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Old 04-23-2009, 04:31 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Meet Mini's Speedster





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Feast your eyes on the fastest and most desirable MINI ever! This is the Speedster – a head-turning two-seater drop-top that will combine dramatic looks with sizzling performance. Arriving hot on the heels of the Crossman – the firm’s first 4x4 – the stunning roadster will take the famous brand further into uncharted territory.

Rumours have been circulating for a number of years about the Speedster, which will rival the next-generation Mazda MX-5, as well as Honda’s upcoming CRZ. But it appears bosses at MINI’s parent company BMW have finally plucked up the courage to make the firm’s first genuine sports car a reality. And our exclusive images show how the flagship will look.

Unlike the Crossman, which borrows its underpinnings from the forthcoming BMW X1, the Speedster will use the same platform as the MINI Convertible. This allows maximum flexibility for component sharing with the current range, and will help to minimise development costs.

But to give the Speedster its own unique identity and sports car looks, the standard Convertible’s impractical rear seats have been ditched. By making it a strict two-seater, engineers have created more boot space, too.

Distinctive roll hoops, a lower and wider stance and oversized wheelarches make up the car’s classic roadster proportions. But the split front grille, familiar bonnet scoop and chrome-rimmed tail-lights, as well as the twin central exhausts, ensure it’s unmistakably a MINI.

An electric folding soft-top – similar to that on the standard Convertible – stows away in the boot when the driver wants to be exposed to the elements.

The fabric hood isn’t as complex as a folding hard-top design, and doesn’t weigh as much, either. Plus, it gives designers more scope to create a sportier silhouette to match the steeply raked windscreen.

A removable hard-top that fits snugly over the canvas hood will also be offered.

Not only will it provide better protection from the elements and reduce wind noise on long journeys, but by arcing smoothly from the top of the windscreen to the vehicle’s rear – behind the roll hoop extensions – it will create a coupé-like profile. So, buyers effectively get two cars in one.

The MINI’s unique styling will be developed in-house, but Auto Express believes there is a chance that the finished bodyshell will be built by a third party.

The shells will be cut down, modified and stiffened before they are then returned to MINI to have their running gear fitted.

A premium of £2,000 over the Convertible is likely, so prices should start at around £18,000 for the Cooper S version when it goes on sale here in 2011. There will also be a John Cooper Works model.

Given British buyers’ fondness for convertibles and the success of the brand, the Speedster seems a surefire hit for the expanding MINI empire.
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/au...speedster.html















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Old 04-23-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
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Unless it weighs less than the regular Mini, it will be more of a cute car than a performer.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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Rwd?.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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Lemme guess....not coming to the States...
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by erich_sc View Post
Rwd?.
My crystal ball says no...
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:01 AM   #6
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It may actually be a good seller since the regular mini convert already sells well. It does say fastest, but I wonder how and by how much.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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why does it have audi allroad or volvo xc style grey fender flares and skirts? Unless this would be like a dune buggy type of deal, it doesn't make sense.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
My crystal ball says no...
So does my magic 8-ball... Are there any RWD cars with a transverse engine layout? If it's supposed to rival the Miata and it's FWD I'm afraid it just doesn't from an enthusiast point of view. From my wife's point of view however...
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by teh POD View Post
why does it have audi allroad or volvo xc style grey fender flares and skirts? Unless this would be like a dune buggy type of deal, it doesn't make sense.
agree..Plus the double crome front grille and scoop reminds me of a Ford T-Bird
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #10
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The hind end looks like an MR Spyder
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:09 AM   #11
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No RWD, no care.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:20 AM   #12
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Looks good an all but it will be FWD, underpowered and when optioned cost as much as a 135i.

"...the firm’s first genuine sports car a reality"

While FWD can be fun it's not equal to genuine sports car, that's RWD only to me.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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I love how may people spout the vurtues of RWD but never use it when driving. 99% of the beginners I teach never rotate the car in high performance driving and surely no mid to high speed throttle steps out. Not to mention that a few FWD vehicles rotate just as well it's just a different technique than just matting the throttle.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
I love how may people spout the vurtues of RWD but never use it when driving. 99% of the beginners I teach never rotate the car in high performance driving and surely no mid to high speed throttle steps out. Not to mention that a few FWD vehicles rotate just as well it's just a different technique than just matting the throttle.
That's fine and dandy, and I don't think anyone here is saying that FWD cars can't be fast.

But... When buying a sports car (especially one that'll see some track use) why would anyone prefer FWD? It has serious disadvantages, and more often than not just feels like crap to drive, and the problems only intensify as power builds.

FWD is good for commuter cars, not sports cars.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by WhiteKnightSTi View Post
That's fine and dandy, and I don't think anyone here is saying that FWD cars can't be fast.

But... When buying a sports car (especially one that'll see some track use) why would anyone prefer FWD? It has serious disadvantages, and more often than not just feels like crap to drive, and the problems only intensify as power builds.

FWD is good for commuter cars, not sports cars.
But most street sports cars never see the track. I am not arguing that RWD is not better than FWD on track but many make that argument when they never have any intentions of going to a track ever, or even pushing the car hard enough where wheel drive makes a difference. I also agree that most FWD systems are either numb or apply differentiating torque plains (torque steer) but there are some systems that do work well like the Mini's or better yet, the original Nissan SE-R. It's a shame that some people will rule a good FWD car because of the stigmatism associated with it.
I will admit I am being somewhat hypocritical about this since I would not buy it because of such, but part of my living and my main hobby involves on track driving and racing.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
But most street sports cars never see the track. I am not arguing that RWD is not better than FWD on track but many make that argument when they never have any intentions of going to a track ever, or even pushing the car hard enough where wheel drive makes a difference. I also agree that most FWD systems are either numb or apply differentiating torque plains (torque steer) but there are some systems that do work well like the Mini's or better yet, the original Nissan SE-R. It's a shame that some people will rule a good FWD car because of the stigmatism associated with it.
I will admit I am being somewhat hypocritical about this since I would not buy it because of such, but part of my living and my main hobby involves on track driving and racing.
Oh I agree that 95% of this car's target audience will never track it or push the car hard enough to be limited by FWD.

I'm just saying that I'm in the 5%
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:26 PM   #17
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So this car is going to take the 987 headlights?


It is a nice concept, but for me it does look a little too high in the air. I would say this is more of a dune buggy than a small sporty car. That could be because of the 22" rims that the picture is showing though.

Also, the rear end reminds me of a Bentley. I think it might be similar design in the tail lights.

It will be expensive and options will put it over the top. I would think that it would sell well, but is Mini still that popular to be able to pull this off in a cautious economy if things don't perk up sufficiently by the time of release.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #18
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So this car is going to take the 987 headlights?
It's an Auto Express chop. I wouldn't read anything into it.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:58 PM   #19
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Torque steer and inherent understeer or normally traits I associate with FWD cars. The Cooper S I drove was lots of fun but you had to fight torque steer which just doesn't speak "sports car" to me.

Hell I can feel the front tires pulling on the STI and I'm still not used to it yet.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:03 PM   #20
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Strictly a cartoon/clown car.

It's not going to be any more of a "sports car" than the Volvo C30 is...

...and it lacks the cohesive and elegant design of the Volvo.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:39 PM   #21
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hmmm...do I smell a Mercury Capri XR2 redux?

probably not that bad, since it's designed by MINI, but we'll see...
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
It may actually be a good seller since the regular mini convert already sells well. It does say fastest, but I wonder how and by how much.
From what i have read, the MINI is actually top speed limited by its aerodynamics... It is essentially a rounded brick going down the road.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #23
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My wife (an 05 MINI Cooper S owner): What is that?! No! Vomit!!! Is that real?!

Target market.... swing and a miss by MINI.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
From what i have read, the MINI is actually top speed limited by its aerodynamics... It is essentially a rounded brick going down the road.
That just means there's no electronic governor and it's geared properly.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:19 AM   #25
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That really is an ugly looking car. Doesn't say "mini" at all.
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