The Mini Roadster hasn’t enjoyed the sales success BMW envisioned when it launched it in 2011, and neither has its hardtop sibling, the Mini Coupe. In fact, BMW is said to discontinue the two models because of poor sales.
Before that happens, the folks from XCar took a Mini Roadster John Cooper Works for a spin and found it to be “brilliant fun to drive”. Lower and longer than the Mini Hatch Mk2 it’s based on, the Roadster has slightly sharper handling characteristics – also due to its lower center of gravity.
Powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine delivering 208 hp (211PS), the JCW variant sprints from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 147 mph.
All in all, while the Roadster is a competent, fun to drive car, the reviewer doubts that sports car enthusiasts will prefer it over a hot hatch. It’s a conclusion sales figures don’t seem to contradict.
By Dan Mihalascu