It may soon be difficult to tell all the new players in the affordable roadster segment without a sports car, what with new offerings like the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S ready to take on the venerable Mazda Miata. Now, add in the Mini Roadster, making its U.S. debut at this week’s Detroit Auto Show.
The first open-top 2-seater in the British brand’s line-up, it offers a counterpoint to the 4-seat convertible that’s been a Mini staple since 2009. But, say company officials, it offers a “spontaneous, unadulterated recipe for urban driving fun.”
Add in simple and basic, like the original Miata, the new Mini Roadster holds down weight, complexity – and cost – with a purely mechanical canvas top; no fancy motor drive, you simply reach back and pull it up if the clouds start to threaten.