The MINI Roadster is a sport compact car manufactured by the British MINI brand, which is owned by the German luxury automaker BMW. The MINI Roadster has been available since 2012, after it was officially launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that year. It is assembled at a MINI production facility in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. The MINI Roadster is the convertible version of the MINI Coupe, a front-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicle that is based on the MINI hatchback and MINI Paceman compact car models. It was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, and BMW brought it back to the show car circuit in January of 2011 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to officially announce the car’s production. The MINI Roadster is part of BMW’s plan to expand the MINI range to seven models, well beyond the original MINI hatch.
Though there was already a MINI Convertible on the market, the MINI Roadster is differentiated by its lower stance and more aggressive profile, based on the MINI Coupe. It’s a two-door vehicle and has just two front seats; what would be the back seat area is designed to hold cargo, rather than passengers. Like the MINI Coupe, the MINI Roadster is available in the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works trim levels. The base MINI Roadster Cooper features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that yields 121 horsepower and a 0-60 acceleration time of 8.7 seconds. This engine can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission with hill start assist or an optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The Environmental Protection Agency gives the MINI Roadster Cooper fuel economy ratings of 27 miles per gallon city, 35 miles per gallon highway, and 30 miles per gallon combined. The Cooper S trim level boasts a turbocharged version of the same engine, which increases its power to 181 horsepower, and fuel economy suffers only about one gallon per mile. The John Cooper Works version of the MINI Roadster is the most powerful, showcasing a tuned and turbocharged 1.6-liter power plant that produces 208 horsepower yet achieves the same fuel economy ratings as the Cooper S trim.
The MINI Roadster also features Bluetooth wireless integration and iPod connectivity, a satellite radio option, and a new automatic transmission option for the John Cooper Works trim level. In certain global markets, the soft top is manually operated, but in most cases, the top retracts via electric controls. The power top and accompanying wind deflector became standard in most markets for the 2013 model year update. Other standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, fully powered accessories, remote keyless entry, cruise control, six-way manual seat adjustments, a trip computer, ambient cabin lighting, and a six-speaker audio system. The Cooper S trim level adds a hood scoop to help feed air to the turbo engine, fog lamps, upgraded suspension tuning, and sportier seats. The John Cooper Works trim gets 17-inch wheels, sport traction control, a fully upgraded suspension with better components and tuning, Brembo brakes, an exterior body kit for aesthetics and aerodynamics, and exclusive interior trim. In addition to the three trim levels, there are also equipment packages available. The cold weather package offers heated seats, heated mirrors and headlight washers. The premium package features keyless ignition, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and chrome interior trim. A technology package offers premium surround sound audio, smartphone integration and rear parking sensors. A sport package, which is only available on the base Cooper, provides 17-inch wheels, fog lights, sport seats, racing stripes, and traction control.