Mini Roadster (2012) first official pictures

Published: 29 October 2011

This is the new Mini Roadster - a second convertible for those who find the Mini Convertible a bit too pedestrian.

The new Mini Roadster is based on the Coupe, meaning a different rear deck and - with the roof folded - no more pram-like hood antics stacked on top of the boot. The rear end is pleasingly flush.

Mini Roadster (2012): in detail

The new Roadster is the first production two-seat open-top Mini in history. It'll be built in the UK at Plant Oxford, with sales here kicking off in spring 2012 from £18,015 for a Cooper Roadster, climbing to £24,850 for a John Cooper Works Roadster.

In between those two extremes, you can pick a Cooper S or Cooper SD. Given time, we'd expect a One and Cooper D to join the ranks.

Tell me about the hood!

That roof is fabric - no bulky folding hard tops here - leaving a 240-litre boot. The Roadster is unashamedly based on the Mini Coupe, stretching out to 3734mm long. While other markets are taking a manual roof, the UK is only taking the 'semi-automatic' hood which requires a manual unlock and then flops back electrically.

Its footprint may copy that of the 'four-seat' Mini Convertible, but the Roadster sits 20mm lower to the tarmac. And that windscreen is angled 13deg faster than the existing soft-top. More sporty, ja?

So is the Mini Roadster a realistic MX-5 rival?

Conceivably, yes. We already know and, mostly, love the Mini's front-wheel drive chassis. You can spec your Roadster with a choice of engines familiar from elsewhere in Minidom. Power ranges from 120bhp in the Cooper to 208bhp in the JCW.

Similarly, pick between 118g/km emissions on the diesel or 169 on the more profligate petrol turbo.

All other regular Mini characteristics are intact. Stop-start is standard, the cabin is stock Mini and the Coupe's pop-up spoiler will block out Plod from 50mph.

>> Is the latest Mini addition good news for the range? Click 'Add your comment' and let us know

 

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

Comments