MINI Roadster, Coupe Are Endearingly Pointless

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Or is that pointlessly endearing? First off, they’re MINIs with trunks. Figure that out. Our first reaction to news of the Coupe and Roadster was to observe that the only thing the MINI brand needed was cars with a little less room. But, as MINI’s press release points out, the brand-defying decklids do have a point. Specifically, “[giving] the car a notchback look clearly distinguishing the MINI Roadster Concept from the MINI Convertible.” Too bad three-box MINIs aren’t MINIs. They’re RILEY ELFs. Ultimately though, brand confusion shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Not because nobody’s mentioned the Riley Elf in decades, but because the concept has a “buddy radar” display which alerts drivers to the presence of other MINIs. Which was a great way of addressing the second least common complaint among MINI drivers: anonymity.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
4 of 22 comments
  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Sep 15, 2009

    "Too bad three-box MINIs aren’t MINIs. They’re RILEY ELFs." Actually a three box Mini stands a fifty-fifty chance of being a Wolseley Hornet too. That said the Morris/Wolseley/Austin/MG/Riley badged 1100 ADO16 series is so closely related to the Mini it could be considered a derivitive. It is a three box sedan. In the US it was called the Austin America.

  • Funk Forty Nine Funk Forty Nine on Sep 15, 2009

    God, an MG 1100? That was my first car. I was fourteen years old and my neighbor told me if I dug it out of the snowbank in his driveway I could have it. I don't know what my mother thought about that but I got it. I drove it around our quarter acre suburban plot... thanks for the memories of forty years ago... My mechanic says the Mini is the worst car ever made. It has an electric power steering pump that fails and is impossible to access. He charges 1800 dollars to repair it. He says the Feds should be forcing BMW to recall it for that.

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Sep 15, 2009

    Here are some previous attempts at two seater Minis I've seen these at the Gaydon heritage museum and they're ridiculously pretty litle things. Pininfarina did the styling. God knows why they never put them into production - would have sold like hot cakes. Here is the coupe version:

  • Niky Niky on Sep 16, 2009

    I absolutely love the Roadster. The Coupe? naaah. A new Mini is a pointless car. The hatch is small, the rear seats are worthless (compared to other hatchbacks you can get for half the price)... they are automotive jewelry.. but at least jewelry that drives quite nicely. I'd buy one, in a heartbeat... if I could actually afford one. (our local taxes would bring the price to an eye-watering $40,000 if they ever landed here... which ain't bad... the MX-5 costs far north of $35k here, too) A much better idea than that unsightly Clubman (which could have done without the vertical split rear doors.