Lightly disguised Mini Coupe takes to the 405

Caught prowling the 405 in Los Angeles, this is the Mini Coupe that's expected to cross a stage in Frankfurt this fall minus BMW's corporate swirly wrap. How many models does Mini need, anyway?


The coupe, built off the current Cabrio and previewed in Frankfurt in 2009, will sport a few upgrades but basically serve as the final hurrah of the original Cooper platform ahead of several all-new models. It's also expected to keep the 181-hp engine standard, with some upgrades possible.

While Mini has grown into a complete range, the Coupe appears aimed at a more traditional competitor — the Fiat 500, whose arrival at a far lower price point than the original Mini Cooper gives Mini its first real competition in North America. The coupe may be charged with stirring up some customers until the new models arrive.

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