Tag Archive | "Cooper"

Topless Mini Soon To Hit The Showrooms


Hot on the heels of the coupé comes the latest in the ever growing list of MINI derivatives. This time it’s a roadster, the sixth unique model in the line-up and it will hit the showrooms next Spring. Although they’ve offered convertible Mini’s before, this is their first two-seater and what a cracker it looks to be. Ever since the first example rolled off the Longbridge/ Cowley production line in 1959 the car has been noted as a fun drive and there’s no reason to think that things have changed with the new model. And being built at Plant Oxford means it can justifiably claim to be a spiritual successor to the traditional British roadsters of old.

Mini claims a useful 240L luggage area with an additional stowage area behind the seats plus a ski hatch. The tailored canvas, soft-top roof has semi-automatic operation for rapid opening and closing up to speeds of 20mph and the company says that it doesn’t affect the car’s practicality in any way. When opened, the roof folds down flat behind the seats, keeping the car’s elegant lines intact. And since the outer skin of the roof faces upwards, there is no need for any additional cover.

Prices appear to start at around £18,000. It will be offered in the usual Cooper variants and, if you’ve got a handy £25k, there will even be a John Cooper Works option. It will be interesting to see how it compares with Mazda’s terrific MX5 for value and performance.

All the usual styling cues are there – including the circular speedo – and the makers claim that the roofline is a sleek 20mm lower than the four-seat convertible for that low-slung appearance. Fuel economy stretches from 38.7mpg to 62.8mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as just 118g/km on the Cooper SD. Even the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster emits only 169g/km. Vital to getting the best from the powerful engines and customary front-wheel drive transmission is MINI’s outstanding chassis technology. It pushes the brand’s hallmark driving fun to the fore, with a ‘go-kart’ feeling that’s agile, precise and stable according to the company. The Roadster has an active rear spoiler in the tailgate. It deploys when the car reaches fifty miles per hour and closes when the speed drops below 37mph. Posers can operate it manually.

As with many new cars today the two-seater comes with electric power steering. It remains to be seen whether or not the familiar handling and feel will be compromised – MINI say not. A sport button is included to alter steering and accelerator responses should you be in the mood. You’d think that we would all be getting fed up with an endless stream of new Mini’s, wouldn’t you, but with a generous list of standard equipment and some great new features it looks very much as if they’ve done it again. Start saving.

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