The definitive production version of the new compact two-seat Mini Roadster has been spied at the Detroit motor show today. The Roadster is a sister car to the recently introduced Mini Coupé and rival to the Mazda MX-5 and upcoming Citroën DS3 cabriolet.
It will be built at Mini’s Oxford plant and reach UK showrooms in spring 2012, priced from £18,015 for the base Cooper model.
At 3728mm in length, 1638mm in width and 1390mm in height, the Roadster is a scant 3mm shorter, 47mm narrower and 25mm lower than Mini’s existing open-top model, the Cabriolet, on which it is largely based.
Unlike its four-seat open-top sibling, though, Mini’s latest model is a strict two-seater. The space behind the seats is dedicated to extending luggage capacity, as in the Coupé.
The interior adopts the retro-inspired look of existing Mini models, while the new car’s fabric hood features weight-saving manual operation. This multi-layered structure can be lowered from the driver’s seat, folding back behind the seats into a space ahead of a rear liftback.
Mirroring the move taken with the new Coupé, the Roadster will be sold with Mini’s familiar 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in three states of tune. In naturally aspirated guise, it kicks out 121bhp in the Cooper. Twin-scroll turbocharged versions produce 181bhp in the Cooper S and 208bhp in the range-topping John Cooper Works models.
Also available from the start of Roadster sales in the UK will be a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit with 141bhp in the Cooper SD. It is claimed to provide 0-62mph in 8.1sec, a 131mph top speed, a combined 62.8mpg and CO2 of just 118g/km, for the manual.