Par stef V le 17 Octobre 2009 à 10:30
Presenting the MINI Roadster Concept, the brand once again sets a new trend for individual mobility. This is where a purist character, elegant design and fascinating driving qualities come together in the vision of an open two-seater meeting the demands of a modern and self-confident target group. Individual style, premium quality and exactly the right balance of driving pleasure and efficiency in our modern day and age give the MINI Roadster Concept its very special character, the design of the car clearly reflecting this focus on maximum driving pleasure with nothing but the sky above.
Spontaneous pleasure – the domain of the MINI Roadster Concept.
The MINI Roadster Concept offers ideal conditions for an emotional experience also on short trips, at the same time urging the connoisseur and aficionado to escape the usual congestion of city traffic.
With its intentional restriction to two seats and lightweight construction, the car from the start expresses its focus on uncompromising agility. Its stylish looks and high-class interior ambience, in turn, give this very special two-seater truly exclusive character.
Exterior design: unique proportions, expression typical of MINI.
The body design of the MINI Roadster Concept visualises the identity of the brand and its innovative power in a truly fascinating combination. The integrating factor throughout is the design language so typical of MINI, determining both the elements characteristic of the brand and the car’s innovative features. In its design the MINI Roadster Concept is refreshingly different, but nevertheless absolutely harmonious and perfectly balanced in its look so reminiscent of MINI. In a truly incomparable manner, therefore, the MINI design of this concept car offers an extroverted look in style and with genuine class.
This new two-seater measures 3,714 millimetres/146.2" in length and 1,683 millimetres/66.3" in width. The height of the car is 1,356 millimetres/53.4".
Again in typical MINI style, the MINI Roadster Concept comes with extra-short body overhangs front and rear emphasising the athletic stature of the car and alluding even at a standstill to the unique handling of the MINI Roadster Concept characterised by thrilling agility and that typical feeling of go-kart motoring. The front section including the large headlights and the hexagon radiator grille is the same as on the MINI Cooper S up to the A-pillars. The entire front air dam, in turn, has been adjusted to the sporting look of the car and appears to be even wider and more striking than before. The inner area within the chrome radiator grille comes with louvers in body colour, while the bonnet stripes extending all the way into the radiator grille add a sporting touch and provide clear optical differentiation on the MINI Roadster Concept.
The low, short and dynamically raked A-pillars merge gently into the roofline of the car as long as the roof is closed. The glazed area in the passenger cell is significantly lower, slimmer and even more dynamic than on the regular production models, providing a strikingly sleek silhouette for an even more sporting and performance-oriented look.
The typical roadster character of the concept car comes out clearly when both open and closed, the waistline rising up slightly towards the rear in a linear perspective also maintained with the roof open.
The pure and open character of the car is of course most obvious and appealing with the roof down. Folding down in a compact configuration, the roof leads on to a short luggage compartment lid housing the luggage compartment separated from the passenger compartment.
The passenger compartment limited to two seats is covered – whenever required on account of wind and weather – by a high-quality soft top with the smallest possible dimensions.
With the roof closed, on the other hand, the MINI Roadster stands out clearly from the MINI Convertible through its notchback contour. The soft top opens and closes manually in a process performed very quickly and with utmost ease thanks to the compact dimensions of the roof.
Innovations in typical MINI style: rear-end design, luggage compartment and safety concept.
The rear view of the car is characterised by innovative design features clearly originating from the design language so typical of MINI. The side panels, the rear apron and the luggage compartment lid flow together to form a harmoniously configured sculpture not only boasting that cascading style so typical of the brand, but also taking up elements of the front-end design re-interpreted here in a new and unique manner.
Increasing in width step-by-step from top to bottom, the rear structure of the car gives the MINI Roadster Concept a particularly powerful stance on the road also from this perspective.
Beneath the short rear end of this compact car so typical of a roadster in its style, the MINI Roadster Concept offers a luggage compartment unusually large and generous for a vehicle in this segment. And since the soft top of the MINI Roadster Concept moves down directly behind the seats, luggage capacity remains exactly the same with the roof both open and closed.
Another feature of modern function quite unique in a compact roadster is the through-loading from the luggage compartment to the passenger compartment, with the bulkhead featuring a lockable opening between the two sections.
The rollbar instantaneously moving up whenever required and featured for the first time on the MINI Convertible is an important highlight of the safety concept ensured from the start in developing this unique car. The single-piece aluminium bar covering the entire width of the interior and moving up whenever required under electromechanical power within 150 milliseconds interacts with the reinforced windscreen frame as an essential element of maximum occupant safety on the passenger cell.
The outstanding character of this two-seater comes out not only in the harmonious design of the exterior so typical of the brand, but also in the interior with its high quality of finish and outstanding elegance. Exclusive style and a supreme touch of quality are also borne out by the colour scheme and the choice of materials, high-class wooden trim and selected colour highlights on the door linings and seat upholstery providing a highly attractive contrast to the interior as a whole finished in discreet black.
As yet a further feature the cockpit of the MINI Roadster Concept comes with a multi-functional display able to provide a range of information according to the user’s individual choice. Positioned to the left of the rev counter, this display serves, for example, to show the driver exactly how much time he has spent on the road with the roof down, like with the Always Open Timer on the MINI Convertible, and is also able to provide further display functions typical of MINI.
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