It’s only three months until we see the new Mini Convertible, but CAR has obtained the latest spy photos of the premium soft-top.
It looks the same! What’s new on the Mini Convertible?
Think of this as the sister to the latest R56 hatchback; the Mini Convertible will gain that car’s new, swollen dimensions, the new PSA-BMW petrol engines with fuel-saving tech, and a new cabin with fresh dashboard design and the odd extra millimetre of passenger space.
So far, the Mini’s eco systems have shared BMW’s Efficient Dynamics name, but Munich is rebranding the system for Mini. From now on, they will be called Minimalism. It includes:
• An automatic start/stop system
• A display for letting the driver know the best time to change gear to minimise fuel consumption
• Intelligent alternator control that only charges the battery when coasting or braking
• Electric assisted steering system that doesn’t draw power until you turn the wheel
• A regulated oil pump that consumes less energy
Eventually, Minimalism will extend to cover the whole Mini ownership experience; it will be an umbrella badge to include service and finance packages – the idea being that Mini will minimise the hassle of car ownership. Geddit?
Click ‘Next’ to read more about the new 2009 Mini ConvertibleHow will I spot the new Mini cab?
The thin disguise on this prototype reveals only minor cosmetic changes. Different alloy wheel designs and silver-capped door mirrors show that Mini will still offer a huge variety of personalisation options.
This version is the turbocharged Cooper S version, distinguished by its (now fake) bonnet air scoop and twin pipe exhausts. The canvas roof will again offer a clever two-stage opening system – you can pick between a 40cm mini opening to create a sunroof or the usual, top-down full monty.
At the rear, a black and white window disguise masks the rear window, suggesting there could be some changes to the rollover hoops. That said, it could just be a dummy disguise to put the opposition off the scent. We’ll find out for sure at the Paris motor show debut in October 2008.
What about engines?
The powerplants will be carried over from the Mini hatch and Clubman quasi-estate. So the new PSA-BMW four-cylinder engines will replace today’s older-tech Chrysler that powered the first-generation BMW Minis. Bid the Cooper S’s supercharged wail farewell…
With those Minimalism eco packages, on-paper green credentials are impressive – with CO2 expected to dip as low as 104g/km on if a diesel version is offered. This has yet to be confirmed, however, and CAR’s own long-term test Mini Cooper S suggests that the claimed figures are some way off real-world economy.
How much more will I have to pay for the new Mini Convertible?
Expect the Mini One convertible to start at £14,000 and the Cooper S convertible to be sold for upwards of £18,000 when it goes on sale in summer 2009.