It’s been confirmed: MINI will wait about 6 months (after the Countryman) to introduce the Coupe, and another 6 months after that for the Roadster. Sounds like a plan…
“The Coupe will arrive six months after the Countryman, and the Roadster 12 months after the Countryman,” said Jim McDowell, Vice-President of MINI USA. The Countryman will hit showrooms in February, 2011.
There. It’s official.
Think of the Roadster as basically a drop-top version of the Coupe, except that the Coupe will have the JCW 211hp turbocharged 4 banger while the Roadster will feature the base Cooper S engine at 172hp. The convertible will also eschew the traditional soft top in favor of a hardtop clamshell design… bit it’s so small it shouldn’t be a problem lifting it off and on.
MINI seems fully capable of extending its line-up without losing its character; the look is all MINI whether it’s the off-road friendly Countryman or the speedy little two-seaters that are on the way. You’ll remember we talked about this when they debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year.
The question remains: how lengthy a line up can you make without stretching it beyond market acceptance, and do you risk alienating loyalists and destroying your brand cache in the process? Seems like MINI is providing the experiment for us right before our eyes. Time will tell.
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