New Mini Roadster revealed
Mini has revealed its new soft-top Roadster - a two-seat sports car based on the iconic small car.
The new Roadster will only have two seats which will make it Mini's first two seat convertible in the history of the company. It will be available with three trim levels: Roadster, S Roadster SD Roadster and John Cooper Works Roadster. The prices for the trims range from £18,015 to £24,850.
With this starting price the Mini is set to challenge cars like the Mazda MX-5 which has a similar starting price of £19,245.
However, while the Mini Roadster boasts the charm of the standard Mini, it faces a tough task taking on the world's best-selling two-seat sports car in the UK.
Famed for its lightweight approach and superb handling, the Mazda MX-5 has enjoyed life at the top of its segment for over 20 years in the UK, but the Mini Roadster could bring small-car dynamics to the drop-top segment.
But how do the two compare?
The Mini certainly looks the part with the classic design complemented by sport racing stripes, a lower ground height and stylish fabric top.
It also features suspension tweaked to improve driving dynamics and, along with a price in the same region as the MX-5, certainly looks the part.
The two roadsters will be the cars of choice for two-seat sports car buyers and the overall choice is likely to come down to personal preference in terms of both style and driveability - both of which are exemplary.
What about the Renault Wind?
It is true the Renault Wind will be another competitor for the Mini Roadster and the two will battle it out on several fronts.
When it comes down to practicality, which is usually poor for a roadster, the Mini defies this with an opening tailgate allowing easy access to its 240-litre boot.
With this boot space the Mini is set to challenge the Renault Wind, which offers 270-litres. Although the Wind offers more, practicality will not be at the forefront of a buyer's mind when it comes to buying a sporty two-seat convertible.
Efficiency wise the Mini has a combined MPG cycle that starts from 38.7 which may also challenge the Renault Wind's starting MPG of 40.9.
Both models have pretty fair economic figures. But if you where to choose the car on the basis of 'environmentally friendliness', it would probably still come down to which car you found more desirable to drive because both cars are more or less the same, economically that is.
The Wind looks good, comes at a low cost, but essentially, does not involve the driver anywhere near enough - making it an affordable, practical but inferior option for those who want a sports car which is fun to drive.
The new Mini Roadster will be arriving in UK showrooms next spring.