MINI Roadster to Arrive With Manual Top

It’s not that different-looking from the regular Cooper Cabrio, but you just get the feeling the upcoming Roadster is a little bit more advanced, a little bit more agile... less retro and more modern, if you will. What if we told you that’s the upcoming two-seater will ditch the electronic wizardry of an automatic mechanism in favor of a simple, back to basics manual folding roof.

The info comes via Motoring File, who seem to know their way around a MINI, and say they have confirmed it through various sources. The old-scool system will probably see a big latch or two that hold the folding cloth top to the windscreen of the car.

Both the Roadster and the Coupe sport a now retractable spoiler at the back, and they should have even better weight distribution than the Cooper, so MINI engineers must have had a good reason for going low tech with the roof. So what could it be? It’s obvious: weight reduction and cost savings. Both are things we encourage in a car, but customers might not appreciate having to use their muscles in a premium model.

MINI might end up being forced to provide an automatic system as an optional extra in the future, but you’ll have to make due with the manual soft top if you want to buy the Roadster right off the bat.

Both the Coupe and Roadster were debued in concept form back in 2009 and they should arrive as road-ready vehicles at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Sales are expected to begin in late 2011 or early next year.

We still don’t see why it's expected to be more expensive than the Cooper Cabrio (fewer seats, no mechanical top). That speed sensitive spoiler must be to blame.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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