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Now is the time to cop a coupe

Vauxhall is set to create a trend for mini-coupes this October when the outrageously cheeky Tigra goes on sale in the UK.

Expected to cost pounds 10,500 to pounds 13,000, the Tigra is one of

the boldest and most innovative cars to come from a major volume manufacturer for many years.

It is based on the Corsa, sharing floorpan, suspension, and engines with its supermini stablemate.

For many years car manufacturers have been producing uninspiring coupe's - many are merely three-door versions of the equivalent saloon, with a more powerful engine.

But, as Vauxhall's director of design, Dick Ruzzin, says: 'If a coupe is going to be a real coupe, it has to be something extra special.' Hence the extraordinary rear window and side pillars which ensure the Tigra is quite unlike anything else on the market.

Interior space for driver and front passenger is good, but don't buy a Tigra if you are planning a family - there is

only space in the back for two small children because the swooping roof severely cuts down headroom.

Another word of caution: make sure you are happy with the ride and handling before buying.

The Corsa has been criticised for its less-than-perfect dynamic abilities, so the Tigra has yet to prove that its stunning looks are complemented by good behaviour on the road.

(Photograph omitted)