MINI have taken the unusual step this morning of pre-launching its new Coupe in partially disguised form. Due to be available in Autumn 2011, the Coupe (and forthcoming Roadster) expand the MINI range to 6 models.

The Coupe is the first two-seater MINI and will be the most sporty model in the range, with a unique combination of engines, suspension settings, weight distribution and aerodynamic properties all designed to achieve optimal performance. As a result, the new car is claimed to deliver the brand’s hallmark go-kart feel with a whole new intensity, achieving the best performance figures ever recorded by a volume-produced MINI.

The MINI range

The MINI Coupé can be ordered with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines available in the MINI line-up. Outputs range from the 120 bhp of the MINI Cooper Coupé, to the MINI Cooper SD Coupé (141 bhp) and MINI Cooper S Coupé (181 bhp). Top of the range will be the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé which packs MINI’s full flavour 208 bhp powerplant.

Distinctive roof form and classic coupé silhouette

Its flat silhouette and innovative “helmet roof” lend the MINI Coupé a sporty and individual appeal. In addition to the integral roof spoiler, an active rear spoiler optimises airflow at higher speeds. Helped by its high-opening tailgate and large luggage area with through-loading facility, the MINI Coupé is designed to remain versatile in day-to-day use, when transporting leisure items or sporting gear.

The MINI Coupé is the first “three-box” MINI with strikingly stepped rear end with a classic coupé silhouette. The Coupé sits 29 millimetres lower than a comparable MINI hatchback and features an active rear spoiler which extends automatically at 50 mph to optimise airflow at higher speeds.

With a more aerodynamic shape than other ‘boxy’ MINIs, the Coupé is the first model in the range to (almost) crack 150 mph – MINI claims a top speed of 149 mph for the 208 bhp John Cooper Works Coupé, which also covers the 0–62 mph sprint in 6.4 seconds.

Most frugal model in the range is of course the Cooper SD Coupé, which accelerates from 0–62 mph in 7.9 seconds, tops out at 134 mph and yet can achieve an average of 65.7 mpg with CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.