MINI Cooper Roadster
Both the Coupe and its Roadster sibling come in three model trims. Cooper, Cooper S and the top of the line John Cooper Works edition. The main differentiator between the trims is the engine. The base Cooper makes due with a non-turbocharged version of the 1.6L 4-cylinder making 121 horsepower. The Cooper S adds a turbo charger, bumping output to 181 horsepower while the John Cooper Works version further ups the ante with 208 horsepower, making for quite the thrill in such a small car.
But of course both the MINI Coupe and Roadster are about much more than just the engine. It may be fast in a straight line, but the corners are where the car truly shines. MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension combine with anti-roll bars to give the MINI Coupe go-kart like handling. Showing an attention to detail, MINI has done their best to stiffen the body rigidity of the car as much as possible, further improving handling. An optional sport suspension package is available which firms up the dampeners and anti-roll bars. For those who want a truly track-ready suspension package, MINI offers the John Cooper Works suspension setup which stiffens up the suspension even more while lowering the vehicle by ten millimeters. The MINI Coupe and Roadster both come standard on stylish alloy wheels, 15-inch for the Cooper, 16-inch for the Cooper S and 17-inch for the John Cooper Works. The Roadster comes with 16-inch wheels standard. Both models come with anti-lock brakes and 4-wheel disc brakes are, of course standard.
Both MINIs are nicely equipped right out of the box. Continuing MINI's tradition of offering a premium feel in a much small package, both models come with speed-sensitive electronic power steering plus rear-bumper parking sensors combine to make maneuvering a breeze, while height-adjustable sports seats and electronically adjustable mirrors ensure that the driver is ideally situated to take advantage of everything the car has to offer. Air conditioning and a CD/MP3 player with built in auxiliary input are also standard, as are safety features like traction control, stability control and side impact airbags. Optional items include automatic climate control, rain sensing and automatic xenon headlights, heated seats, Harman/Kardon Audio system with USB audio interface, navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity.
MINI has also done their best to keep drivers connected to the web in their MINIs. Cars equipped with MINI Visual Boost radio or with a navigation system have access user selected RSS feeds as well as to various social networks including Facebook and Twitter. These can either be displayed on the onboard monitor or read aloud over the stereo.
One of the most distinctive features of any MINI is the styling. Thankfully the coupe remains easily identifiable as a MINI, particularly from the front end. View the Coupe from the side however and the styling quickly distinguishes its self with a totally different profile and "3-box" shape, giving it the illusion of having a traditional trunk. The integrated roof spoiler is also obvious when viewing the Cooper from the side, completing a profile that won't be confused with anything else on the road. Despite the sporty nature of the design, the Coupe boasts a 9.8 cubic foot trunk with a high opening liftgate and surprising practicality for car with only two seats.
The Roadster features a folding fabric roof. The cargo volume is a bit smaller as a result, measuring 8.5 cubic feet. Otherwise, the Roadster maintains the Coupe's 3-box shape.