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And Now Joining The Mini Lineup, The Mini Roadster

William Maley

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And Now Joining The Mini Lineup, The Mini Roadster

William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

October 30, 2011


Following on the heels of the just launched Mini Coupe, Mini has announced the Roadster. Coming to the US in mid-2012, the Roadster is the company’s first manually-opening drop-top two-seater. Compared to the Mini Cooper Convertible, the Roadster is 0.1-inch shorter, 1.9-inches narrower and 1-inch lower.

Three models will be available when the Roadster goes on sale; the Cooper Roadster with a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 122 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque, the Cooper S Roadster with a 1.6L four-cylinder with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology producing 184 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque, and the John Cooper Works Roadster which uses a modified version of the 1.6L in the Cooper S to produce 211 HP and 192 lb-ft of torque. A six speed manual is standard while a six speed automatic is optional.

All Mini Roadsters will come equipped with electric power steering, Dynamic Stability Control, roll-over bars, and a spoiler that raises at 50 MPH. Options will include Dynamic Traction Control with Electronic Differential Lock Control.

We'll get out first look at the Mini Roadster at January's North American International Auto Show.

Press Release is Below


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 30, 2011... 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.

At A Glance.

  • MINI Roadster is a cutting-edge, typically MINI interpretation of the compact, two-seater sports car concept with manually-opening soft-top roof; unique package appealing to demanding target groups with a penchant for elegant sportiness, spontaneous open-top driving fun and irresistible design; inspiring handling fuelled by powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology; unrivalled scope for individualization.
  • Faithful incorporation of the MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster; clear focus on two-seat design and open-air driving experience; sporting charisma, with short overhangs, powerful over-the-wheel stance and high waistline; unmistakable design features and hallmark details underline the car’s brand identity.
  • A three-box body structure with a strikingly stepped rear end; an elegantly sweeping roadster look thanks to heavily raked A-pillars and a waistline rising up slightly along the length of the body towards the flat rear end; stands more than ¾ of an inch lower than the MINI Convertible; manually operated soft-top roof with straightforward mechanism for spontaneous, rapid opening and closing.
  • Full-blooded go-kart feeling and outstanding safety levels thanks to bespoke chassis set-up, low center of gravity, an increased rigidity of the body and optimized aerodynamic properties; Electric Power Steering and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) as standard, DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) optional (standard in the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster); roll-over bars in polished stainless steel; active rear spoiler extends automatically at 50 mph; MINI John Cooper Works Roadster with standard John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit.
  • Focused two-seater concept with stowage area behind the driver and passenger seats, through-loading system and 8.5 ft3 luggage area; wide-opening tailgate for comfortable loading; optional: wind protection insert between the roll-over bars.
  • Latest-generation four-cylinder engines; MINI TwinPower Turbo technology; MINI John Cooper Works Roadster with 208 hp, MINI Cooper S Roadster 181hp, MINI Cooper Roadster with 121 hp.
  • Bespoke color and materials concept for upholstery, exterior mirrors, trim elements and Color Lines; exclusive MINI Yours options and sport stripes in contrasting colors provide further individualization.
  • Options for the infotainment system include a Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system, MINI navigation system, and MINI Connected, which has features that include the Driving Excitement app, web radio, Google services, RSS news feeds, Mission Control, and in-car use of Facebook and Twitter.
  • Engine variants: MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection, plus numerous technological details carried over directly from motorsports. Displacement: 1,598 cc Output: 208 hp at 6,000 rpm Max. torque: 192 lb-ft at 1,850 – 5,600 rpm (207 lb-ft with Overboost at 1,700 – 4,500 rpm) Acceleration: 0–60 mph: 6.3 seconds Top speed: 147 mph US EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: Not yet available Average fuel consumption according to EU standard: 7.3 liters/100 kilometers (38.7 mpg imp) CO2 emissions: 169 g/km MINI Cooper S Roadster: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. Displacement: 1,598 cc Output: 181 hp at 5,500 rpm Max. torque: 177 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm (192 lb-ft with Overboost at 1,700 – 4,500 rpm) Acceleration: 0–60 mph: 6.7 seconds Top speed: 141 mph US EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: Not yet available Average fuel consumption according to EU standard: 6.0 liters/100 kilometers (47.1 mpg imp) CO2 emissions: 139 g/km MINI Cooper Roadster: 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. Displacement: 1,598 cc Output: 121 hp at 6,000 rpm Max. torque: 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm Acceleration: 0–60 mph: 8.7 seconds Top speed: 124 mph US EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: Not yet available Average fuel consumption according to EU standard: 5.7 liters/100 kilometers (49.6 mpg imp) CO2 emissions: 133 g/km
  • Exterior dimensions: Length: 146.8 inches (MINI Cooper S Roadster: 147 inches, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 148 inches) Width: 66.3 inches Height: 54.5 inches (MINI Cooper S Coupe: 54.7 inches, MINI John Cooper Works Coupe: 54.8 inches) Wheelbase: 97.1 inches

The roadster, MINI-style: unique and unmistakable.

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.

The light-alloy wheels fitted as standard on the MINI Roadster come in 16 or 17-inch formats, depending on the model variant. A selection of other light-alloy wheels are available as an option in the same sizes.

The customary MINI variety of seat and upholstery variants includes ultra-exclusive piped sports seats in the color shade Toffy. Added to which, black sports seats are also available in Punch Leather with beige-colored perforations. Trim strips can be ordered in any of six variants, while an extra Chili Red option is also offered only for the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster.

A choice of five Color Lines is also available, and customers may likewise choose to explore the additional, extremely exclusive interior design options offered by the MINI Yours range.

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.

Another stand-out feature of the MINI Roadster is the stainless steel rollover bars, the front of which are padded. Together with the reinforced windscreen frame, they provide optimized occupant protection in the event of the car rolling over. Dynamically formed contours ensure that the roll-over bars and windscreen frame combine to impressive effect in terms of design, too.

The safety equipment on board the new MINI Roadster also includes front airbags and head-thorax airbags integrated into the outer sides of the seat backrests, three-point inertia-reel seat belts including belt force limiters and belt tensioners, and a Tire Pressure Monitor System.

Bodyshell stiffening at the rear increases the torsional rigidity of the body and combines with extra-sturdy side sills to enhance the strength of the passenger cell. In addition, the MINI Roadster also features built-in innovative pedestrian protection measures and special stiffening elements in the front section. These result in a slightly higher front axle load rating compared with the MINI Hardtop, which gives the front wheels extra traction. In addition, the use of a comparatively lightweight, manually operated soft-top roof lowers the car’s center of gravity. The impressive body rigidity of the MINI Roadster and its dynamically favorable weight distribution provide the ideal platform for agileand precise handling.

Optimized aerodynamic properties also play their role in a vehicle concept geared to enjoying driving fun to the fullest extent. The heavily raked A-pillars and windscreen reduce the frontal area of the body, and therefore reduce levels of drag. Added to which, the MINI Roadster is fitted with an active rear spoiler. Integrated into the tailgate, the spoiler extends automatically as soon as the MINI Roadster reaches 50 mph. When the car’s speed drops back below 37 mph, a four-part control mechanism returns the spoiler to its rest position. The active rear spoiler, which can also be operated manually using a button in the control panel on the windscreen frame, provides 88 lb of extra downforce when travelling at maximum speed.

Airflow has been optimized to an even greater degree on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. The most powerful member of the Roadster line-up is fitted with a John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit as standard in a nod to its exceptionally dynamic performance capability.

Latest-generation four-cylinder engines: addictive sportiness, impressive efficiency.

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.

Note: US EPA fuel economy estimates are not available at the time of this publication.

The latest model variant from MINI’s John Cooper Works sub-brand showcases its sporting potential with even greater intent. The MINI John Cooper Works Roadster is powered by a 181 hp four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology. The 1.6-liter unit generates its maximum output at 6,000 rpm, with peak torque of 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) on stream at 1,850 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft).

6.3 seconds is all it takes the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster to blast from 0 to 60 mph. Top speed is 147 mph. Added to which, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.3 liters per 100 kilometers (38.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 169 grams per kilometer, the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster boasts extraordinary efficiency for an open-top car in this output class.

Note: US EPA fuel economy estimates are not available at the time of this publication.

MINI Cooper Roadster and MINI Cooper S Roadster can also be specified with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function as an alternative to the six-speed manual item fitted as standard across the MINI Roadster range.

Agile, precise, stable: go-kart feeling in a roadster wrapping.

Teaming up with the powerful engines and customary MINI front-wheel drive, chassis technology of a quality unparalleled in the small car segment imbues the MINI Roadster with the brand’s hallmark driving fun. MacPherson struts at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speedsensitive assistance, powerful brakes offering excellent feel, and bespoke tuning for all chassis components come together to produce a new interpretation of the time-honored MINI go-kart feeling. Sports suspension, which brings stiffer damper characteristics, sturdier anti-roll bars and upgraded springs, is available as an option.

A Sport Button on the center console, standard on all US spec MINI John Cooper Works Roadster variants, allows the driver to adjust the car’s steering characteristics and accelerator responses. If the optional six-speed automatic gearbox is specified, pressing this button also shortens shift times. The standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system selectively brakes individual wheels and reduces engine power to prevent a front or rear-end slide. The system includes ABS anti-lock braking, EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), Brake Assist and Hill Start Assistant. DSC also adds DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) for the driven axle as standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster and as an option on all other model variants.

MINI Roadster: premium two-seater with high-quality standard equipment and exclusive options.

The interior of the MINI Roadster features – in typical brand style – a large Center Speedo and a rev counter positioned directly behind the steering wheel. The sports seats fitted as standard in the MINI Cooper S Roadster and MINI John Cooper Works Roadster offer outstanding lateral support through quickly-taken corners. Standard specification also includes air conditioning, height-adjustable seats, an on-board computer, the Openometer, the storage package and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.

The comfort and individuality of the MINI Roadster can be further enhanced with items from the range of high-quality options, some unique in the small car segment. For example, Adaptive Headlights and black headlight housings are available in conjunction with the optional Xenon headlights. Among the other options customers can choose from are Park Distance Control with rear sensors, Comfort Access, a multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control, heated seats, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and exterior mirrors, an armrest. Also available as an option are Recaro sports seats in a leather/Dinamica combination with optimized lateral support, extended thigh support, integrated head restraints and an embossed John Cooper Works by Recaro logo. Customers can also dip into the selection of exclusive options available from the MINI Yours range and ultra-sporty John Cooper Works options and accessories.

Only from MINI Connected: innovative entertainment and communications functions.

The MINI Roadster comes as standard with the Radio MINI CD audio system with HD technology, while an extra dose of entertainment pleasure can be specified in the form of the Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and USB audio interface. The radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI navigation system link up with a 6.5-inch, highresolution color display in the Center Speedo. If these options are specified, MINI Connected allows Apple iPhone owners access to internet-based services inside the car. The MINI Connected App opens the door to a web radio function, use of Google services, Facebook and Twitter, reception of RSS news feeds, full integration of Pandora Radio, the MINIMALISM Analyzer, Mission Control and Dynamic Music functions, as well as the latest Driving Excitement functions, such as Condition Check, Force Meter and digital sports instruments.

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Agreed...I pretty much have decided AGAINST a MINI as one of my next cars for that very reason...

Maybe they will build a RWD V8 variant for Camino and Balthy, eh?

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