Ever since the freakish video spots began promoting the MINI Coupe and Roadster, the two cars were earmarked for production. Shortly after their debut at last year's Frankfurt Auto Show, they were confirmed. Now we have a report from MINI's U.S. chief Jim McDowell confirming that the pair of cars will be rolling out over the next two years.

The first to hit the streets will be the Coupe, due in August 2011. The Roadster will come about six months later, in February 2012. Previous reports had hinted at a production date as early as October of this year, but the new report pushes the date back to six months after the on-sale date of the Countryman.

MINI's Coupe will be the fourth body style for the MINI brand, joining the Cooper hatchback, the convertible, the Clubman, and the Countryman. Powered by a 211-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in concept form, the car is tuned for performance--a fitting goal considering the Coupe's more focused form-factor. We expect the standard 180-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo four-pot will also find a home in the Coupe, and while it's possible MINI will skip the standard 120-horsepower mill for the sportier Coupe, it too may find its way into the car. The Roadster is likely to share whatever engine variants are found in its tin-top sibling.

Both the Coupe and the Roadster will be built at MINI's Oxford plant, where plans are already underway to hire 1,000 additional workers to staff the project.

[Inside Line]