Mini?s First Open Top Two-Seater

?MINI planners have been busy again this year first producing a new coupe, and now a fun, open top, two-seat roadster.

The MINI Roadster becomes the sixth model in the British premium carmaker?s current line-up and promises to add a new level of fun to the brands already go-kart like driving image.

Covered by a classic manually operating soft-top, the MINI Roadster can be opened or closed quickly with the flick of a wrist to adapt to weather conditions or the driver?s mood.

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 with taut surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines typical of MINI cars.? The Roadster sports 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.

Unlike many other two-seat roadsters, the MINI has a generous 8.5 cubic foot trunk, along with a wide through-loading system behind the seats to improve functionality and capacity.

The front-wheel drive MINI Roadster will be available with a choice of three powerful yet efficient engines. The base engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 121-hp. The turbocharged MINI Cooper S Roadster version has181-hp and the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster has 208-hp version of the engine.? The trio produces performance figures that range from 8.7 seconds to 6.3 seconds for 0 to 60 runs and top speeds from 121 mph to 147 mph. Fuel economy numbers are not yet available.

Chassis technology includes Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a very rigid body (complete with special strengthening elements) and the car?s lower center of gravity.? Roadster safety is enhanced an extremely rigid windscreen frame and polished stainless steel roll-over bars fixed to the rear body. The aerodynamic balance of the MINI Roadster is optimized by an active rear spoiler that deploys when it reaches 50 mph.

The premium nature of the MINI Roadster means a high level of standard equipment, including air conditioning, speed-sensitive steering assistance, the Openometer (that clocks how long the top has been down) and an audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Significant options include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, black headlight housings, Park Distance Control, Comfort Access, and the innovative MINI Connected infotainment system with Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeakers.

Other hi-tech options include ??system include, a 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.

The MINI Cooper Roadster debuts at the Detroit International Auto Show in January 2012 and is expected to go on sale in later in the spring.

 

?