Mini Speedster spy photo

The sleuths at MotoringFile say that Mini has indicated that the upcoming Mini Speedster will ship with a manual folding top instead of the automatic wizardry of the Cooper Convertible mechanism.

The decision, assuming this report is true, means that the top should both weigh less and be cheaper to produce than an electric alternative – two traits that win big points in our book. Given that the Speedster is supposed to carry a steeper price tag than its Cooper Convertible brethren, however, we have to wonder if buyers will be content with a cover they have to muscle in place themselves. Let's just hope it's a lot more like the top used by the Mazda Miata than the no-longer-in-production Pontiac Solstice.

The Mini Speedster is rumored to be scheduled for introduction at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show alongside its hardtop twin. Details are scarce at the moment, but we'd guess the vehicle will play host to the standard gamut of Mini drivetrain and customization options when it finally touches down.