With the Speedster, BMW has been successful in creating something that re-imagines the MINI. The new MINI has been as much about lifestyle as versatility at many moments over the last 8 years and nowhere is this more evident than the Speedster. With this car MINI is producing a product that is created to be nothing more than a style and performance statement.
Where the coupe has a surprising amount of interior cargo volume, the Speedster has a fraction of what you’d expect in a MINI. But does that matter? In a word, no. With all of MINI’s current other products we feel it’s an easy move to get away with. And what it does is create a halo product for the MINI brand that stops people in their tracks with it’s design execution.
Would we buy one at the MF HQ? Probably not. We’re coupe or hatch people for more reasons than one. But in our mind there is no question the Speedster will find its intended audience. As a 2nd or 3rd car, the Speedster is an emotional answer to an emotional question. It will move people through it’s shape and the lifestyle it promotes. Will that be enough to offset it’s price increase? We would hope MINI prices it aggressively enough that that wouldn’t be an issue.
Based on our information we’re hearing we expect the speedster (in S trim) to come in around $1500 – $2000 more than $27,850 of the standard MINI Cooper S convertible. We’d hope to see it in the US for a hair under $30,000 to be specific. That’s still quite a bit less than a Audi TT or BMW 1 Series convertible and in line with VW’s EOS. Still it will be interesting to see if BMW’s position of the MINI brand as premium make the case strong enough.
The Speedster and the CoupÃ© will come to market sometime during the 2011 calendar year and will represent the last iterations of the R56 platform before it is replaced in 2013. Both cars should remain in production until at least 2015. At that time MINI will look at sales and how each have positively affected the brand before making any decisions to replace them. While there’s a chance this is just the start of many coupÃ©s and speedsters, there’s also the possibility that we are seeing a couple very unique products they may be rarer than we think.
MF Analysis: MINI CoupÃ© Concept / MotoringFile
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