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“Mini is pushing ahead with the rigorous expansion of its model family,” says Mini. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. This is the brand new Mini Roadster.

If you have a portrait of Sir Alec Issigonis hanging in your shed, best look away now. The new Mini Roadster is the sixth model to join the current line-up, based on the new Coupe, and is the first ever drop-top two-seater in the brand’s history. It sits some 20mm lower to the ground than the Mini convertible and gets a manually operated soft-top roof.

See more pics of the Mini Roadster

It’ll come in four varieties; the 122bhp Cooper Roadster, the 184bhp Cooper S, the 143bhp Cooper SD 2.0-litre diesel, and the firecracker 211bhp petrol John Cooper Works, complete with a 147mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds.

Mini reckons it’s got a “full-blooded go-kart feeling” with a bespoke chassis setup. Mini has given the Roadster a higher front axle load compared with the hatch, giving the front wheels extra traction, while extra stiffening bits help provide agility and precise handling.

The Roadster also gets DSC and DTC as standard, while EDLC (electronic differential lock control) is optional.

It’s got a bigger boot than the hatch, obviously, at 240 litres, but is still 40 litres down on its Coupe stablemate. As expected, you’ll be presented with a dizzying array of interior combinations, even including Google services, RSS news feeds, in-car use of Facebook and Twitter (like, OMG!) and even something called ‘Mission Control’. We rather like the sound of this last one…

Prices will start at £18,015 for the Cooper, rising to £24,850 for the JCW. Tempted by this posh go-kart, or would your rather eat your own feet?

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