After relaunching the brand in 2001, BMW became remarkably adept at moulding the Mini’s revamped shape into whichever format the original car’s genealogy permitted.
Despite being impudently tagged to the Mini Moke, the four-door, all-wheel-drive Countryman was a clear indication that the firm was now prepared to breach its own heritage-obsessed brief (and class boundaries) in the hunt for further profitability.
Doubtless, the purists will duly identify the Coupé’s squashed aesthetic as the culmination of BMW’s creeping cynicism towards the marque’s positioning, but the manufacturer’s expectations are more to unquestioningly embrace the new Peugeot RCZ and Volkswagen Scirocco as rivals.
In order to exploit a programme of extensive component sharing, the spiffy two-seater look has effectively been achieved by lopping off the standard roof and heavily raking the windscreen.
Based on the cabriolet’s underpinnings, the Coupé has a dainty new lid 29mm closer to the ground than the hatchback’s top, and suitably hollowed out inside to maximise the resultant headroom. At the back, shallower glass tapers to meet an 'active' rear spoiler – the first to be found on a Mini.