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Mini Roadster coming in 2012 (copyright image) (copyright image) (copyright image)

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31st October, 2011

The Mini Roadster, the sixth model in the British car makerís current line-up, gives the small car segment another innovative shot in the arm. The Mini interpretation of a compact two-seater roadster embodies sportiness for urban driving fun under the open sky.

The Mini Roadsterís soft-top roof is opened and closed manually. The familiar Mini styling within the proportions of a roadster gives the first open-top two-seater in the history of Mini an unmistakable look.

The Mini Roadster will be available with a choice of four petrol and diesel engines from launch in Europe. 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. Chassis technology includes Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), combines with the torsionally rigid body (complete with special strengthening elements) and the carís lower centre of gravity to deliver agility and active and passive safety. Meanwhile, front and head-thorax airbags, a 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.

The Mini Roadster underlines its 'character' with a range of standard equipment, including air conditioning on some models (eg Mini Cooper S Roadster, Mini Cooper SD Roadster, Mini John Cooper Works Roadster), speed sensitive 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 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 ranks as the only open-top two-seater in the brandís history. The principles of the Mini design language are faithfully reflected in the body design of the new concept. For example, the taut surfaces, 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 Ė even with the roof closed Ė 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 stable mate, the new two-seater cuts a distinctive, low-slung 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 Ė which shares the simple style of classic British roadsters Ė ďcascadesĒ 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 carís 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 secondís 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. The roof is 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 driverís or passengerís seat provides added versatility. The Mini Roadster also comes with larger door bins, three cup holders, and a cross-rack behind the seats.

Another feature of the Mini Roadster are the stainless steel roll-over 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.

Body shell stiffening at the rear increases the torsional rigidity of the body and combines with side sills to enhance the strength of the passenger cell. In addition, the Mini Roadster also features built-in pedestrian protection measures and 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 carís centre of gravity. The body rigidity of the Mini Roadster and its favourable weight distribution provide the 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 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 carís 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 kilogrammes (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 dynamic performance capability.

Latest-generation four-cylinder engines

The Mini Roadster is available with the three most powerful petrol engines and the highest-output diesel unit in the brandís 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 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 the entry point into the Roadster line-up. Its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine boasts a fully variable valve control system which sharpens the engineís 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 grammes per kilometre.

In addition to fully variable valve control, Mini TwinPower Turbo technology also features a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection. 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 grammes per kilometre.

The latest model variant from Miniís 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 the time it takes the Mini John Cooper Works Roadster to do 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph). Top speed is 237 km/h (147 mph). Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres (38.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 169 grammes per kilometre.

Leading the way in terms of torque and economy is the 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet of the Mini Cooper SD Roadster. 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 grammes per kilometre.

The Mini Cooper Roadster and Mini Cooper SD Roadster are equipped as standard with MINIMALISM technology. This effects 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

MacPherson struts at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speed sensitive assistance, brakes offering excellent feel, and tuning for all chassis components come together to produce a new interpretation of the time-honoured Mini driving 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 models, allows the driver to adjust the carís 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.

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Mini Roadster: two-seater with quality standard equipment and exclusive options

The interior of the Mini Roadster features Ė in typical brand style Ė 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 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, certain "social network', 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.

Australian availability

Mini Roadster is scheduled for a late March 2012 release in Australia. Stay tuned to Next Car for an announcement on local specifications and prices.


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