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by Tim Beissmann

The Mini Coupe and Roadster are now on sale in Australia, giving sports cars enthusiasts two new reasons to embrace the rapidly expanding small-car brand.

The new two-seat models take the number of unique body styles in the Mini line-up from four to six, joining the Cooper hatch, Cabrio, Clubman and Countryman SUV.

Given their inherently sporty nature, Mini Australia has decided to launch the Coupe and Roadster with just the two top performance models: the 135kW/240Nm Cooper S, and the flagship 155kW/260Nm John Cooper Works (JCW).

At $52,600 before on-road costs, the JCW Coupe is the quickest of the bunch, racing from 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds. Teamed exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, the helmet-headed JCW uses 7.1 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle. Demanding a $2500 price premium, the soft-topped JCW Roadster is just one tenth slower over the sprint and officially burns through 7.3L/100km.

Despite being almost $10,000 cheaper, the manual Cooper S Coupe gives away just half a second to the JCW, still hitting 100km/h in under seven seconds. Its less powerful engine is also more efficient, using 6.3L/100km combined. The sprint time and fuel consumption figures both drift out one tenth in the Cooper S Roadster variant, while equipping either model with the optional $2350 six-speed automatic transmission has a further negative impact on both measures.

Standard across the range are 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, front and rear fog lights, active rear spoiler (automatically raises at speeds above 80km/h), rear parking sensors, climate control, and ‘Radio Mini Boost’ audio system with AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Standard features unique to the JCW variants include the enhanced exterior styling package, larger brakes, sports suspension, dynamic traction control and electronic differential lock control, Harmon Kardon audio system, and other interior tweaks.

Mini Australia hopes to sell in excess of 350 Coupes and Roadsters combined in 2012. It expects two thirds of customers to opt for the Coupe and one third the Roadster, while 90 per cent are likely to choose the Cooper S variants, with the rest stepping up to JCWs.

Read: Mini Coupe & Roadster: Review

2012 Mini Coupe and Roadster manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • Coupe six-speed manual – $42,990
  • Coupe six-speed auto – $45,340
  • Roadster six-speed manual – $45,500
  • Roadster six-speed auto – $47,850
  • JCW Coupe six-speed manual – $52,600
  • JCW Roadster six-speed manual – $55,100



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