Last Updated Sep 17, 2009 10:36 AM EDT
With a lineup made up exclusively of small, distinctively styled, fuel-efficient cars, Mini has been outperforming the rest of the U.S. market. However, the brand could use more variety, after several years with just two basic body styles, a hardtop and a convertible, each with four seats.
A bigger, three-door hatchback, the Mini Clubman, was added a year ago. Mini has also shown what it calls a Mini crossover concept car, which looks more like a small SUV.
Mini sales in the United States are down from record levels a year ago. After eight months, 2009 sales were down 16.4 percent from the year-ago period, to 30,868, according to AutoData Corp.
If it goes into mass production, which appears likely, the roadster will probably get the same engine as the Mini Cooper S, a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder that generates 175 hp.