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Mini's Upcoming Roadster Encourages Top-Down Motoring

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Nick Palermo November 2011

With Mini's model lineup continuing to broaden, small car purists and Mini lovers can appreciate new models like the Countryman and the Coupe. Even though it has the shape of a small SUV, the Countryman is still a relatively little car. And the Coupe is pure Mini - lightweight and endowed with quick reflexes. Keeping the formula intact, Mini now brings the sixth model to their lineup. The Mini Cooper Roadster is a 2-seat convertible with an easily-deployed manual soft top.

As with other models, the Roadster will be offered in base trim or with several engine options. The base Mini Cooper Roadster gets BMW Group's Valvetronic 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, producing 122 horsepower. The Cooper S Roadster gets Mini TwinPower Turbo for 184 horsepower. The top-spec Mini John Cooper Works Roadster adds 27 horsepower to S numbers, allowing a 6.5-second 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 147mph. Mini provides specifications for a diesel-powered Roadster too, but this option is unlikely to be offered in the US.

The look is unmistakably Mini, but the Roadster is not a Mini Convertible without a back seat. The Roadster's windshield pillars are steeply raked and the high waistline tapers upward toward the tail. The Roadster sits more than ¾-inch lower than the Convertible. Polished stainless steel roll bars add safety and a racy look. An active rear spoiler deploys above 50mph. The Roadster also gets colors and materials unique to the model.

The 2-passenger setup allows a stowage area behind the seats while an 8.5 cubic foot pass-through trunk is accessible either from the tailgate.

Standard equipment on the Mini Cooper Roadster includes speed-sensitive electric power steering, stability control, park distance control and an MP3-ready CD player. Options on the Roadster include traction control with electronically locking differential, xenon adaptive headlights, automatic climate control and Harman Kardon audio with Mini Connected internet capability.

Mini hopes the Roadster's simple manual top will encourage frequent wind-in-your-hair, top-down motoring. The simplicity and manageable size of the soft top may indeed have drivers dropping it more often than they would in a Mini Cooper Convertible. But Roadster drivers will have to trade a back seat to enjoy the convenience. Fortunately, Mini's widening range of vehicles provides ever more options for drivers, as long as they like small cars and Minis' distinctive look.

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Used 2012 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works Hardtop
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Used 2012 MINI Cooper Countryman S ALL4
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mini's Upcoming Roadster Encourages Top-Down Motoring - Autotrader