The lines have been updated, the roll bar disappears, and the “Openometer” challenges you to go topless. You gotta love this car!
In January, 2009 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, heads will undoubtedly be turned by the sleek looking new convertible MINI. While there is no word on whether or not there will, in fact, be topless models to help showcase the car, there will be one element, at least, that is conspicuously absent: the roll bar that used to rest across the back headrests. That, and the updated lines that brings the new convertible more in line with the rest of the MINI line-up, make all the difference.
Two cool things: First, you can lower the top even while underway at speeds up to 20 mph. Total time: 15 seconds. The roll bar will pop up automatically (and instantly, in the event of a roll over). Secondly, a unique “Openometer” on the dash challenges you to log as many top-down miles as possible by recording the hours you spend driving al fresco.
Like the previous version of the soft top, you can stop the lowering process half way through to create a large, open-air sunroof. Visibility with the top up is improved over the former model, thanks to slightly larger side windows and the newly conceived, retractable rollover protection bar. This single-piece rollover protection bar, moving up and down as required, runs across the entire width of the car just below the rear headrests, offering you unrestricted visibility. The rear window is connected to the soft top by interior seals, allowing it to close flush with the surface of the roof. Made of glass, the rear window may be heated electrically whenever required; an optional heated front windscreen is also available.
The new MINI Convertible will be available in two engine versions. The MINI Cooper, equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 118 hp at 6,000 rpm, and the Cooper S, powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection delivering 172 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm.
You can order it with a new Denim Blue roof with flashy silver threads and orange-colored seams and a convertible-exclusive Interchange Yellow (shown). As with all MINI versions, the custom style and color options are many, but will all likely take a back seat to jealous onlookers watching the drivers going topless.
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