Mike Stevens | Apr 8, 2011


If you've been eyeing off a brand-new MINI Cooper but can't reach the $31,650 entry point, you're in luck. Today, MINI has announced the 2011 MINI Ray for Australia; a new (but potentially limited-edition) sub-$30k starter.

Priced at $25,500, the MINI Ray takes a swing at more than a few premium competitors, including Audi's $29,900 A1 and the $29,990 Alfa Romeo MiTo. It also comes very close to the $24,990 Fiat 500 Sport, missing it by just $510.

The Ray is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine producing 72kW and 153Nm of torque, so it gives away some power to the 90kW A1 and 114kW MiTo. The Ray is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission only.

Fuel consumption for the Ray is listed at 5.4 l/100km, and MINI says it will cover the 0-100km/h run in 10.5 seconds - "a mere one-tenth of a second" short of the regular MINI Cooper in automatic form.

“Based on the MINI ONE we anticipate strong interest in the MINI RAY which has already proven highly-popular in Europe”, MINI Australia National Manager David Woollcott said.

“There are many MINI-lovers who, until now, may have felt MINI was out of their price range. The MINI RAY appeals to both the heart and the head, with only 300 cars available initially, the privilege will be limited to just a lucky few,” he said.

Setting the Ray apart from its stablemates are mirror caps and side scuttles available in six different - and bright - colours, including Alien green, Lemon yellow, Flash white, Energy pink, Vitamin orange and Shocking blue.

For the rest of the Ray's body, the available colour choices are Pepper white, Chilli red, Midnight black, British Racing Green and Velvet silver. There are also specific hub caps unique to the Ray, designed and imported from Italy.

Standard features include USB connectivity, six-speaker sound system and an on-board computer with condition-based service interval indicator (to tell you when your next service is due).

Safety features include six airbags and dynamic stability control, and the Ray also carries a 5 Star ANCAP crash safety rating.

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