The 2013 Mini Roadster has debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. This compact two-seater is the sister car to the newly launched coupe. Both vehicles will be produced at Mini's Oxford plant in England. Designed to compete with the Mazda Miata, this roadster is expected to start selling in North America sometime in the middle of 2012.
Two years ago, Mini unveiled a lightly veiled concept car guise at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show.The base Cooper model will have a starting price of $25,050 – about $3,000 higher than its sibling with a fixed-roofed sibling.
The roadster is 146.8 inches long, 64.5 inches wide, and 54.7 inches tall. This means that when compared to Mini's existing open-top model (the second-generation cabriolet), the roadster is shorter by 0.1 inch, narrower by 1.9 inches, and lower by 1.0 inch. This cabriolet has been available in the U.S. since 2009.
What makes the latest Roadster different from the four-seat open-top version is that it is exclusively available as a two-seater. Similar to the coupe, it has a space behind the seats that’s meant to extend luggage capacity. The new roadster’s multilayered structure follows Mini's original design brief and could be lowered from the driver's seat.
It folds back behind the seats in a space ahead of a rear liftback. Its nominal trunk space is at 8.8 cubic feet, around 4.1 cubic feet bigger than what its open-top sibling has. This is due to the lack of rear seats. From the driver and passenger seat, a 14.2-inch wide and 7.9-inch high aperture in the rear bulkhead could be accessed.
This offers additional load and more versatility so that skis and other long items could be fitted. The roadster has been given the treatment taken with the new coupe.
It will be offered with Mini's usual 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine in three varying levels of tune. When in naturally aspirated guise, it has an output of 121 hp in the Cooper. Meanwhile, twin-scroll turbocharged versions offer 181 hp in the Cooper S and 208 hp in the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works models.