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November 29, 2005

ITALY: Bertone prepares to build a Mini

Italian contract coachbuilder Bertone is preparing to build a limited-edition Mini that will have a huge rear spoiler and an equally huge name, reported Automotive News Europe.

Italian contract coachbuilder Bertone is preparing to build a limited-edition Mini that will have a huge rear spoiler and an equally huge name, reported Automotive News Europe.

The Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GP will feature a 218hp engine. It will seat two people instead of four because designers removed the car’s two back seats to reduce the car’s weight by about 40kg.

The Bertone-built Mini will be priced slightly above EUR30,000. The coachbuilder will make 2,000 units of the car, which goes on sale next July.

Bertone will receive bodies in white from Mini’s plant in Oxford, England, and complete final assembly in its plant in Grugliasco, near Turin.

By awarding Bertone the contract, Mini parent BMW is compensating the Italian coachbuilder for ending production of the BMW C1 motorcycle, BMW sources said.

Bertone installed capacity to build 27,000 C1s a year but BMW stopped production three years ago after the motorcycle sold only about 10,000 units a year.

Bertone’s only current production model is the Opel Astra convertible. Its successor, the Astra TwinTop, will be produced at Opel’s plant in Antwerp, Belgium, starting next year.

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