What Is It?

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Last week’s photo showed the 2012 Mini Cooper S roadster, yet another version of the popular British small car now made by BMW. Several of our readers guessed the four-seat Mini convertible instead of the two-place roadster. For a better photo and review, read this week’s road test.

Can you tell us the year and make of this vintage vehicle?  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Can you tell us the year and make of this vintage vehicle?

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Glenn Widner, of Keysville, Ga., who wrote: “I believe it’s a Mini Cooper roadster. Not much car for $30,000.”

He wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the two-seater were:

AUGUSTA: Carolyn Ogles wrote: “This is not a slam dunk, but since it is a 2012 and not 2013, I will guess Mini Cooper S Roadster. Should be a good review.”

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: After last week’s stumper (the Audi Q5), this week is almost a gimme. Not to be confused with the plebeian convertible, this is the two-seat roadster that will run you a few hundred more dollars. Hmmm, two fewer seats and more money. I guess just like everything else in our economy today, paying more and getting less is the name of the game! Or is it?

“With Mini, it’s all about the fun, and after driving a couple of these in the past few weeks, this is definitely a fun car to drive! I have not driven either a convertible or a roadster; nonetheless, what I drove was definitely a super-fast go-kart, easily maneuvered in and around traffic. The S version has no problem in responding with plenty of reserve power on tap. The mystique of open-air driving can only multiply that fun factor.

“There are, however, a couple of gimmicky options. The convertible and the roadster have a gauge called the Openometer. This is basically a timer to indicate how many driving hours you have driven with the top down. Hopefully, a Mini owner is a little more free-spirited than the average convertible owner and will actually drive with the top down.

“The other option is available only on the roadster (and the coupe from which it is derived): the active spoiler, which will automatically deploy at speed. This option merely plays into the hands of the tuner culture that absolutely loves having a wing on the back of the car. At normal speeds, though, a rear-end spoiler at best does not affect vehicle stability. Also, the Mini is front-drive, so putting additional down forces on the rear wheels does what exactly? This is a cool sounding, but strictly cosmetic, option. Witness that there is a manual switch to deploy the spoiler even at slower speeds when it would normally be retracted.”

EVANS: Jerry Paul wrote: “This week is much easier than last week! My guess is a Mini Cooper roadster.”

Wayne Wilke wrote: “The roll bars and flush-fitting tonneau indicate that it is a roadster, not just a convertible. The active rear spoiler automatically raises itself at 50 mph, when the 1.6-liter engine gets to that speed. Also featured is an Openometer, which logs the number of hours the roof (we call it a top) is in the down position, as if anyone really cares about that.”

Also, Bill Harding

MARTINEZ: Jeff Miller wrote: “These Minis mostly come with 1.6-liter four-cylinders with six-speed automatic or manual transmissions from the mid-$20,000s to $30,000.”

Also, Jim Muraski

PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST

Can you tell us the year and make of this vintage vehicle? If you know what it is, call (706) 823-3419 or send an e-mail to glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

Please tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps if you spell your name for us so we can include your response along with everybody else’s.

You have until noon Wednesday to respond. A winner will be chosen randomly. If you win, please let us know when you would like to pick up your prize.


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