* The next-generation model of the celebrated four-seat convertible which achieves some 164,000 in worldwide sales. The new MINI Convertible embodies the thrill of open-air motoring in unmistakably MINI style. Raising the high standard set by its predecessor, the new MINI Convertible features improvements in the areas of design, quality, handling, performance, efficiency, and functionality.
* Evolutionary development of the car's design: The two-door body style and soft-top roof deliver unique proportions, sleek lines, and truly individual style. Design cues clearly link the new convertible to the MINI family of vehicles.
* Refined overall appearance highlighting the stretched silhouette and ensuring enhanced presence from both front and rear. Expertly modeled body surfaces, low-roofline for roadster-like flair, concealed rollover protection bar. Signature MINI headlamps and taillights. Four-pivot joints for the luggage compartment top are mounted inside the car to ensure a harmonious and sleek appearance.
* Electrohydraulic-powered roof wîth the sliding roof function comes standard, and allows the driver to open and close the soft top while the car is in motion up to 20 mph. The standard Openometer feature records the time spent travelling wîth the roof down. A wider range of paint colors, roof colors, wheels, and upholstery and interior trim choices provide endless opportunities for personalization. Also, model-specific optional extras and special equipment are available.
* Newly developed, electromechanically operated rollover bar situated behind the rear seats, is activated by the car's central safety electronics in the event of a rollover. The innovative safety bar allows for optimum visibility to the rear and sides of the car. An optional loading storage between the luggage and passenger compartments expands the cargo space.
Engine : 1.6 L., 4-cylinder Torque: 114 ft-lbs
* The flexible storage system delivers outstanding functionality. The easy-load system includes: an expanded luggage compartment opening, rear seat backrests that can be folded down and locked into position, and a pivoting, two-position shelf for packages.
* New generation of four-cylinder gasoline engines wîth Twin-Scroll turbochargers or fully variable valve management. Engine capacity 1,598 cc, max output 118 hp (MINI Cooper Convertible) and 172 hp (MINI Cooper S Convertible). Both engine variants are equipped wîth a number of technical features that maximize fuel economy and minimize emissions.
* MINI's signature front-wheel drive, go-kart-like handling wîth refined suspension technology tuned specifically to the MINI Convertible. Electromechanical Power Steering (EPS). Brake system wîth anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Brake Assistant, as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) wîth Start-Off Assistant are all standard features. Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) wîth Electronically Differential Lock Control (EDLC) feature on the drive wheels enhances traction under acceleration, and is available as an option or as part of the Sport Package.
* Crash-optimized body structure wîth newly conceived floorpan and reinforced A-pillars and side-sills. Body stiffness further improved over the former model, wîth a reduction in vehicle weight by 22 lb. Three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, wîth belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, frontal airbags, head/thorax airbags at the side integrated in the seat backrest, rollover sensor masterminding the rollover safety system, airbags and belt latch tensioners wîth for optimized functionality. Run-flat tires and Tire Pressure Monitor.
* MINI Cooper S Convertible: Four-cylinder gasoline engine wîth Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection. Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 172 hp at 5,500 rpm. Max torque: 177 lb-ft from 1,600–5,000 rpm (192 lb-ft wîth Overboost). Acceleration 0–60mph: 7.0 sec Manual, 7.2 Automatic, Top speed: 138 mph Manual, 135 mph Automatic.
* MINI Cooper Convertible: Four-cylinder gasoline engine wîth VALVETRONIC technology. Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 118 hp at 6,000 rpm. Max torque: 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. Acceleration (0–60 mph): 8.9 sec Manual, 10.2 Automatic, Top speed: 124 mph Manual, 119 mph Automatic. Consistently Open: The new MINI Convertible.
The driving pleasure and individual style that are MINI's signatures have been tapped to create the next-generation MINI Convertible. With its evolutionary design and increased functionality, specially tuned suspension, powerful, efficient engines and enhanced safety technology, the latest version of the four-seat convertible raises the bar.
New color choices and equipment features add up to endless options for personalization. The premium materials and finishes enhance the MINI Convertible – the only open-air car in its class – even further.
The new MINI Convertible will make its worldwide debut in January at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Orders for the MINI Convertible are being taken now; the price for the MINI Cooper Convertible is $24,550 and for the MINI Cooper S Convertible $27,450, including the $650 destination and handling charge. Delivery of the first MINI Convertibles will begin on March 28, 2009.
The new MINI Convertible's durable soft-top wîth integrated sliding roof function reliably protects driver and passengers from the elements when it is up. Allowing for spontaneous open-air motoring, the soft top lowers automatically in 15 seconds flat, even when the car is in motion up to 20 mph. The unique Openometer next to the tachometer challenges the driver to log as many top-down miles as possible by recording the hours spent open-air motoring.
The new MINI Convertible offers outstanding versatility wîth its Easy-Load Function, folding rear-seat backrests, and generously-sized loading between the luggage and passenger compartments, which increases the car's cargo space to 23.10 cu ft.
This level of versatility, unparalleled in the convertible §egmènt is enabled by the innovative design and construction of the rollover protection bar. The new MINI Convertible comes wîth a single-piece rollover protection bar behind the rear seats that spans the entire interior width of the car, without obstructing the driver's visibility, and moves into position automatically in the event of a potential rollover.
The new MINI Convertible will be available in two engine variants. The MINI Cooper Convertible will come equipped wîth a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 118 hp at 6,000 rpm. The performance-oriented MINI Cooper S Convertible will be powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine wîth a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection delivering 172 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm.
From the start, the MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible will be equipped wîth the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard wîth optional six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) At the same time, the new MINI Convertible owes its nimble handling characteristics to suspension technology that has been significantly upgraded and improved over the former model. Its sophisticated wheel suspension, precise electromechanical power §teering, powerful brake system and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) – all standard features – allow the MINI convertible to set a new standard for agility and safety.Source - Mini
MINI CONVERTIBLE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NAIAS 2009
Electric MINI E shares center stage: Driving pleasure without emissions. Woodcliff Lake, NJ - January 9, 2009... MINI will introduce the next generation of its celebrated four-seat convertible at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Joining the 2009 MINI Convertibles on the show floor is the MINI E, the first electric car deployed by a manufacturer of premium automobiles for private use in daily traffic.
The new 2009 MINI Convertible embodies the thrill of open-air motoring in unmistakably MINI style. Raising the high standard set by its predecessor, the new MINI Convertible features improvements in design, quality, handling, performance, efficiency and functionality. The first MINI Convertibles will be delivered March 28, 2009.
Design cues clearly link the new convertible to the MINI family, while the evolutionary design maintains the appeal of the first generation.
A sliding roof allows the driver to automatically open and close the soft top while the car travels up to 20 miles per hour. The 'Openometer' records the time spent travelling wîth the roof down.
Central safety electronics activate a new electromechanically operated rollover bar in the event of a rollover. The innovative safety bar allows for optimum visibility to the rear and sides while the MINI avoids rollovers via run-flat tires, tire pressure monitoring and a sophisticated driving stability system.
An optional loading storage system between the luggage and passenger compartments expands cargo space. The easy-load system includes: an expanded luggage compartment opening, seat backrests that can be folded down and locked into position, and a pivoting, two-position shelf for packages.
A new generation of four-cylinder gasoline engines feature 1.6-liter engines. The MINI Cooper Convertible produces 118 horsepower from its naturally aspirated version wîth variable valve management; the MINI Cooper S Convertible delivers 172 hp wîth the help of a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection. Both engine variants are equipped wîth technical features that maximize fuel economy and minimize emissions.
The suggested retail price for the MINI Cooper Convertible is $24,550, and for the MINI Cooper S Convertible, $27,450 including $650 destination and handling charge.
MINI E: Agility without emissionsThe MINI E provides the agility and handling of a MINI Cooper yet is powered by a 204 horsepower electric motor fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery capable of more than 150 miles. Power transfers to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox nearly without a sound and entirely free of emissions.
The MINI E's electric drivetrain produces seamless acceleration to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph. With a suspension designed particularly for the MINI E and an even weight distribution, the MINI E offers the spirited driving pleasure of a true MINI.
During the first quarter of this year, the MINI E will become available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in California, New York and New Jersey. By introducing the MINI E, the BMW Group is underscoring its resolve to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Putting some 500 cars on the road under real daily traffic conditions will give BMW Group valuable know-how, which will be factored into the engineering of mass-produced vehicles. The BMW Group aims to start series production of all-electric vehicles over the medium term.
Based on the current MINI, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The back-seat space is reserved for the lithium-ion battery. It can be plugged into all standard power outlets. Its charge time is strongly dependent on the voltage and amperage of the electricity flowing through the grid. In the ÚSA, users can recharge a battery that has been completely drained within a very short period of time using a wall box that will be installed in the customer's garage to enable higher amperage. Wall boxes fully recharge batteries after a mere two-and-a-half hours.
MINI E customers will join forces wîth BMW Group experts to assist in the project's scientific evaluation. The cars will change hands based on a one-year lease wîth an extension option. Monthly lease installments will cover any required technical service including all necessary maintenance and the replacement of wear parts. At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles belonging to the project will be returned to the BMW Group's engineering fleet where they will be subjected to comparative tests.
MINI in the ÚS
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the Únited States, MINI ÚSA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the Únited States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the Únited States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksÚSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models, X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the Ú.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 83 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (ÚS) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.Source - MINI
The British Motor Corporation came into existence in 1952 by the merging of two manufacturers, Nuffield Motors and Austin. Nuffield was known for its Morris line of vehicles, while Austin had its 'Seven' model line. The transition for the two manufacturers was difficult and had been forced out of necessity. After World War II, many vehicle manufacturers could not stay in business due to destroyed factories, recovering economies, strained resources, and lack of funds. Combining the two companies was a means to stay in business.
A fuel shortage was occurring. German engineers quickly adapted and began producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Examples include the Volkswagen Beetle. Leonard Lord, Chairman of BMC and former head of Austin, commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to design a vehicle to compete with the German-made vehicles.
Alec Issigonis was a graduate of Battersea Technical College. After graduation he worked as a draftsman for a plethora of engineering projects. Later, he joined Morris Motors where he was tasked with creating and fitting suspensions to the Morris vehicles.
Issigonis was outfitted with requirements to create a fuel-efficient, affordable, safe vehicle capable of carrying four individuals including luggage. To save on development costs, it was requested that an existing BMC engine be used. What he created was a vehicle that sat atop of 10 inch wheels. By using smaller wheels there was little need for wheel wells.
The car was expected to carry four individuals; the combined weight of the passengers being greater than the entire vehicle. A suspension was needed that could accept this pay-load. With his prior experience creating and working with suspensions, Issigonis designed a rubber cone suspension.
A 950 cc, four cylinder, BMC engine was selected. It was mounted in the front and expected to power the front wheels, a system that was revolutionary at the time. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally, it was place transversely. The transmission was place under the engine due to space constraints.
When Issigonis presented his designs and recommendations to Lord in 1958, changes were requested. Instead of the 950 cc engine, a 34 horsepower, 848 cc engine would be used, making the vehicle slower but more importantly, more safe. The other request was to make the vehicle two inches wider.
There were two versions of the car when it was first introduced on August 26, 1959. The only difference between the 1959 Austin and Morris versions was their badges.
John Cooper had designed vehicles that successfully won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960.
He proposed a marriage between his 1000 cc Formula Junior engine with the Mini. Lord approved the idea and in 1961 the Mini Cooper was born. It was fitted with a 997 cc engine producing 55 horsepower. Later, the Cooper S came into being with the advent of the 970 cc and the 1275 cc engine - the latter capable of 76 horsepower.
From 1964 through 1967 the little car dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. The car easily achieved these victories using a 91 horsepower engine.
Minis became more than just a practical car, they became a fashion statement. This, combined with their practicality, fuel efficiency, and success on the race track, created an overwhelming demand for the little car.
In the 1980's, the Mini was starting to loose momentum. Rover tried to revitalize the Mini brand by creating special editions. In all, there were more than 40 different editions created between 1980 and 2000.
A merger with British Motor Corporation and another company produced the Britsh Leyland Company. Later, it became Rover Group. Currently, it is owned by BMW.
In 2001, BMW introduced the MINI. The MINI currently has three Cooper models. Their main differences being the size of the engine and the horsepower rating. A convertible has also been included to the line-up. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
Three generations of driving fun: The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S through the years.
For three generations and over 50 years, the Cooper name has identified a MINI offering even more in the way of driving fun. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car wîth an extra hit of performance and turn it into a sporting machine for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined wîth the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations of the legendary small car. These famous handling traits are enjoyed by drivers on bendy country roads and city streets around the world, wîth the classic Mini and 21st-century MINI still regularly crossing each other's path.
The small British car positively craves twists and turns demanding quick and precise changes in direction; this is where it feels most at home. The classic Mini was tailor-made for tackling hairpins and corner-strewn roads, and it still looks the part today – aided by the healthy 46 kW/63 hp available in a Mini Cooper towards the end of its production run. The classic Cooper was built up to autumn 2000, by which time its successor was already twitching in the starting blocks. In contrast to the original Mini, the new model was available in Cooper guise from the outset. And wîth 85 kW/115 hp under the bonnet, it would do its nameplate proud. From the word go, the car's powerplant and chassis formed a harmonious alliance to deliver unbeatable driving fun. As John Cooper realised, sometimes you actually can't have too much of a good thing. 50 years ago he unveiled the 70 hp Mini Cooper S. And today, its youngest descendant places 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of its driver. As if that wasn't enough, the turbocharged engine powering the latest MINI Cooper S also sets the benchmark for efficiency in its output class.
When Alec Issigonis set out to develop a new small car for the British Motor Corporation in the mid-1950s, his priorities were space and price. Indeed, at a touch over three metres in length, the classic Mini offered astonishingly generous accommodation for passengers and their gear alike. Issigonis settled on a front transverse installation for the four-cylinder engine, under which lay the gearbox, plumb between the wheels. The positioning of those wheels at the far corners of the car and the Mini's short overhangs did the rest. The Mini was small on the outside but roomy on the inside, not to mention – at around 600 kilograms – extremely light. The principles underpinning its design remain the template for small and compact cars in the modern era.
However, it was left to another key figure in the brand's history to uncover the vast well of sporting talent under that diminutive shell. John Cooper, a friend and business partner of Mini creator Issigonis and winner of two Formula One constructors' world titles, was quick to spot the car's dynamic potential, and in 1961 the first Mini Cooper hit the roads. Production of the Cooper was temporarily suspended in the 1970s, but by that time the Mini Cooper badge had long since become the signature of a sporty and agile small car.
As well as the intervention of John Cooper, the launch of this famous sporting career also relied on the brilliance of the classic Mini's chassis. Issigonis had broken new ground wîth the §teering and suspension of his new creation, and in so doing laid the foundations for the go-kart feeling appreciated by drivers to this day. Homokinetic joints reduced torque steer, a subframe (to which the rear wheels were fixed) improved directional stability, and rubber springs and small telescopic dampers ensured accurate responses and progressive spring action. The wealth of ideas packed into this small car still impresses. And the result of those ideas – the classic Mini's much-celebrated handling – explains why the car continues to enjoy such a loyal community of fans. When the successor to the original car came along in 2001, it was clear that highly advanced chassis technology would be needed in order to set the pace in driving fun all over again. The MINI Cooper rose to the challenge in some style, thanks to MacPherson spring struts at the front axle, axle shafts equal in length, a multi-link rear axle unique in the small car §egmènt, disc brakes on all four wheels, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).
The latest-generation MINI Cooper S also features Electric Power Steering wîth Servotronic function and a DSC system including DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system gives the MINI a crucial edge through the tight bends of Alpine passes, for example, by braking a spinning wheel as required to enhance drive out of corners as well as the car's §teering properties. Added to which, pressing the standard Sport Button in the MINI Cooper S makes the §teering even more direct and stirs up a particularly sporty soundtrack from the engine. All of this was unimaginable 50 years ago, of course, but you get the impression John Cooper would have wholeheartedly approved.