2012 MINI Cooper Coupe: First Drive

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There are at least two ways to look at the arrival of the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe: "Yay! Another MINI to love!"; and, "Another MINI? Why?" Whichever camp you fall into, the MINI Coupe shouldn't be called just another MINI, despite the fact that it very much is.

Before we can make sense of that statement, we'll need to make a quick check of the facts: the 2012 Coupe is powered by the same engines (a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, and two turbocharged variants), is offered in the same trims (Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works), and has a nearly identical slate of infinitely variable customization options for its roof, stripe, wheel, vinyl, and interior packages. It also adds MINI Connected to the mix, tapping its technological liaison at BMW for Apps functionality like the MOG music subscription service and may more. In other words, it's at least as MINI as any other MINI, despite being even more mini in a way that makes it a very different MINI.

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