Move along, move along, there’s nothing to see here… At least, from an engineering standpoint and apart from the roof, there is not a great deal beneath the unusual surface of the Mini Roadster that you will not have experienced elsewhere within the Mini range.
Like the Mini Coupé, which made its debut last year, the Roadster is ostensibly based on the four-seat Mini Convertible. However, unlike the Coupé – which possesses the stiffest bodyshell in the Mini range by dint of having the same extra rear stiffening as the Roadster but also a solid roof to hold everything together – the Mini Roadster lies somewhere between the two in terms of torsional rigidity.
Along with the Coupé, the Roadster’s footprint mimics that of the Convertible. At 3734mm long and just 1683mm wide, it’s a dinky car, but it also has a relatively long wheelbase (given the car’s overall length) of 2467mm. It is 20mm lower than the Convertible, though, because it has a more steeply raked windscreen.
Other than that, the make-up of the Roadster is the same as you’ll find elsewhere in the Mini range. That means there are MacPherson struts at the front, a multi-link set-up for the rear suspension and the same range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel motors sited transversely at the front and powering the front wheels. Our test car is the Cooper S model, whose 1598cc turbo petrol engine produces 182bhp and 177lb ft of torque.