After months of spy photos, MINI has revealed the Cooper Cabriolet. The latest version of the best-selling soft-top will go on sale in March 2009.
The new Cabriolet shares the hatchback’s front end, but gets a raised shoulder line to accommodate the folding fabric roof.
At launch there will be two models, the Mini Cooper and the turbocharged Mini Cooper S. It’s likely that an ultra-efficient diesel version will be launched later next year. The 1.6 litre engine from the standard Mini is retained for both petrol Coopers, offering more power but lower emissions than the old Convertible. Both the Cooper and Cooper S will be equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard with optional six-speed automatic transmission.
BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology has also been introduced to the Cabriolet. Systems like stop-start and brake energy regeneration help both MINI Cabriolet models to reduce CO2 emissions, putting them two road-tax bands below the outgoing models. Structural strength and body stiffness have been improved, which should aid handling, reduce scuttle shake and boost safety. Despite the improved rigidity, the Mini’s weight has also been reduced by 10kg/22lb.
Other safety enhancements include a new single-piece roll bar behind the rear seats that can extend milliseconds before a crash to protect occupants should the car roll onto its roof. It takes 15 seconds for the fully automatic fabric roof to open or close, and it can do so at speeds of up to 20mph. The roof can also partially retract by 40cm to create the effect of a sunroof.
Luggage capacity is 170 litres with the roof down (up from the old model’s 165 litres). With the rear seats folded down and the roof up, the Mini Cabriolet offers 660 litres of space (55 litres more than the old car).
A new accessory is Mini’s ‘Openometer’, a fun add-on that records how much the car has been driven with its roof down. Expect more generous equipment levels than before - air conditioning will come as standard.
The new Convertible will also be offered in two new colours (Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue) and it gets all-new contrasting roof colours and accessory options to set it apart from the outgoing model.
Prices for the MINI Cabriolet will start at £15,995 for the standard Cooper and £18,995 for the Cooper S. Orders for the MINI Cabriolet in the U.S are being taken now with the price for the MINI Cooper Cabriolet starting at $24,550 and for the MINI Cooper S Cabriolet at $27,450, including the $650 destination and handling charge. Delivery of the first MINI Cabrio's in the U.S will begin on the 28th March 2009.
Consistently Open: The New MINI Cabrio
With its design improved in an evolutionary process and with an even wider range of practical functions, the new MINI Cabrio is unmistakably MINI. Equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated suspension technology, even more powerful and efficient engines, and with optimised safety technology, the new version of the open-air four-seater MINI consistently raises its strengths and qualities to an even higher level. And all of this whilst maintaining superior agility and go-kart handling, typical of MINI.
There are 12 highly attractive colour variants as well as new equipment features that add an additional touch of style and class. Automatic air conditioning with Cabrio mode is available for the first time that serves to provide a consistent set temperature under the influence of wind when the roof is opened. Also available is the seamless integration of external music players, a USB port and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, suitably compatible with the Apple iPhone. And last but certainly not least the MINI Cabrio combines a supreme blend of quality materials and finishes to enhance the unique position of the MINI Cabrio.
The occupants are safely protected from wind and weather in the new MINI Cabrio by the high-quality soft top with its integrated sliding roof function. Even while driving at a speed of up to 30 km/h, the soft top folds back fully automatically in a complete process within just 15 seconds, giving the new MINI Cabrio its true purpose and quality: This is a car simply begging for driving in the open air at any time of the year, symbolising this challenge to the driver through the optionally available, absolutely unique Always-Open Timer next to the rev counter.
This unprecedented instrument shows the driver and passengers the time they have spent driving with the roof down - motivating the driver to really enjoy the thrill of open-air motoring as frequently as possible.
The new MINI Cabrio offers outstanding everyday driving qualities through the Easy-Load Function, the rear-seat backrest folding down individually on either side, as well as the unusually large through-loading between the luggage and passenger compartment. Luggage compartment capacity has increased to 125 litres (+5 litres) with the roof open, 170 litres (+5 litres) with the roof closed, and 660 litres (+55 litres) with the rear-seat backrest folded down.
This variability, quite unique in the Cabrio segment, is made possible by the innovative design and construction of the rollbar: The new MINI Cabrio comes with a single-piece rollbar behind the rear seats extending across the entire interior width of the car, not obstructing the driver's line of visibility in any way when looking to the rear, and moving up automatically in just 150 milliseconds, in the event this safety feature is required.
The new MINI Cabrio will enter the market during the second quarter of 2009 with two engine variants. The MINI Cooper Cabrio offers sporting qualities right from the start with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 88 kW at 6,000 rpm.
The MINI Cooper S Cabrio is even more dynamic and performance-oriented, its 1.6-litre four-cylinder with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection delivering 128 kW at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm and thus providing a particularly refreshing feeling of power and dynamic performance.
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the new MINI Cabrio are reduced by up to 19 per cent compared with the cars' respective predecessors.
From the start the MINI Cooper S Cabrio and the MINI Cooper Cabrio are available with a six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard or optional six-speed automatic transmission. At the same time the new MINI Cabrio owes its fascinating handling to suspension technology significantly enhanced and upgraded over the former model. Indeed, thanks to sophisticated wheel suspension, extremely precise electromechanical power steering, the powerful brake system and DSC Dynamic Stability Control featured as standard, the open-air MINI combines supreme agility with equally exemplary safety all round.
MINI Cooper S Cabrio:
Four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 128 kW/175bhp at 5,500 rpm.
Max torque: 240 Nm from 1,600-5,000 rpm (260 Nm with Overboost).
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.4 sec, Top speed: 222 km/h.
Average fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 171 g/km.
MINI Cooper Cabrio:
Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 88 kW/120bhp at 6,000 rpm.
Max torque: 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm.
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.8 sec, Top speed: 198 km/h.
Average fuel consumption: 6.1 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 145 g/km.