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Motion & Emotion

The Mini Coupe: Featuring Design Inspiration From a Back-To-Front Baseball Cap

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If you prefer a coupe to a hatchback, you are willing to sacrifice a little practicality in the name of zippy handling and sleek style. But the regular three-door Mini Hatch has long been known as a) very good to drive and b) very impractical. So a potential coupé with the Mini name has to shine first and foremost in terms of looks.

But that’s not what the 2011 Mini Coupe did. It was not just clumsier than its related hatchback, and it was clumsier than pretty much everything else on the road.

At its launch, Mini’s head of design, Gert Hildebrand, proudly boasted that the Coupe’s quirky roof design was inspired by his teenage son wearing a baseball cap backwards. Shortly afterwards, Mini headquarters decided that the Fred Durst style was not suitable for their style-conscious Coupe and quietly dropped all references to youthful fashion trends, and this prevented anyone from making rude jokes about it.

Whatever you call it, it was ugly. Even without the colour-blocked roof (hard recommend), the Coupe in profile did not scream ‘sleek two-seater’ so much as ‘recently used as a bar stool by a large pachyderm’. Buyers decided they wanted impracticality and fine driving manners.

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