What’s Next After the Coupe and Roadster Are Gone?

MINI confirmed earlier this month that the R58 Coupe and R59 Roadster will end their production run in the coming months. The question that came to mind when the news broke was what will be next after the Twins are gone? According to our colleagues at Autocar, not much.

Although this is a “read between the line” thing, a statement from BMW Group’s Sales and Marketing Chief, Ian Robertson, appears to confirm that MINI does not plan to replace the Coupe and Roadster given their limited appeal to current and prospective customers. This comment also supports MINI’s renewed focus with the FXX generation, but at the same time contradicts prior reports regarding the possible production of the Superleggera.

It is undeniable that the R59 and R58 are low volume cars, but MINI never intended to sell them in large numbers in the first place. What is equally undeniable is that these two cars have produced a halo effect on the rest of the brand. While it is difficult to measure the extent of that effect, I’ve met with a significant number of Coupe and Roadster drivers on MTTS that are truly dedicated to their cars. They also own more than one MINI and have converted friends and family into buying MINI.

As I said in the past, the BMW Group is quite effective at predicting future demand, and if a Superleggera – as a replacement for the Twins – is ever to see the light of day, this decision has probably already been taken and will likely be validated or reversed based on how well the new Hardtop and Countryman do. The kind of enthusiasts cars like the Coupe and Roadster bring to MINI fold is definitely a plus for the community, so it would be a good thing if the BMW Group managed to bring a worthy replacement to these two fantastic automobiles.

  • sean tooher

    the superleggera is not a mini in any way shape or form, its plain ugly from every angle …. thought the paceman was ugly but that superleggera looks like something a five year old with limited ability has scribbled

  • Brian Fee

    The supperleggara is brilliant , but it should,be designed as a coupe before it’,s introduced. I wanted to buy a 2seater coupe but it was too hard to get into and the styling was bad. The Paceman was a loser from the start. MINI has made some bad mistakes in trying to expand the product offering. I think their last chance is to get the new Clubman right by making it look like last year’s concept or the Gran Tourisme car. The Rocketman is another dud.

  • Eric

    I don’t understand how R59 and R58 owners would have converted more Mini buyers than other models. In fact it could also have been an ad against MINI… “Exclusive” comes from “to exclude” somehow

    • hemisedan

      Simple, when you drive the roadster, or coupe, people see it and wonder what it is. That happened several times this past summer when on vacation thru the Black Hills and into the Colorado Rockies. A guy in Cheyenne, WY asked me, “what kind of car is that?” I told him, and he said that he’d never seen a Mini before, let alone a roadster. He then said that he and his buddies were going down into Denver in the next couple of weeks car hunting, and just might stop by the Mini place, as he called it. We talked, much to the chagrin of my wife, for 20 minutes or so about how it drove, mileage, performance, ect. He then said, I probably wouldn’t buy a roadster, but might look seriously at a hatchback.

      This has happened, or similar instance, many times while driving my roadster. In the western part of Wisconsin, up in the Minneapolis area at a street rod event, over in the mid Illinois area. Now maybe these people didn’t buy a Mini, but my car certainly got their interest. Just my experiences, and from what I hear from other roadster and coupe owners, they have similar stories. Low productions doesn’t mean that these cars were losers, they do draw interest to the Mini brand.

  • Nick Dawson

    Alex – In July 2013, I commented on an article that Gabe had written about the next generation Coupe/Roadster. I have copied my comments below which, almost two and a half years later, still make interesting reading today.

    “Gabe – The automotive world has moved on since your last report on the proposed next generation Coupe and Roadster. As you know, an all-new MINI Coupe/Roadster with unique body styling was always going to be wholly dependent on there being an all new BMW Z2. A senior BMW insider,however, has recently revealed that it is proving difficult to convince the Board that there is a sound business case for a Z2. One of the reasons behind this is the hugely disappointing sales performance of the MINI Coupe/Roadster. Even the proposed replacement for the Z4 is looking shaky.

    You will be aware that in 2011, BMW and Toyota agreed ajoint venture to co-develop next generation lithium ion batteries, and sincethen the co-development of fuel-cell vehicles, and lightweight technology. The mainstay of the joint venture, however, is an all new sports car platform, set to underpin the replacements for the Z4, 6-series and GT-86. Both parties want a lightweight, rear-drive platform, incorporating carbon fibre composite technology. Unsurprisingly, politics is causing friction behind the scenes at BMW. There is fear amongst the old guard that an unwelcome Japanese connection might put off traditional BMW customers.

    Bearing in mind that the eco-brand Project i has already swallowed up the equivalent of US$3.4 billion, much to the angst of the old guard, it is little wonder that tensions are running high after BMW’s Chairman, Norbert Reithofer, put the on/off M8 supercar back on ice in favour of the i8 supercar. Only a reckless man would bet on there being a Z2, let alone a new MINI Coupe/Roadster”.