MF Exclusive: MINI Coupe to be Named Broadspeed?

800px-1965BroadspeedGT

Now that BMW has given the green light to the R56 based speedster and coupe project, design and engineering has officially begun. As reported on MF in June, MINI will be debuting the speedster (officially as a concept) at the Frankfurt autoshow this Fall. In fact we now have some confirmation that the car that was sent down the line at the Oxford plant with only two seats was in fact meant to be the basis of either the actual concept car or an internal design mule. So things are certainly in motion at MINI.

In addition to design commencing, marketing has now started work on the car. The first step, a name. The speedster will likely be called (as you might have guessed) the MINI Speedster. However for the coupe MINI has taken inspiration from a previous coupe model and is tentatively calling it (you heard it here first) the Broadspeed Coupe. For those who don’t recognize the name, the Broadspeed racing team campaigned Mini Coopers in the mid-60’s with some success. But more importantly (and more relevant to the topic at hand) they also manufactured their own version of a Mini racer meant for the street with the 1966 Broadspeed GT Coupe based on a Mark 1 Austin Mini Cooper 1275 S. This car (pictured above) featured a sleek coupe shape that gave it the nickname, the Mini Aston. After some initial manufacturing issues, the cars quickly became known (especially the GTS model) for their incredible performance and sleek looks. Some claimed they had too much power for the street with 90 hp.

Broadspeed Coupe

While the name isn’t entirely final, we believe BMW is currently working on rights and finalizing the marketing and pricing strategies for coupe as well as the speedster. Sources from a couple locations around the world have been adamant that car will debut before the speedster likely in early 2011 and be positioned as MINI’s most hardcore offering to date in JCW form. However it would seem more appropriate for the speedster to debut initially with the coupe following it a year later. Regardless, the original plan called for the coupe to be a JCW only product. But with efficiency regulations and gas prices likely on the rise by then, MINI will likely offer the coupe in Cooper, Cooper S and JCW form.

Both the coupe and the speedster will be based on the R57 platform and will be the last MINIs to use the current drivetrains – effectively lengthening the life-span of the engines by 5-6 years.

So why a speedster and coupe you ask? Reportedly it was a relatively cost effective way for MINI to develop enthusiast center products to help counter the upcoming release of such cars as the R60 Countryman and the R65 SpaceBox. Look for more both on the coupe on the speedster in the coming weeks.

+ Original Broadspeed Brochure / theokoelman.nl

Last two images courtesy of minimarcos.org.uk

Broadspeed Coupe

  • Fred

    Great news! Now, keep the price down to where I can afford one….

  • Fred

    I would be willing to crank my own windows, if that would help the price. Let’s see: what else could go, for the sake of being able to own one….

  • Danny

    I can dig it. Exiting times in Mini-ville ahead.

  • AN

    Love the name. Excited about the car.

  • Danny

    Hey Gabe,

    Any chance, seeing as how there are so many models/ lines coming out and being talked about now, of a visual chart showing the code name, their R# and a pic with an estimated timeframe?

    Would be super useful IMO.

  • Chris B.

    Well this reading brings up some questions in my mind.. >

    effectively lengthening the life-span of them by 5-6 years.

    Isn’t that the typical lifespan of a MINI product? Or are you saying an additional 5-6 years on top of that? I can’t imagine the latter.

    I have to wonder as to whether or not the Broadspeed will use the styling of the pictured original?

    And what is the R65 spacebox? Sounds like a potential GTI competitor to me – five-door Cooper?

  • lavardera

    The broadspeed looks odd in that the driver position is so far forward for a two seat coupe. The proportion is obviously odd and and the sloping part of the roof line too long. I think they are going to have the same design problem with the R56 platform if they don’t shift the cockpit towards the rear somewhat.

  • Chris B.

    Alirght, don’t know how my last two questions ended up in qoutes but that was me who wrote that!

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    effectively lengthening the life-span of them by 5-6 years.Isn’t that the typical lifespan of a MINI product? Or are you saying an additional 5-6 years on top of that? I can’t imagine the latter.

    I’m talking about the Prince drivetrain – which was originally planned to only last as long as the R55/R56/R57 life-cycles.

    And what is the R65 spacebox? Sounds like a potential GTI competitor to me – five-door Cooper?

    We’ve already reported on the SpaceBox (with more to come). In fact there’s an entire MF section devoted to it.

  • C4

    This is something I really like. I was beginning to lose hope on my German friends over at MINI HQ in Munchen.

    Don’t botch the execution of this one, PLEASE!

  • Chris B.

    Thanks Gabe. Lots of interesting ideas spinning around in BMW AG’s product development dept. Hopefully the Spacebox won’t look too MPV-ish.

  • txdesign

    Wow, IAA should be very exciting this year for BMW/Mini fans. Z2, Speedster, Coupe, I can’t wait.

  • rosvick

    Oh, happy day! I’ve been wondering if a speedster version would become available. This makes me very happy!

    Now, as mentioned above, if MINI can keep the price in an affordable realm, I would definitely snap up a Broadspeed S, in white silver, thank you!

  • greg

    With all the talk of Contrymans, Clubmans,Ones and other lamousities this is finally some EXCITING new to watch for on MF. Mini PLEASE hit this one out of the park!!! The Lotus Elise SC is looking so enticing to me I need the Broadspeed to deliver in style and performance. Please don’t cheap out on us and deliver the goods!

  • Fred

    How about a hardtop JCW in orange at $25K? (I’m not too old to have a great dream!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1264737071 Nathaniel Salzman

    Ooh! I am officially intrigued. Here’s hoping for light, simple and accessibly priced.

  • SFRedMCc

    There was a late 60s Fiat 850 Fastback (with a rear engine) that really resembled this Broadspeed Coupe, and it actually was a pretty nice design with much better proportions. And I think there also was Fiat 850 Spider. They were followed by a larger Fiat 124 Spider and Coupe in the 70s, and they also were a great design for the times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145665586 DUDE!

    Odd looking thing… the back end reminds me of a Fiat from that era.

  • goat

    I am very much interested in this JCW coupe of which you speak! :) Yes, good news to see MINI more wholeheartedly attending to the “harder core” performance-oriented customer demographic once again.

  • http://www.jwardell.com/mini/ Josh Wardell

    I didn’t know about the (old) Broadspeed…I like it! :) Hopefully this time MINI will finally get things right with the new generation.

  • goat

    Adding one more thing… the brochure indicates that the seat height was lowered in the Broadspeed coupe compared with the mini hatch. Would be wonderful to see this occur in MINI’s upcoming coupe / speedster design as well. I have always said that a lower seat height would do wonders for the MINI’s sporting driving experience… would be much more in keeping with the way the car corners – it is an odd feeling to be perched on a barstool in a car with such tremendous cornering capability. (and this time around please let the Canadian market get the JCW seats with heating elements).

  • Rocketboy

    Egads.

    It’s the MINI fast slut.

    (Broad speed)

  • rhawth99

    I understand the nod to heritage but Broadspeed is such a boring sounding name. Hope they change the name as I have high hopes for this coupe.

  • JonPD

    Still have to say I think the message of the car would be much better if they left it a performance car only. By releasing it in both cooper, cooper s, and JCW I think it makes less of an impact overall. End effect is a visually similar car that has wildly different performance stats. I know releasing it across the model range will lower the overall cost to manufacture I just hope they do something to leave the JCW version visually different to separate it from its less capable siblings. I would like to see a high performance suspension, brakes, unique body kit, and color palate.

  • C4

    Finally…. Something to get truly excited about. Final execution is

    KEY

    I hope the bean counters don’t ruin it.

  • SCOTT26

    The MINI Speedster and the MINI -X SAV reflect different sides to the MINI brand. The MINI-X SAV is a compact little SAV very urban like , it’s the kind of car you can take to the city and indeed city based indoor snow slopes. MINI-X begins the first example of a product that will define further family concepts for MINI. The MINI SpaceBox Concept has officially been given approval for a design concept that will further seperate the approach from mainstream choices for vehicles with more passion , flexibility and a great image – which is basically what MINI offers the customer. A 5dr MINI in the form of an individual concept like the SpaceBox would offer a new stylish insight into a family motivated choice instead of a traditional mainstream MPV or hatch.

    The brand will reach it’s pinacle with the inclusion of the MINI Speedster. Originally an idea with the first generation MINI which did not make it to production purely because MINI was yet to establish itself , by then the timing was too late with BMW only investing in a Cabrio and the MINI GP. Now with the current MINI platform we have seen the Cabrio and Clubman , but we know the highest percentage of cabrio buyers are female so what for the male customer?

    Purely based on the Cabrio for reasons of economy of scale the Speedster is lower has unique design features to identify it as a MINI but seperate it from the cabrio and that includes the loss of the rear passenger compartment substituted with built in roll over hoops ajoined to twin butresses on the rear deck. The front screen is shorter and raked back for a typical Speedster appearance , sporty and dynamic. With amplification of the Go-Kart feeling to produce an exciting dynamic small sports car. A fixed roof Coupe model has been designed and is under consideration.

    Engines will be taken from the current MINI which will include the possibility of a JCW Speedster. To define it’s “amplification” of MINI there will be very vibrant colour choices such as bright metallics – Orange , The return of a Gold color which reminds me of the E46 M3 Pheonix Yellow , a vibrant metallic Lime Green aswell as interiors to match. Customers who would prefer less exposure can endure themselves to some of the traditional MINI choices.

    It’s a car that could do well with further integration of the image of MINI to customers who might want something exciting enough that they never previously considered the MINI brand. Especially older customers who might be partial to the Speedster as an interpretation of those classic British Sports cars driving along say- Highway one in California , either during the day or at sunset with the roof open and the occupants exposed to the elements.

    It is an interesting choice that defines the MINI brand as a maker of premium small cars that surpass all coventional choices. Although a concept will be shown at the IAA. Apart from the standard for the show cosmetic finish it will be the finished production model. Sales should begin early 2011.

    You might see it sooner as it is going on holiday soon to Copacabana Beach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1286761775 Fredric Haberer

    Any declassified sketches, SCOTT26?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145665586 DUDE!

    I wonder if in 15-20 years there will be a “MINI REDO” like BMW did with the 3 Series in the shape of the 1 Series all because their Bimmers got too fat?

    Maybe a “retro” 2001 MINI downscaling? Bring back; good creative advertising, the dog, Counterfeit MINIs, Bridger.US… all that had us buying these cars and now seems like a distant puddle.

    IT’S HERE THE 2027 MINI! Drop by one of our 300,000 MINI dealerships across the globe. You’ll like it… It’s more like the 2001! FUN, SPORTY, CLASSIC!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1421557780 bavarian racing green

    …hope it looks akin to the ol’ porsche speedster…

    …but more ‘cheeky’ of course…

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  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    @SCOTT26: It’s interesting you’re corroborating much of this info as it came from two other sources from different locations. Also interesting is the discrepancy between your info on the speedster being approved and the coupe still being considering. Again two sources (one in Germany and one elsewhere) have indicated on several occasions earlier this year that the coupe will be the first released with the speedster coming it shortly after. To me it would be much more logical to release the speedster but then again for selfish reasons I’m much more interested in a coupe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1286761775 Fredric Haberer

    +1 Another vote for the coupe, at a price where average-income people with above average taste can afford it.

  • Madoc

    Broadspeed has a strong name in the UK and with hardcore Mini enthusiasts elsewhere, but I’m not sure how the name will go over in the US mainstream market. Triumph, anyone?

  • CraigE
    The broadspeed looks odd in that the driver position is so far forward for a two seat coupe. The proportion is obviously odd and and the sloping part of the roof line too long. I think they are going to have the same design problem with the R56 platform if they don’t shift the cockpit towards the rear somewhat.

    I guess you haven’t seen too many mid-engined coupes. Most have this kind of proportion, which I kind of like. Granted, this will be transverse engine FWD but that is the only way to have these proportions in a front engined coupe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046757782 Peter Braun

    Here’s a link to some original brochures on the Broadspeed GT, along with some other non factory Mini variants, which may be of interest to some: http://mk1-performance-conversions.co.uk/variants.htm

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=552701444 Paul Graziano

    OK, I’ll admit – I had pretty much given up on MINI. The R56 interior and exterior styling turned me off, and then all this talk about larger MINIs just pushes me away further. I love my 03 MCS, but it’s not aging as well as I’d like and I find myself looking at other brands for it’s replacement. In the short term that’s Volvo C30 or FIAT 500. But with something like this on the horizon, I could see myself coming back to MINI someday…

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  • SCOTT26

    This was an older post I had done within GCZ. The Coupe has been approved , and we are looking at trademarking the Broadspeed name which is what the car is called internally. But the car currently being photographed in Rio De Janerio is the Speedster. People are going to see the MINI Crossover and say that’s too far , The MINI Speedster and Broadspeed Coupe are the cars that are going to say that’s it that’s perfect that’s what I want from MINI. So it’s a choice of catering for different demographics. It’s an extremely light car we call it MINI amplified to 11 because it is something that you would not consider by MINI, Both cars are entirely cost efficient too , Chassis and Engineering will be done at Oxford with bodyshells and marriage completed at a second party (not magna steyer).

    The MINI brand in future will split beginning with the Project-i developed MIN-i , The usual One/Cooper/Cooper S , then the Lifestyle MINI’s Clubman/Crossover/SpaceBox and then the hardcore MINI’s Speedster/Broadspeed – JCW will be the MINI equivalent of M Division and will expand further for more personalisation.

    Keep an eye on GCZ and my Twitter acc.

  • hardingsan

    “and then the hardcore MINI’s Speedster/Broadspeed – JCW will be the MINI equivalent of M Division and will expand further for more personalisation.”

    but doesn’t them M Division now throw their badge on the x5/x6 and not the 1 series and new Z4? that’s some pretty confused priorities to me…

  • SCOTT26

    No. there will be more personalisation options under JCW meaning more exterior , engine , brakes etc.

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  • lavardera
    I guess you haven’t seen too many mid-engined coupes. Most have this kind of proportion, which I kind of like. Granted, this will be transverse engine FWD but that is the only way to have these proportions in a front engined coupe.

    No you are wrong – I’ve seen lots of mid-engined cars and even owned one. They are not characterized by a large empty cabin space behind the driver’s seat. The only one that comes to mind that was like this was the Renalt 5 turbo, which come to think of it was a rework of a front engine FWD platform.

    I’m glad you like it, but it looks awkward and would not be a successful product if it sported a a proportion like this. I’ve not played around with sketches of the R56 body modified in this manner but I suspect the proportions are somewhat better. Still, if they want a lower, more sporting look they need to lower the hood. We all know that means the engine has to get lower to get further away from the sheet metal. That means rotating the top of the engine backwards, and that means moving the cockpit backwards.

    My fear is that’s too much for this quick leverage of the existing platform. I’m just hoping it does not look awkward like the old Broadspeed.

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  • JonPD

    Good info Scott,

    My only question is if we will see a more complete product from JCW. As from the release the current JCW coupe has been heavily criticized for lacking uniqueness and by only offering a partial performance solution (notably the lack of a performance suspension). Try as I might I cannot fathom that M would ever release an auto that does not have a performance tuned suspension and usually has an unique look to differentiate it from the other models in the range.

    JCW to personally to me still feels more like a kit car than a sub-brand. After the GP I had some serious hope to see JCW evolved into a M style group but I feel its first product was a partially tuned product with commonly available JCW components. I do feel with the vast amount of money spent by Mini owners tuning their cars that a true performance car would be very well received.

    Still at the end of the day I don’t think a micro SUV belongs in the brand personally.

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  • http://www.outmotoring.com Aaron Cornaby

    At least MINI is finally heading the right direction…smaller NOT larger…..this should be a very interesting vehicle that will certainly hold its own.

  • Brian

    Finally something badass. I will get either the Coupe or Speedster. No doubt.

  • dr

    So these variants are going to be based on the current platform using prince engines and be introduced toward the end of the current R55/R56/R57 life cycle….Is that right? If so, this news leave me a bit disappointed. …Of course, I never understood why any one would buy an 07/08 convertible either.

  • SCOTT26

    Still at the end of the day I don’t think a micro SUV belongs in the brand personally.

    Actually you will be surprised on how the SAV MINI has turned out. So far all you have seen regarding the production car are the bright yellow prototypes to which comments have been made it’s too tall and too thin. Well some of these prototypes are not equipped with the full MINI cladding around the sills and wheel arches which leads to the negative comments but it is as chunky as the crossover concept and it is in real life very compact even compared to the BMW X1. I think that there will be a market for smaller crossovers mainly by families who would not have considered the MINI brand before , also for customers who wish to downsize further from a larger SAV. In Germany there are several customers who own first generation BMW X5’s who are on the list for the BMW X1.

  • JonPD

    Scott I will never discount that there are people out there looking to downsize their SUVs, a positive trend in my book for sure. My issue with the R60 is not the design, its all based around the belief that not every brand on the road needs a predictable and otherwise boorish development. I know many people out grow the Mini brand now. My quandary is the large split in the Mini community to the concept of a SUV within a much loved brand. While I have no doubt Mini will sell a good number of these cars the base fact is that they are doing it by trashing a large part of what the car stands for.

    “The SUV backlash has begun”

    I highly respect what BMW/Mini has done with the brand since developing the modern Mini. A large part of this respect is based on a small car that was a unique solution that was not available generally, the small footprint luxury car. Developing a SUV lack all manner of being anything unique. Yes its a tiny bit smaller than most of its current competition, but looking whats being shown in auto shows this will not be the case for long however.

  • Aaron
    But the car currently being photographed in Rio De Janerio is the Speedster.

    Any links to these photographs of the MINI Speedster on the Copacabana/Ipanema?

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  • greg

    @dr. “I never understood why anyone would buy a ’07 or ’08 convertible either”. Let me splain it to you in a word. SUPERCHARGER!

  • Brian

    And to explain it in a comparative phrase; SUPERCHARGER WHINE beats WEAK SOUNDING DIRECT INJECTION.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kinyasan2004 Indibluemini

    Lets make sure it whines like an R53!

  • hardingsan

    hmm, this thought is a little late to the party, but i just realized that the audi tt is fwd. i would def be ok with a tt competitor…

  • Robbo

    It’s going to be called Coopster not Broadspeed or Speedster.

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