16/09/2009 MINI Roadster Concept Joins the Coupé at Frankfurt
We’ve seen the Coupé; now meet the Roadster. MINI’s second new concept for Frankfurt, announced four weeks after the first pictures of the Coupé were released, is this two-seater open-top model – a development of the same basic shell.
Here again are the low, sleek roofline (just 1356mm high), steeply raked A-pillars and two-seater, lightweight philosophy. Typically ‘MINI’ are the extra-short body overhangs front and rear while, from the front, the body-coloured louvres within the chrome radiator grille continue the bonnet stripes for a high-impact styling statement.
The soft top opens and closes manually, with the emphasis on low weight and compact dimensions, folding down to sit on top of the rear luggage compartment – and hence there’s no reduction in bootspace with the roof down. There is access to the luggage compartment from the cabin, via a lockable opening in the bulkhead.
As with the MINI Convertible, a single-piece aluminium rollbar shoots up when required – in a claimed 150 milliseconds. And let’s not forget that other vital piece of equipment from the Convertible, the ‘Always Open Timer’, to show the driver exactly how much time has been spent on the road with the roof down.
Text: Charis Whitcombe Photos: MINI ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter Free Subscription!