That said, in some weird way, the 2013 Mini Roadster makes more sense to us. If you're going to lower the roofline and decrease visibility in the process, just lob the top off altogether and give us an open-air Mini that's more aggressive (yet prettier) than the cutesy Cooper Convertible. The Coupe may not have been our cup of tea, but this Roadster looks to be a tasty toss-about for sun-drenched roads.
Much like the Coupe, the Roadster will be available in Cooper, Cooper S and the above John Cooper Works variant, powered by three versions of the automaker's 1.6-liter inline-four, producing 122, 184 and 211 horsepower, respectively. We'll be getting our first stint behind the wheel of the new Roadster in just a few weeks, so stay tuned for our full impressions. For now, click through our attached high-res image gallery of photos live from Cobo Hall.
Note: All performance, fuel consumption and emissions figures stated in this media information are provisional.
• MINI is pushing ahead with the rigorous expansion of its model family. The latest addition to the range is the MINI Roadster, the sixth model in the brand's current line-up and the first open-top two-seater in its history. Cutting-edge, typically MINI interpretation of the compact, two-seater sports car concept with manually-opening soft-top roof; first premium car of its kind in the small car segment; unique package appealing to demanding target groups with a penchant for elegant sportiness, spontaneous open-top driving fun and irresistible design; inspiring handling fuelled by powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology; unrivalled scope for individualisation.
• Faithful reproduction of the MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster; clear focus on two-seat design and open-air driving experience; sporting charisma, with short overhangs, powerful over-the-wheel stance and high waistline typical of MINI; unmistakable design features and hallmark details underline the car's brand identity.
• Three-box body structure with a strikingly stepped rear end; elegantly sweeping roadster look thanks to heavily raked A-pillars and a waistline rising up slightly along the length of the body towards the flat rear end; stands more than 20 millimetres lower than the MINI Convertible; manually operated soft-top roof with straightforward mechanism for spontaneous, rapid opening and closing.
• Full-blooded go-kart feeling and outstanding safety levels thanks to bespoke chassis set-up, low centre of gravity, torsionally rigid body and optimised aerodynamic properties; Electric Power Steering and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) as standard, DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) optional (standard in the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster); roll-over bars in polished stainless steel; active rear spoiler extends automatically at 80 km/h (50 mph); MINI John Cooper Works Roadster with standard John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit.
• Focused two-seater concept with stowage area behind the driver and passenger seats, through-loading system and 240-litre luggage area; wide-opening tailgate for comfortable loading; optional: wind protection insert between the roll-over bars.
• Latest-generation four-cylinder engines; most powerful petrol and diesel units in the MINI line-up; MINI TwinPower Turbo technology; MINI John Cooper Works Roadster with 155 kW/211 hp, MINI Cooper S Roadster with 135 kW/184 hp, MINI Cooper Roadster with 90 kW/122 hp, MINI Cooper SD Roadster with 105 kW/143 hp; exemplary efficiency thanks to MINIMALISM technology.
• Bespoke colour and materials concept for upholstery, exterior mirrors, trim elements and Colour Lines; exclusive MINI Yours options and Sport Stripes in contrasting colour provide further individualisation; high-quality standard equipment including speed-sensitive steering assistance, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster) and audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection; options include black headlight housing, xenon Adaptive Headlights, Comfort Access, automatic climate control and the Always Open Timer; wide range of entertainment and communications options: Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system, MINI navigation system, MINI Connected features including Driving Excitement app, web radio, Google services, RSS news feeds, Mission Control, and in-car use of Facebook and Twitter.
• Engine variants:
MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology and numerous technological details carried over directly from motor sport.
Displacement: 1,598 cc, output: 155 kW/211 hp at 6,000 rpm, max. torque: 260 Nm/192 lb-ft at 1,850 – 5,600 rpm (280 Nm/207 lb-ft with Overboost at 2,000 – 5,100 rpm).
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 6.5 seconds, top speed: 237 km/h (147 mph).
Average fuel consumption according to EU: 7.3 litres/100 kilometres (38.7 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 169 g/km.
MINI Cooper S Roadster: Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology.
Displacement: 1,598 cc, output: 135 kW/184 hp at 5,500 rpm, max. torque: 240 Nm/177 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm (260 Nm/192 lb-ft with Overboost at 1,730 – 4,500 rpm).
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 7.0 seconds, top speed: 227 km/h (141 mph).
Average fuel consumption according to EU: 6.0 litres/100 kilometres (47.1 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 139 g/km.
MINI Cooper Roadster: Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology.
Displacement: 1,598 cc, output: 90 kW/122 hp at 6,000 rpm, max. torque: 160 Nm/118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 9.2 seconds, top speed: 199 km/h (124 mph).
Average fuel consumption according to EU: 5.7 litres/100 kilometres (49.6 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 133 g/km.
MINI Cooper SD Roadster: Four-cylinder turbodiesel with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology.
Displacement: 1,995 cc, output: 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm, max. torque: 305 Nm/225 lb-ft at 1,750 – 2,700 rpm.
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 8.1 seconds, top speed: 212 km/h (132 mph).
Average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.5 litres/100 kilometres (62.8 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 118 g/km.
• Exterior dimensions:
Length: 3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper Roadster: 3,728 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 3,758 millimetres)
Width: 1,683 millimetres
Height: 1,390 millimetres (MINI Cooper Roadster: 1,384 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 1,391 millimetres)
Wheelbase: 2,467 millimetres
The driving fun sewn into the fabric of every MINI never fails to bring a smile to the face. And now it can also be enjoyed – with the roof up or down – in the first model from the brand designed strictly for two people. The MINI Roadster, the sixth model in the British premium carmaker's current line-up, gives the small car segment another innovative shot in the arm. The typically MINI interpretation of a compact roadster embodies unadulterated sportiness and spontaneous urban driving fun under the open sky. Powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology with model-specific tuning see to it that the characteristic MINI go-kart feeling is always on tap. And the MINI Roadster's classical soft-top roof, which can be easily opened and closed manually, ensures open-top driving pleasure can be lapped up at every opportunity.
The faithful reproduction of the hallmark MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster gives the first open-top two-seater in the history of MINI an unmistakable and irresistible charisma. Even with the roof closed the MINI Roadster displays an elegant, sweeping silhouette, with the transition from soft-top to rear end highlighting its characteristic three-box design particularly clearly. This layout encompasses a clear visual separation of the car's boot (capacity: 240 litres) from the passenger compartment, while a wide through-loading system behind the seats enhances practicality.
The MINI Roadster will be available with a choice of four powerful yet also efficient petrol and diesel engines from launch. The model line-up ranges from the MINI Cooper Roadster (90 kW/122 hp), via the MINI Cooper SD Roadster (105 kW/143 hp) and MINI Cooper S Roadster (135 kW/184 hp), to the sharpest performer of all, the 155 kW/211 hp MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. A quality of chassis technology unparalleled in the small car segment, including Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), combines with the torsionally rigid body (complete with special strengthening elements) and the car's lower centre of gravity to deliver addictive agility and unbeatable active and passive safety. Meanwhile, front and head-thorax airbags, an extremely rigid windscreen frame and polished stainless steel roll-over bars fixed to the body join forces in the name of occupant protection. The aerodynamic balance of the MINI Roadster is optimised by an active rear spoiler.
Spontaneous, open, irresistible: The MINI Roadster.
The MINI Roadster underlines its premium character with a high-quality range of standard equipment, including air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster), speedsensitive steering assistance, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, height-adjustable seats and an audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Levels of comfort and individuality can be further enhanced by specifying attractive options such as xenon Adaptive Headlights, black headlight housing, Comfort Access and the Always Open Timer. And the MINI Roadster also offers in-car use of innovative MINI Connected infotainment and communications functions.
The roadster, MINI-style: unique and unmistakable.
The MINI Roadster is not only the sole premium model of its kind in the small car segment, it also ranks as 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. For example, the athletically taut surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines typical of MINI cars are complemented by 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. At the same time, the new model wears its brand identity on its sleeve thanks to unmistakable design features like the hexagonal contours of its radiator grille, the black border around the lower part of the body, chrome trim strips and surrounds, large circular headlights, vertically stacked rear lights positioned on the outer extremes of the rear end, and the eye-catching surrounds of the side indicators on the front side panels.
With an exterior length of 3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper Roadster: 3,728 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 3,758 millimetres), wheelbase of 2,467 millimetres and width of 1,683 millimetres, the dimensions of the MINI Roadster largely mirror those of the MINI Convertible. Standing just 1,390 tall (MINI Cooper Roadster: 1,384 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 1,391 millimetres), i.e. more than 20 millimetres lower than its four-seater soft-top stablemate, the new two-seater cuts a distinctive, low-slung and elegantly stretched figure from the side. A windscreen frame that is more heavily raked and tapers upwards more sharply than that of the MINI Convertible also gives it a clearly distinguishable appearance when viewed head-on.
Clean, classic, opens and closes with the flick of a wrist: the manually operated soft-top roof.
Another example of the faithful transposition of MINI design into the compact roadster template comes in the form of the robust, all-season durability of the soft-top roof. When closed, the roof – which shares the simple style of classic British roadsters – "cascades" downwards, broadening as it heads towards the body and underlining to fine effect the typically MINI, powerful over-the-wheel stance. When opened, the roof folds down flat behind the seats, keeping the car's elegantly sweeping lines intact. And since the outer skin of the roof faces upwards, there is no need for any additional cover.
The manual opening and closing mechanism of the soft-top roof allows the driver to usher in his next dose of open-top driving pleasure without a second's thought. And the roof can be closed again equally quickly to protect the driver and passenger from less welcome weather. The roof is opened by turning the release lever on the windscreen frame though 130 degrees and swivelling the soft-top back in a single movement behind the seats, where it locks into place. The process for closing the roof again is triggered by pressing a button positioned between the roll-over bars, which allows the roof to extend back out of its anchorage points assisted by gas-pressure springs.
It can then be pulled forward with the help of the release lever and fixed in place again against the windscreen frame. Bespoke range of exterior paint finishes, Sport Stripes and interior design elements offer the key to individuality. A range of two non-metallic and six metallic paint shades are available for the exterior of the MINI Roadster. In keeping with British roadster tradition, the roof remains in black. Sport Stripes, available in three colours for the bonnet, boot lid and rear apron, allow owners to add an extra personal touch.
The light-alloy wheels fitted as standard on the MINI Roadster come in 15, 16 or 17-inch formats, depending on the model variant. A selection of other light-alloy wheels are available as an option in the same sizes.
The customary MINI variety of seat and upholstery variants includes ultraexclusive piped sports seats in the colour shade Toffy. Added to which, black sports seats are also available in Punch Leather with beige-coloured perforations. Trim strips can be ordered in any of six variants, while an extra Chili Red option is also offered for the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster.
A choice of five Colour Lines is also available, and customers may likewise choose to explore the additional, extremely exclusive interior design options offered by the MINI Yours range.
A well-rounded concept delivering driving fun without compromises.
The absence of a rear seat bench allows the MINI Roadster to offer 240 litres of luggage space. Plus, the high-opening tailgate and low boot sill makes it that much easier to load up items of luggage, while a 36 cm (14 in.) wide and 20 cm (approx. 8 in.) high through-loading system that can also be opened from the driver's or passenger's seat provides added versatility. The MINI Roadster also comes with larger door bins, three cupholders, and a cross-rack behind the seats.
Another stand-out feature of the MINI Roadster are the stainless steel rollover bars, the front of which are padded. Together with the reinforced windscreen frame, they provide optimised occupant protection in the event of the car turning over. Dynamically formed contours ensure that the roll-over bars and windscreen frame combine to impressive effect in terms of design, too. The safety equipment on board the new MINI Roadster also includes front airbags and head-thorax airbags integrated into the outer sides of the seat backrests, three-point inertia-reel seat belts including belt force limiters and belt tensioners, and a Tyre Defect Indicator.
Bodyshell stiffening at the rear increases the torsional rigidity of the body and combines with extra-sturdy side sills to enhance the strength of the passenger cell. In addition, the MINI Roadster also features built-in innovative pedestrian protection measures and special stiffening elements in the front section. These result in a slightly higher front axle load rating compared with the MINI, which gives the front wheels extra traction. In addition, the use of a comparatively lightweight, manually operated soft-top roof lowers the car's centre of gravity. The impressive body rigidity of the MINI Roadster and its dynamically favourable weight distribution provide the ideal platform for agile and precise handling.
Optimised aerodynamic properties also play their role in a vehicle concept geared to enjoying driving fun to the full. The heavily raked A-pillars and windscreen reduce the frontal area of the body and therefore levels of drag. Added to which, the MINI Roadster is fitted with an active rear spoiler. Integrated into the tailgate, the spoiler extends automatically as soon as the MINI Roadster reaches 80 km/h (50 mph). When the car's speed drops back below 60 km/h (37 mph), a four-part control mechanism returns the spoiler to its rest position. The active rear spoiler, which can also be operated manually using a button in the control panel on the windscreen frame, provides 40 kilograms (88 lb) of extra downforce when travelling at maximum speed.
Airflow has been optimised to an even greater degree on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. The most powerful member of the Roadster line-up is fitted with a John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit as standard in a nod to its exceptionally dynamic performance capability Latest-generation four-cylinder engines: addictive sportiness, impressive efficiency.
The MINI Roadster is available with the three most powerful petrol engines and the highest-output diesel unit in the brand's line-up. The state-of-the-art engines all boast sporty power delivery combined with exemplary efficiency, and all variants of the MINI Roadster carry the Cooper name in their model titles. This reference to legendary ex-Formula One racing car designer John Cooper, who used to race the classic Mini, marks out a car with particular sporting capability.
The MINI Cooper Roadster represents an extremely lively entry point into the Roadster line-up. Its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine boasts a fully variable valve control system – based on the VALVETRONIC technology used in BMW engines – which sharpens the engine's responses yet also lowers fuel consumption and emissions. With output rising to 90 kW/122 hp at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Newton metres (118 lb-ft) generated at 4,250 rpm, the powerplant accelerates the MINI Cooper Roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 199 km/h (124 mph). Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (49.6 mpg imp), while CO2 emissions come in at 133 grams per kilometre.
In addition to fully variable valve control, MINI TwinPower Turbo technology also features a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection – a technology package that makes the 1.6-litre engine in the MINI Cooper S Roadster the world's most efficient in its displacement class. The powerplant develops its maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,500 rpm. Peak torque of 240 Newton metres (177 lb-ft) is available as low down as 1,600 rpm and can hit 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) in a short burst courtesy of the Overboost function. All of which means the MINI Cooper S Roadster powers from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph). These performance figures contrast with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres (47.1 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 139 grams per kilometre.
The latest model variant from MINI's John Cooper Works sub-brand showcases its sporting potential with even greater intent. The MINI John Cooper Works Roadster is powered by a 155 kW/211 hp four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology. The 1.6-litre unit generates its maximum output at 6,000 rpm, with peak torque of 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) on stream at 1,850 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft). 6.5 seconds is all it takes the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster to blast from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph). Top speed is 237 km/h (147 mph). Added to which, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres (38.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 169 grams per kilometre, the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster boasts extraordinary efficiency for an open-top car in this output class.
Leading the way in terms of torque and economy, the 2.0-litre diesel engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology under the bonnet of the MINI Cooper SD Roadster is the ideal addition to the range of petrol units. The four-cylinder powerplant features an aluminium crankcase, a turbocharger with variable intake geometry, and common-rail direct injection with solenoid-valve injectors, and develops 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 305 Newton metres (225 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 2,700 rpm. All this allows the MINI Cooper SD Roadster to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 212 km/h (132 mph). The diesel Roadster headlines its outstanding efficiency with average fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres (62.8 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of 118 grams per kilometre.
The MINI Cooper Roadster and MINI Cooper SD Roadster are equipped as standard with extensive MINIMALISM technology. This further reduces their fuel consumption and emissions thanks to features including Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start/Stop function, Shift Point Display, Electric Power Steering and ancillary components working according to need. The MINI Cooper Roadster, MINI Cooper S Roadster and MINI Cooper SD Roadster can also be specified with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function as an alternative to the six-speed manual item fitted as standard across the MINI Roadster range.
Agile, precise, stable: go-kart feeling in a roadster wrapping.
Teaming up with the powerful engines and customary MINI front-wheel drive, chassis technology of a quality unparalleled in the small car segment imbues the MINI Roadster with the brand's hallmark driving fun. MacPherson struts at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speed sensitive assistance, powerful brakes offering excellent feel, and bespoke tuning for all chassis components come together to produce a new interpretation of the time-honoured MINI go-kart feeling. Sports suspension, which brings stiffer damper characteristics, sturdier anti-roll bars and upgraded springs, is available as an option.
A Sport Button on the centre console, standard in the case of the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster and optionally available for all other model versions, allows the driver to adjust the car's steering characteristics and accelerator responses. If the optional six-speed automatic gearbox is specified, pressing this button also shortens shift times.
The standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system selectively brakes individual wheels and reduces engine power to prevent a front or rear-end slide. The system includes ABS anti-lock braking, EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), Brake Assist and Hill Start Assistant. DSC also adds DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) for the driven axle as standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster and as an option on all other model variants.
MINI Roadster: premium two-seater with high-quality standard equipment and exclusive options.
The interior of the MINI Roadster features – in typical brand style – a large Centre Speedo and a rev counter positioned directly behind the steering wheel. The sports seats fitted as standard in the MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster and MINI John Cooper Works Roadster offer outstanding lateral support through quickly-taken corners. Standard specification also includes air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster), Park Distance Control with rear sensors, height-adjustable seats and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.
The comfort and individuality of the MINI Roadster can be further enhanced with items from the range of high-quality options, some unique in the small car segment. For example, Adaptive Headlights and black headlight housing are available in conjunction with the optional xenon headlights. Among the other options customers can choose from are Comfort Access, an on-board computer, a multifunction steering wheel, the Always Open Timer, automatic climate control, heated seats, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and MINI exterior mirrors, an armrest, the storage package, and preparation for a rear luggage carrier rack. Also available as an option are Recaro sports seats in a leather/Dinamica combination with optimised lateral support, extended thigh support, integrated head restraints and an embossed John Cooper Works by Recaro logo. Customers can also dip into the selection of exclusive options available from the MINI Yours range and ultra-sporty John Cooper Works options and accessories.
Only from MINI Connected: innovative entertainment and communications functions.
The MINI Roadster comes as standard with the radio MINI CD audio system (MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: radio MINI Boost CD), while an extra dose of entertainment pleasure can be specified in the form of the Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and USB audio interface. The radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI navigation system link up with a 6.5-inch, high resolution colour display in the Centre Speedo. If these options are specified, MINI Connected allows Apple iPhone owners access to internet-based services inside the car. The MINI Connected App opens the door to a web radio function, use of Google services, Facebook and Twitter, reception of RSS news feeds, the MINIMALISM Analyser, Mission Control and Dynamic Music functions, as well as the latest Driving Excitement functions, such as Condition Check, Force Meter and digital sports instruments.