The driving fun sewn into the fabric of every MINI can now be enjoyed with the roof up or down in the first convertible model from the brand designed strictly for two people. The MINI Roadster, the sixth model in the British premium carmaker’s current line-up, gives the small car segment another innovative shot in the arm. The typically MINI interpretation of a compact roadster embodies unadulterated sportiness and spontaneous urban driving fun under the open sky. Powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology with model-specific tuning see to it that the characteristic MINI go-kart feeling is always on tap. And the MINI Roadster’s classical soft-top roof, which can be easily opened and closed manually, ensures open-top driving pleasure can be lapped up at every opportunity.
The hallmark MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster gives the first open-top two-seater in the history of MINI an unmistakable and irresistible charisma. Even with the roof closed, the MINI Roadster displays an elegant, sweeping silhouette, with the transition from soft-top to rear end highlighting its characteristic three-box design particularly clearly. This layout encompasses a clear visual separation of the car’s boot (capacity: 8.5 ft3) from the passenger compartment, while a wide through-loading system behind the seats enhances practicality.
The MINI Roadster will be available with a choice of three powerful yet also efficient engines. The model line-up ranges from the MINI Cooper Roadster (121 hp) and MINI Cooper S Roadster (181 hp), to the sharpest performer of all, the 208 hp MINI John Cooper Works Roadster.
Chassis technology unparalleled in the small car segment, including Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), combines with the more torsionally rigid body (complete with special strengthening elements) and the car’s lower center of gravity to deliver addictive agility and unbeatable active and passive safety. Meanwhile, front and head-thorax airbags, an extremely rigid windscreen frame and polished stainless steel roll-over bars fixed to the body join forces in the name of occupant protection. The aerodynamic balance of the MINI Roadster is optimized by an active rear spoiler.
The MINI Roadster underlines its premium character with a high-quality range of standard equipment, including air conditioning, speed-sensitive steering assistance, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, height-adjustable seats, the Openometer and an audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Levels of comfort and individuality can be further enhanced by specifying options such as Xenon Adaptive Headlights, black headlight housings, Park Distance Control, Comfort Access and the innovative MINI Connected infotainment system.
The MINI Roadster is the only open-top two-seater in the brand’s history. The principles of the MINI design language are faithfully reflected in the body design of the new concept. For example, the athletically taut surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines typical of MINI cars are complemented by a sloping windscreen frame raked by an extra 13 degrees over the MINI Convertible, a short passenger compartment distilled around two seats, and a flat boot lid. A waistline rising up slightly along the length of the body to the clearly stepped boot and the deliberately low-slung silhouette – even with the roof closed – give the MINI Roadster an elegantly stretched appearance. At the same time, the new model wears its brand identity on its sleeve thanks to unmistakable design features like the hexagonal contours of its radiator grille, the black border around the lower part of the body, chrome trim strips and surrounds, large circular headlights, vertically stacked rear lights positioned on the outer extremes of the rear end, and the eye-catching surrounds of the side indicators on the front side panels.
With an exterior length of 146.8 inches (MINI Cooper S Roadster: 147 inches, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 148 inches), wheelbase of 97.1 inches and width of 66.3 inches, the dimensions of the MINI Roadster largely mirror those of the MINI Convertible. Standing just 54.5 inches (MINI Cooper S Coupe: 54.7 inches, MINI John Cooper Works Coupe: 54.8 inches), i.e. more than ¾ of an inch lower than its four-seater soft-top stablemate, the new two-seater cuts a distinctive, low-slung and elegantly stretched figure from the side. A windscreen frame that is more heavily raked and tapers upwards more sharply than that of the MINI Convertible also gives it a clearly distinguishable appearance when viewed head-on.
Clean, classic, opens and closes with the flick of a wrist: the manually operated soft-top roof. Another example of the faithful transposition of MINI design into the compact roadster template comes in the form of the robust, all-season durability of the soft-top roof. When closed, the roof – which shares the simple style of classic British roadsters – “cascades” downwards, broadening as it heads towards the body and underlining to the typically MINI, powerful over-the-wheel stance. When opened, the roof folds down flat behind the seats, keeping the car’s elegantly sweeping lines intact. And since the outer skin of the roof faces upwards, there is no need for any additional cover.
The manual opening and closing mechanism of the soft-top roof allows the driver to usher in his next dose of open-top driving pleasure without a second thought. And the roof can be closed again quickly to protect the driver and passenger from less welcome weather.
The roof is opened by turning the release lever on the windscreen frame though 130 degrees and swiveling the soft-top back in a single movement behind the seats, where it locks into place. The process for closing the roof again is triggered by pressing a button positioned between the roll-over bars, which allows the roof to extend back out of its anchorage points assisted by gas-pressure springs. It can then be pulled forward with the help of the release lever and fixed in place again against the windscreen frame.
Bespoke range of exterior paint finishes, Sport Stripes and interior design elements offer the key to individuality. A range of two non-metallic and six metallic paint shades are available for the exterior of the MINI Roadster. In keeping with British roadster tradition, the roof remains in black. Sport Stripes, available in three colors for the bonnet, boot lid and rear apron, allow owners to add an extra personal touch.
A well-rounded concept delivering driving fun without compromises. The absence of a rear seat bench allows the MINI Roadster to offer 8.5 ft3 of luggage space. Plus, the high-opening tailgate and low boot sill make it that much easier to load items of luggage, while a 14” x 8” (approx.) through-loading door can also be opened from the driver’s or passenger’s seat, providing added versatility. The MINI Roadster also comes with larger door bins, three cupholders, and a cross-rack behind the seats.
The MINI Roadster is available with the three engines in the US. The state-of-the-art engines all boast sporty power delivery combined with exemplary efficiency, and all variants of the MINI Roadster carry the Cooper name in their model titles. This reference to legendary ex-Formula One racing car designer John Cooper, who used to race the classic Mini, marks out a car with particular sporting capability.
The MINI Cooper Roadster represents an extremely lively entry point into the Roadster line-up. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine boasts a fully variable valve control system – based on the VALVETRONIC technology used in BMW engines – which sharpens the engine’s responses yet also lowers fuel consumption and emissions. With output rising to 121 and maximum torque of 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm, the powerplant accelerates the MINI Cooper Roadster from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 124 mph. Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 5.7 liters per 100 kilometers (49.6 mpg imp), while CO2 emissions come in at 133 grams per kilometer. Note: US EPA fuel economy estimates are not available at the time of this publication.
In addition to fully variable valve control, MINI TwinPower Turbo technology also features a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection – a technology package that makes the 1.6-litre engine in the MINI Cooper S Roadster the world’s most efficient in its displacement class.
The powerplant develops its maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,500 rpm. Peak torque is 177 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm and 192 lb-ft in a short burst courtesy of the Overboost function. All of which means the MINI Cooper S Roadster powers from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 141 mph. These performance figures contrast with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 6.0 liters per 100 kilometers (47.1 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 139 grams per kilometer.
Source: Mini press