The MINI continued its remarkable evolution overnight with the news there will be a sixth derivative of the breed, this one likely to set the hearts of enthusiasts beating with anticipation - the first open-top two-seater in its history. Simply remove the manual soft-top roof for open air sports car exhilaration, topped off with the MINI's sophisticated chassis technology and low centre of gravity.

The range-topper of the new series is the twin-turbo, 237 km/h (147 mph), 155 kW (211 bhp) MINI John Cooper Works Roadster.

The car has a full complement of driver enhancement technologies - Electric Power Steering, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), and an active rear spoiler that extends above 80 km/h (50 mph). Not bad for a car that returns 38.7 mpg (7.3 litres/100 kilometres)

The practicality of the MINI Roadster in comparison to traditional two-seater sports cars will be one of the key selling features. Most two-seaters simply do not cater for anything more than spartan luggage carrying capacity, and not everyone wants to go on holidays with a toothbrush and one change of clothes.

MINI has made the most of the extra space saved by the removal of the two rear seats, with a useful through-loading system and a wide-opening tailgate.

The new Roadster can also be had as MINI Cooper S Roadster with 135 kW/184 bhp, MINI Cooper Roadster with 90 kW/122 bhp, and MINI Cooper SD Roadster with 105 kW/143 bhp