MINI at the NAIAS Detroit 2012 North American International Auto Show


Individual style, innovative technology and the high standards of  quality set by the world’s first maker of premium small cars  form the basis for the worldwide popularity of the MINI model range.


And now the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2012 in  Detroit is set to host the beginning of another new chapter in the  brand’s global success story. The NAIAS 2012 is the venue for  the world premiere of the MINI Roadster. The first open-top two-seater  in the MINI model range provides a spontaneous, unadulterated recipe  for urban driving fun.

A contemporary take on the compact, open-top  sports car concept, the MINI Roadster boasts advanced drive and  chassis technology, and a classical, manually operated soft-top roof  which can be opened and closed quickly and easily.

The design and technology of the MINI Roadster are geared squarely to  laying on open-top driving fun for two. With its inspiring agility and  cutting-edge efficiency, expressive design and remarkable  practicality, the youngest MINI representative gives the brand’s  traditional qualities a fresh new twist. All of which will see the  MINI Roadster unveiled at the NAIAS on 14 – 22 January 2012  welcomed not only as an attractive addition to the current model  range, but also as the world’s first premium model of its kind  in the small car segment.

The market launch of the MINI Roadster adds a sixth model to the MINI  family, and the increased variety in its ranks presents MINI with  additional ways of winning over new target groups for the brand and  its products. Ten years after the introduction of the MINI to the US  market, the British brand has established itself as a byword for  infectious driving fun within compact dimensions and earned itself a  growing community of fans. The US has been the most important single  market worldwide for MINI cars for several years now; the brand has  not only added consistently to its model range over recent years, it  has also steadily increased the number of MINI dealers in the USA. The  result has been a succession of new sales records.

The MINI Roadster: two seats, unlimited driving fun.

The MINI Roadster embodies a sporty driving experience of enviable  purity and spontaneous open-top fun for two. The latest model to join  the MINI line-up treats the small car segment to another refreshing  shot of innovation. Smile-inducing agility, compact dimensions and low  fuel consumption endow the new model with an exceptional skill-set for  the challenge of urban mobility. Added to which, its variable-use  luggage area gives the driver extra freedom when it comes to carrying  sports gear or setting out on trips for two.

The body design of the two-seater MINI sees the hallmark design  language of the brand’s cars repackaged within the proportions  of a compact roadster. Parallel lines, athletically taut surfaces and  harmonious curves combine with a distinctive, low-slung silhouette to  give the MINI Roadster an elegantly stretched figure. Time-honoured  MINI characteristics, such as its large circular headlights, hexagonal  radiator grille, side indicator surrounds and vertically stacked rear  lights, flag up the brand identity of the new car. However, the  Roadster also adds some distinguishing features of its own to the mix,  including a strikingly stepped boot extending from behind the  passenger compartment and a heavily raked windscreen.

Stylistically, the robust soft-top roof of the MINI Roadster follows  in the classic British roadster tradition. When opened, it folds down  flat behind the seats, keeping the car’s elegantly sweeping  lines intact. This layout encompasses a clear visual separation of the  car’s boot (capacity: 240 litres) from the passenger  compartment, while a wide through-loading system behind the seats  enhances practicality. Plus, the high-opening tailgate and low boot  sill makes it that much easier to load up items of luggage.

Together with the reinforced windscreen frame, two stainless steel  roll-over bars provide optimised occupant protection in the event of  the car turning over. The safety equipment on board the new MINI  Roadster also includes front airbags and head-thorax airbags  integrated into the outer sides of the seat backrests, three-point  inertia-reel seatbelts including belt force limiters and belt  tensioners, and a Tyre Defect Indicator.

The MINI Roadster will be available with a choice of three powerful  and efficient petrol engines when it is launched in the US  market. The model line-up will range from the MINI Cooper  Roadster (121 hp) via the MINI Cooper S Roadster  (181 hp) to the sharpest performer of all, the MINI John  Cooper Works Roadster, whose powerplant develops 208 hp.  State-of-the-art technology ensures that all the model variants  produce a combination of zesty power development and exceptional fuel  economy. In customary MINI style, the Roadster channels the  engine’s power through to the front wheels via a six-speed  manual gearbox. Alternatively, the MINI Cooper Roadster and MINI  Cooper S Roadster can also be specified with a six-speed  automatic as an option.

A quality of chassis technology unparalleled in the small car  segment, including Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability  Control (DSC), combines with the torsionally rigid body (complete with  special strengthening elements) and the car’s lower centre of  gravity to deliver addictive agility and unbeatable active and passive  safety. The aerodynamic balance of the MINI Roadster is optimised by  an active rear spoiler, which extends automatically when the car  reaches 80 km/h (50 mph).

The wealth of standard equipment can be complemented by a selection  of high-quality extras, the typically MINI variety in the range of  optional equipment and accessories, giving owners the best possible  tools to adapt their cars precisely to their personal style.

Variety breeds success: the MINI model range for 2012.

The popularity of the MINI brand is based on an unmistakable product  range which engenders a strong affinity between MINI fans and their  cars. The model range captures the imagination of contemporary target  groups who are not only looking for high standards of quality and  technology in their choice of compact car, but also want to express  their own individual style. The expansion of the MINI family to  include six models allows the brand’s hallmark expressive  design, agile handling and premium quality to be combined with the  specific qualities of various vehicle characters. The traditional MINI  concept has now been expanded beyond the MINI, MINI Convertible and  MINI Clubman to include the MINI Countryman, which was conceived  purposefully to meet the requirements of additional target groups. The  first MINI to come with four doors, a large tailgate and, if desired,  ALL4 all-wheel drive, has given the brand’s growth an extra  boost in the USA, as elsewhere. And over recent months, another model  devoted to the provision of sporty driving fun – the MINI  Coupé – has built on this momentum. Now the Coupé  is set to be joined by another two-seater, in the form of the MINI Roadster.

Whatever the type of MINI, a range of engine variants and a package  of equipment compiled according to the customer’s requirements  ensure that all MINI drivers can look forward to a car that fits the  image in their mind’s eye as closely as possible. In addition to  the extensive range of exterior paint finishes, interior colours, seat  variants and comfort-enhancing equipment, a host of factory-fit  exterior design options, model-specific interior trim elements and  Colour Lines give customers all they need to configure their car  precisely to their personal preferences. An additional opportunity for  personalisation is provided by the exceptionally rich selection of  accessories. This far-reaching potential for individualisation is  another of those special features that shapes the character of the  MINI brand. The scope for customers to tailor their car to their own  specifications is also attracting increased interest in the US market,  as word spreads that every MINI can be enjoyed not only as a byword  for driving fun, but also the expression of personal freedom and individuality.

The annual North American International Auto Show is one of the  world’s most important car shows. As the traditional  curtain-raiser to the year, it will point the way for the entire  automotive industry once again in 2012. Over 150 exhibitors from every  corner of the earth will come together in Detroit’s Cobo Center  to present new models and other product innovations. The organisers  are expecting more than 5,000 media representatives from around the  world to attend the event, along with some 750,000 members of the public.