Celebrations were under way today at Plant Oxford as the first MINI Coupé rolled off the production line. Andrew Smith MP and Oxford City and County councillors joined plant managing director, Jürgen Hedrich, and members of the plant’s project team to welcome the new model.

The Coupé is the fourth member of the five-strong MINI family to be manufactured at Plant Oxford and will be built on the same production lines as the Hatchback, Clubman and Convertible. A two-seater Roadster will complete the line-up early next year.

Jürgen Hedrich said: “The car has a unique and strong design but still retains MINI’s exciting and distinctive go-kart feel.

“The aim with the MINI Coupé is to give its new owners the most thrilling MINI driving experience possible. Every aspect of the car – from the engines and chassis set up to the weight distribution and aerodynamics – is focused on delivering the optimum dynamic performance”

The Coupé is MINI’s first two-seater, since BMW Group developed the new MINI at Oxford, and has already seen strong interest and a healthy order bank developing.

Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, said: “This is a great day for the Oxford plant. To see yet another model join the line-up shows just how strong demand is for MINI in the 90 markets around the world where MINIs are sold.

“This new model, along with BMW Group’s recently-announced £500m investment into UK manufacturing, demonstrates the company’s commitment to a long-term future for Plant Oxford.”

The Coupé will see a range of new features, including the sport stripes on the body work, and the increased boot space – the biggest in the MINI range. The unique spoiler is housed in the bootlid and reduces lift at the rear axle to improve aerodynamic balance and road grip. As with all MINIs, a wide range of accessories and personalisation choices will be available.

The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé has the fastest acceleration and top speed of any Oxford-produced MINI to date.

And while the orders for Coupé are stacking up, customers will have to wait until 1 October to take delivery of their cars.

The lightening blue Coupé coming off the line today is destined for a dealership in the UK where it will be used for training dealers and mechanics in advance of customers taking delivery of their cars.

[Source: MINI ]