Monday, 20 June 2011

Mini Coupe

I am not a fan of Star Trek. I have never watched a single episode in its entirety, only catching fleeting glimpses.

But there is one character of which I am a fan, but only because of an internet meme. That is, the character played by Patrick Stewart, now know for his legendary "facepalm", the act of placing one's head in to one's hand to suggest disbelief at an act of stupidity.

And BMW are thoroughly deserving of a facepalm for their latest Mini monstrosity.

The Mini Coupe.

You see, the Mini was not exactly great looking, but it was OK. Then came the convertible. Then the Clubman. Then the Cuntryman. And now the coupe.

Too many models?

Well, let's look at this car on it's own merits.

As Audi produces the TT based on the Golf, BMW will produce the coupe based on the Mini.

But the problem is, BMW are desperate to demonstrate that what they have is a Mini. The real reason they are pushing the Mini brand is so they can abandon their real wheel drive mantra discretely, and that means switching BMWs to 4 wheel drive and pushing Minis as front wheel drive cars.

And because Mini is a relatively new brand, and is strongly brand-image based rather than perceived quality based, they have to remind you that it is a Mini. Hence every car looking almost identical.

But that's where the Coupe falls down. You see, the TT presents a desirable car which is really just a tarted up Golf. With the Mini Coupe, you will constantly be reminded that you are driving a Mini and not a much pricier sports car. The TT sells you a fur coat that hides your size 14 frame (and it is mainly women that buy them) whereas the Mini is a fur coat but with the size tag put on the outside rather than the inside.

It's daft. It's ridiculous.

Expect estate agents to buy them like hot cakes.