The Mini Roadster was another opportunity for BMW to diversify the popular Mini brand. Whether you fall in love with the speedster styling or see it as a marketing ploy you must admit it is a hoot to drive. The stiffer chassis support means it handles better than the equivalent four-seat Mini Convertible. The 2-seater Mini Roadster also gets sports suspension a steeply raked windscreen and a choice of only the performance engines from the Mini range. The small proportions make it a sports car that is at home parking in tight spaces as it is on the open road.
The 2-seater Mini Roadster gets sports suspension a steeply raked windscreen and a choice of only the performance engines in the range. The neat little soft-top is manually operated to save weight and just like the Mazda MX-5 Miata (perhaps its closest competitor) it can be taken up or down without getting out of the car.
The Cooper S Roadster gets a twin-scroll turbocharger boosting the power output without seriously effecting economy. It has the performance of a proper roadster while visually the S stands out from lesser models by the air intake in the bonnet.
The Mini Cooper SD Roadster is still something of an oddity as a small diesel sports car. The engine is very efficient but after high diesel prices you'll have to be doing high mileages to make it pay over the already frugal Cooper S. The exhaust note isn't quite what you'd expect from a roadster but many company car buyers will have no option other than diesel power.
Performance isn't quite a match for the petrol Cooper S but it isn't far off. Like the Cooper S the SD also has the familiar air intake in the bonnet. The Mini Cooper SD Roadster manages to combine punchy performance with the great economy of a diesel engine.