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    Production Version of the Mini Roadster Announced
    Production Version of the Mini Roadster Announced

    Mini has announced that the final production version of the Roadster will debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show prior to going on sale in the US in mid-2012.

    It took Mini almost two years to finish the production version of the Roadster that was first introduced as a concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor show. Being 146.8'' long, 54.7'' high and 64.5'' wide, the compact two-seater is smaller than Mini's existing open-top model – the second-generation Mini convertible. Unlike the four-seat sibling, the Roadster is a strict two-seater with additional cargo space behind the seats. Nominal trunk space reaches 8.8 cubic feet, which is 4.1 cubic feet more than quoted for the open-top sibling.

    The Roadster will be offered with a 1.6L four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine, which comes in three versions. Mini claims that the car accelerates 0-to-60 mph in 8.7 seconds with a manual transmission, and reaches a top speed of 124 mph. In Europe the compact will also come with a 2.0L four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine, which won't be offered to the US buyers. Sharing its exterior and interior with the coupe version, the Roadster will be available with the front-wheel drive layout only. The transmission options include a standard 6-speed manual and an optional 6-speed automatic.

    Pricing for the vehicle will be announced later, though the officials suggest that the base model will start at around $24,000.

    Mini Is Developing a New "MINI", Which Will Come in 2014.
    Mini Is Developing a New "MINI", Which Will Come in 2014.

    All those who patiently have been expecting for a successor to the Sixties model will be glad to see all new sub-compact 'mini' MINI, which is however 50 cm wider and 40 cm longer versus the original. The British automaker has unveiled a new concept called the Rocketman at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Following this concept, the new model will be available with the double-hinged doors for a wide opening, space-saving 4 seating layout, instrument cluster movable backwards and forwards for extra room if necessary. The concept's predictable trademark Unin Jack glass roof will be replaced with metal roof, plus the three-dimensional rear lights will make room for clusters fitted flush into the body.

    The production of the new model will begin a new era with a range of diesel and gas 3-cylinder turbocharged engines, and all electric model. The BMW's new technology used for the BMW 'i' vehicles family, may possibly power the 'mini' MINI. Sales and marketing director of BMW, Ian Robertson said: “MINI will never produce a car under the ‘i’ brand – this is exclusively for BMWs – but the technology we are developing for the ‘i’ family of cars will certainly be made available for the rest of the BMW Group.”

    The European automakers target the automotive market of the United States for new small luxury vehicles. Eager to maximize sales, European brands plan to produce new small vehicles with luxury content and premium prices. Thus BMW is confident about small vehicles since the MINI success, as said J. O'Donnel, CEO of BMW of North America. He added that "Americans are ready for small cars". In view of the above, it's very likely that the new model MINI will see the U.S. shores sometime after its European launch, scheduled for 2014.

    MINI Paceman to Launch in 2013
    MINI Paceman to Launch in 2013

    The fast growing family of MINI premium compacts got a new member. Having just been revealed at this year's NAIAS, the MINI Paceman Concept is ready to go into production. According to MINI reps, the Paceman's launch is planned for 2013.

    The new two-door crossover is claimed to be the first of its kind in the small luxury segment, however the Paceman's bodystyle in large measure resembles the upcoming Range Rover Evoque. And in fact, the Paceman is nothing else but a MINI Countryman without two doors. There are not much tech specs avaialble at the moment, but from what has been announced the MINI's new brainchild will get the JCW turbocharged 4-cyl engine making 211 horsepower, mated to the ALL4 all-wheel drive system used in the Countryman. Inside, the small yet masculine crossover will get a "premium quality and funky design" to complement the overall smooth sporty styling of the car.

    The same MINI source has told the journalists at the Detroir Auto Show that the production model will retain the most of the concept features, and only minor changes are going to be applied.