Mini JCW Roadster spy shots - Click above for high-res image gallery

The engineers at Mini are hard at work on the upcoming Roadster, including the John Cooper Works edition you see here in development phase. A prototype of the performance droptop has been lapping the Nürburgring at a furious pace, and our stealthy spy photographers managed to set their lenses on the machine.

The photos show all of the hardware we've come to expect from the JCW line, including a few aero tweaks as well as some serious brakes, large alloy wheels and what it is undoubtedly some very sticky rubber. There's a 208 horsepower forced-induction four-pot behind those black-housing headlights mated to a six-speed manual transmission, too. Expect to see the Roadster touch down sometime in 2012.

The Mini Coupe, on which the Roadster is based, recently banged doors with the rest of the field at the 24 Hours of N ürburgring. Mini even allowed a handful of journos to take the wheel of a few pre-production models ahead of the vehicle's public offering. You can check out our initial thoughts on the tiny hardtop here.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      jonnybimmer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mini seems to be the only car company that can find smaller market gaps than BMW. (surprise surprise)
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Might just be me but that thing looks so cute its kinda cool. Glad Mini is actually going to make a "Smaller" Mini.
      ReTired
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice...almost makes me think...transverse mid-engine, rear drive - I know, not happening.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks as stupid as its hard top sibling.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car makes a Scion TC look small.
      Brett Fisher
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about MINI fix their crappy quality problems before making new models?!?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Brett Fisher
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        stecki3d
        • 3 Years Ago
        the difference is 2 seats and lighter weight... and so this is to attract the mazda mx-5 type buyers that would not normally go for a mini, though i can't imagine opting for a FWD mini over the RWD mx-5 (and i own a mini btw, but for 2 seat roadsters, my money is on a mx-5). that's my armchair analysis at least.
        Nick Allain
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have you seen the current generation mini? It's a mini in name only. It's as big (maybe bigger?) than a scion tC.
          Dick Trickle
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick Allain
          Not sure what you are smoking. The Scion TC is over a foot longer than the big Mini Countryman, and nearly 30 inches longer than the regular Mini. Mini hatch 145.6 inches Countryman 161.8 inches Scion Tc 174.0 inches
          creamwobbly
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick Allain
          Talking about the four wheel drive monstrosity? If BMW wants bigger cars with the cachet of the original Mini, it should have bought Triumph...
        Dan
        • 3 Years Ago
        I have to admit, I'm there with you. I'm not down on MINI, or anything -- friend has a GP, I've driven a Cooper S on an autocross course and found it loads of fun -- but I'm wondering if having the Cooper Convertible and the Roadster is splitting hairs. It's one thing to cannibalize your own market in the face of someone else doing it, but I don't see many people looking at the Cooper Convertible, then the 500C, and thinking, "Those are WAY too big." But hey, if I'm then wrong, then good for MINI/BMW and the consumers. I don't really have a dog in this fight.
      Paul E
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a Cooper S Convertible and would definitely consider replacing it with a Roadster. The Convertible has 4 seats, but why? No adult can sit comfortably in the back of my car, and I'm only 5'-10". My back seat (and I suspect most Convertible owners' back seat) is generally used for luggage to supplement the miniscule trunk. Effectively then, the Convertible is a two-seater. The Roadster appeals because it still seats two, has a more intimate feel because the roof is much closer to your head, and has a relatively large trunk for a MINI. It also does away with the ridiculously complex roof mechanism of the Convertible for a simple z-fold manual top. To choose between the MX-5 (which I also used to own) and the MINI Roadster is more difficult. Test driving an MX-5 recently the handling was superb, but I have to say, I'd really miss the turbo engine of the MINI. Still, the MX-5 is rumoured to be getting it's own turbocharged engine with the next version of the car, so my personal choice between the two may be about to get more difficult.
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the convertible looks better than the hardtop. Gone is that silly roof.
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