Fans of the Mini brand will soon get two more vehicles to love. Back in September MINI's UK arm confirmed that both will soon be headed to production. Today, we've got the leaked word on a timeline for their production.
The latest line is that they're being fast-tracked to pre-production status by January of 2010, with full production models rolling out as early as October of 2010, pending a smooth and successful testing and ramp-up process. Even with such a short development and near-term production date, don't expect to see sales on this side of the Atlantic before sometime in early 2011.
With its sleek looks and even smaller size - there is no back seat in the Coupe concept - the new car certainly fits with the 'MINI' moniker. MINI had previously said it would ultimately be the public and press reaction to the concept that would guide Mini's plans on the matter, with its unveiling in Frankfurt and a U.S. showing at the Los Angeles Auto Show being the touchstones for that reaction. Instead the early reaction was so strongly favorable that MINI went ahead and made the decision to build it even before revealing it live.
Adding another pair of models to the Cooper/Convertible/Clubman range would move Mini closer to offering a full range of vehicles, though there are obviously no plans for true trucks/SUVs. Recent reports say the crossover won't be coming until 2010 at the earliest, meaning both the Coupe and whichever model that comes with it are still likely at least a year, and possibly as many as three years distant.
News of the production in MINI's Oxford facility came along with plans to hire an additional 1,000 workers to help build the new models.