooper S variant to kick off the two-model range at $42,990 (before on-roads).

The price tag makes the chopped Coupe just $2290 more expensive than the mechanically similar Cooper S hatch, which starts from $40,700 in six-speed manual form.

MINI Australia is yet to confirm the price of the high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) variant, although based on the pricing of the JCW hatch, we expect the hottest two-door to cost approximately $53,000.

Official Australian pricing of the Coupe and the soft-top MINI Roadster will be confirmed in mid-February before both new models hit local showrooms later that month. The Roadster – which will be available in the same two spec levels – will cost between $1000-$2000 more than the Coupe.

MINI Australia’s Lucy McLellan said the local division expected the new Coupe to appeal to a “much more masculine market” than the Cooper hatch, identifying its design and functionality as the key differentiating factors.

“I think it will appeal to someone who has always aspired to a MINI but wants something a bit different,” McLellan said.

The MINI Coupe is 20mm longer and 29mm shorter in height than the Cooper hatch. Fitted with just two seats, the three-box Coupe’s 280-litre boot is 120 litres more accommodating than the hatch’s.

The MINI Cooper S Coupe is powered by the same 135kW/260Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine as the hatch. MINI Australia says it will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds, reach a top speed of 230km/h and use 6.3 litres/100km of fuel on the combined cycle. (The Cooper S hatch takes 7.0 seconds to hit 100km/h, has a top speed of 228km/h and uses 5.8 litres/100km combined.)

The JCW Coupe scores the familiar 155kW/280Nm 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbo engine. Although official Australian data isn’t available just yet, the JCW variant should hit 100km/h in under 6.5 seconds and use slightly more than 7.0 litres/100km on the combined cycle.

Highlights across the two models include an active rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, Sport mode button, xenon headlights, parking sensors, climate control, sports seats and MINI Radio Boost with Bluetooth connectivity.

Full details and specifications of the 2012 MINI Coupe and Roadster will be revealed in February.




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