MINI has unveiled the final production version of its MINI Roadster which is set to join the company's rapidly-expanding lineup next year. Looking pretty similar to the Roadster concept unveiled alongside the MINI Coupe concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the sixth model to join the current MINI line-up is the first open-top two-seater in the company's history. It features a manually-opening soft-top roof and will be offered in four different engine variants.
The MINI Roadster stands more than 20 mm (0.78 in) lower than the MINI Convertible and features a more steeply raked windshield. A low center of gravity, torsionally rigid body and optimized aerodynamic performance combine to give the vehicle what MINI calls a "full-blooded go-kart feeling."
There's stowage room behind the driver and passenger seats and a through-loading system and 240-liter (63.4 US gal) luggage area with wide-opening tailgate for easier loading. MINI also offers an optional wind protection insert between the polished stainless steel roll-over bars.
Like the Coupe, the Roadster is based on the current MINI hatchback so shares similar dimensions. The base Roadster model measures 3,728 mm (146.77 in) long, 1,683 mm (66.25 in) wide, and 1,384 mm (54.48 in) high, with a wheelbase of 2,467 mm (97.12 in). The SD and S Roadsters are slightly longer and higher at 3,734 mm (147 in) and 1,390 mm (54.72 in) respectively, while the aerodynamic kit found on the John Cooper Works model results in a length of 3,758 mm (147.95 in) and height of 1391 mm (54.76 in).
All models come with electric power steering, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, speed-sensitive steering assistance and an active rear spoiler that extends automatically at 80 km/h (50 mph) as standard, with all but the base model also coming with air conditioning. Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) is standard on the John Cooper Works model and available as an option on other models.
Other options include black headlight housings, xenon Adaptive headlights, automatic climate control, Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system, MINI navigation system, and MINI Connected features, such as web radio, Google services, RSS news feeds, Mission Control and in-car use of Facebook and Twitter.
The four different engine variants on offer for the MINI Roadster are the same offered for the MINI Coupe, with minimal performance differences.
MINI Cooper Roadster:
- Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology
MINI John Cooper Works Roadster:
- Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology and numerous technological details carried over directly from motor sport
MINI Cooper S Roadster:
- Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology
MINI Cooper SD Roadster:
- Four-cylinder turbodiesel with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology
MINI is expected to debut its 2012 Roadster range at the 2011 Los Angeles Motor Show next month. While the four-strong Roadster range is due to launch next year in Europe, only the petrol-powered variants are likely to be available in North America.