MINI HAS OFFICIALLY lifted the covers off its Roadster Concept, a topless version of the Coupe Concept it shares centre stage with at MINI's Frankfurt Motor Show stand.
Like the Coupe, the MINI Roadster Concept grafts a raked-back windscreen, shorter side glass and a short bootlid to the standard MINI's body.
The Roadster however utilises the 126kW 1.6 litre turbocharged engine found in the Cooper S instead of the John Cooper Works-sourced unit of the Coupe Concept.
Unique to the Roadster is its manually-folding fabric roof, matching the profile of the Coupe's roofline and giving the Roadster a relatively low 1356mm overall height.
When retracted, the roof sits flush with the rear of the car without interrupting the concept's smooth rising beltline.
Unlike the MINI Cooper convertible, the Roadster concept is strictly a two-seater with a boot separated from the passenger compartment.
Luggage capacity is 250 litres with the roof either up or down. A hatch allows passengers to reach into the boot to retrieve items while driving.
Mounted behind the driver and passenger is an aluminium roll-over bar, which deploys the instant the car detects a severe crash.
Helping drivers lessen their environmental impact is the Nature Guard function of the car's multi-function display, which tells the driver whether they are being too heavy on the throttle.
On the other side of the fuel-efficiency coin is the Highspeed Shifter indicator that informs drivers when to change gears for maximum performance. A G-force measuring Gravity Indicator also displays how hard the car accelerates, brakes and corners.
Of less utility are the Roadster concept's various electronic showpieces, such as the Always Open roof-down time logger, engine rpm-measuring Heart Beat indicator and MINI-detecting Buddy Radar system.
BMW board member Ian Robertson announced at the Roadster's Frankfurt unveiling that both it and the Coupe will be put into production soon and be built at MINI's plant in Oxford England.
A launch date for the production models hasn't been revealed, but with both Roadster and Coupe concepts apparently assembly-line ready, a 2010 showroom debut is possible.