Months after the official unveiling of the new Mini Coupe , the company has decided it was time to "uncover" the Roadster version as well. Of course, everyone already knew what the new Roadster would look like with both the Coupe version and the Roadster Concept unveiled in 2009 making it on the scene before the Roadster.
To be honest, the Coupe and Roadster models are almost identical, except for the soft top, steeply raked windscreen, stainless steel roll bars, and the active rear spoiler that deploys at 50 mph. The new Roadster will be immediately recognized as a Mini thanks to 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.
Like with the Coupe, the Roadster is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine ranging from the base Coupe with 122 HP up to the John Cooper Works Coupe with 208 HP. The SD version gets a 141 HP turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine.
UPDATE 01/30/2012: Mini has announced the official prices for their new Roadster. The model will be offered in three different versions with prices starting from $24,350 for the Cooper Roadster, $27,350 for the Cooper S Roadster, and $34,500 for the JCW Roadster.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Mini Roadster.
gallery: Mini Roadster Concept
The new Mini Roadster measures 3,734 millimeters in length (6mm longer than the Coupe), 1,683 millimeters in width, and is only 1,390 millimeters tall with a 2,467 millimeters wheelbase. One of the most impressive features of the new model is its windscreen frame that is heavily raked and tapers upwards more sharply than that of the Mini Convertible.
The soft top comes with an opening and closing mechanism that allows the driver to easily operate it. When opened, the roof folds down flat behind the seats, keeping the car’s elegantly sweeping lines intact. For optimized aerodynamics, the car has also been equipped with an active rear spoiler integrated into the tailgate that extends automatically as soon as the Roadster reaches 50 mph.
The new Roadster can be ordered with a choice of two non-metallic and six metallic paint shades. These colors can be combined with a black soft top and sport Stripes, available in three colors for the bonnet, boot lid, and rear apron. The customer can also choose between 15-, 16-, or 17-inch light-alloy wheels.
For the interior, Mini is offering a variety of seat and upholstery options including the ultra-exclusive piped sports seats in a Toffy shade, as well as black sports seats in Punch Leather with beige-colored perforations. Trim strips can be ordered in any of six variants, while an extra Chili Red option is offered for the Mini John Cooper Works Roadster.
Just like the Coupe version, the Roadster will be offered with the three most powerful petrol engines and the highest-output diesel unit in the brand’s line-up. The base version - the Cooper Roadster - gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 122 HP and 118 lb-ft generated at 4,250 rpm. This power is just enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 124 mph, all while delivering a fuel economy of 49.6 mpg.
The Mini Cooper S Roadster gets a 1.6-liter engine equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection that increases the total output to 184 HP at 5,500 rpm and 177 lbs-ft at 1,600 rpm. The S version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and will hit a top speed of 141 mph. Fuel economy is 47.1 mpg.
The most powerful version is the John Cooper Works model. It gets a 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine equipped with TwinPower Turbo technology delivering a total of 211 HP at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 192 lb-ft at 1,850 rpm. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and goes up to a top speed of 147 mph. Fuel economy in this case is 38.7 mpg.
Finally, the only diesel in the line-up gets a 2.0-liter diesel engine with TwinPower Turbo technology. The Cooper SD Roadster delivers a total of 143 hp at 4,000 rpm and a peak torque of 225 lb-ft between 1,750 and 2,700 rpm. This model will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds and can hit a top speed of 132 mph. As expected, this is the most fuel efficient model in the line-up with 62.8 mpg.
All models are equipped with a front-wheel drive system, 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.
Mini has announced the official prices for their new Roadster. The model will be offered in three different versions with prices starting from $24,350 for the Cooper Roadster, $27,350 for the Cooper S Roadster, and $34,500 for the JCW Roadster.
The new Mini Roadster can relax for a little while as its only real competitor at this moment is the Fiat 500C . The Italian model gets a 1.4-liter 16-valve engine with a total of 101 HP at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.
In the future, however, the Roadster will have to do battle with Honda’s new roadster model scheduled for 2014. The new model will be built on an entirely new platformand will feature a mid-engine configuration and a rear wheel drive system. Kia will also be bringing Mini a new competitor with another Roadster model to tackle Mini’s JCW Roadster.
Great looking exterior
Impressive standard features
Great fuel economy figures
Can get expensive