Image credits: © MINI.

The new MINI Convertible.

The latest MINI generation will now also delight fresh air enthusiasts among fans of the tradition-steeped British brand. It takes just 18 seconds to combine the further enhanced driving fun of a MINI wîth an intensive open-air feeling. For this purpose, the new MINI Convertible is fitted for the first time wîth a fully automatic, fully electrically powered and therefore particularly quiet soft top operation system as well as a rollover protection that is now fully integrated. Meanwhile the new generation of engines, suspension technology that is matched specifically to the model and a highly torsionally stiff body structure ensure a significant increase in both sporty flair and characteristic brand agility. In addition, the new MINI Convertible presents noticeable progress in the areas of ride comfort, space and functionality as well as material and workmanship quality, not to mention a large selection of innovative driver assistance systems. The car's evolutionary design advancements strike a harmonious balance between elegance and sporty flair, expressing a distinctive character in both the exterior and interior that has matured markedly as compared to the predecessor model.

The new edition of the first and still the only convertible in the premium small car §egmènt embodies the most exclusive and emotionally intensive way of savouring authentic MINI driving fun. The upright windscreen of the new MINI Convertible guarantees a refreshing open-top driving experience on all four seats. The fully automatic soft top can be activated spontaneously at the press of a button. It can even be opened and closed during travel at speeds of up to 30 km/h, while the sliding roof function is available at any speed. There is the option of a MINI Yours soft top featuring an innovative woven Únion Jack graphic, available for a convertible for the first time. Other optional extras include the Always Open Timer wîth additional new display content, the MINI Connected App including rain warning function, the 2-zone automatic air conditioning wîth convertible mode and a wind deflector wîth reduced weight and optimised handling.

Two petrol engines and one diesel power unit MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology are available at the market launch of the new MINI Convertible (combined fuel consumption: 6.0-3.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 139-100 g/km). The MINI Cooper S Convertible is powered by a 4-cylinder petrol engine wîth 141 kW/192 hp. The 3-cylinder petrol engine of the MINI Cooper Convertible has an output of 100 kW/136 hp. The MINI Cooper D Convertible is fitted wîth a 3-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 85 kW/116 hp. Both the standard 6-speed manual transmissions and the optionally available 6-speed Steptronic transmissions have been newly developed for the latest MINI generation.

The optional MINI Driving Modes enable an individualised vehicle set-up focusing on either ride comfort, sportiness or efficiency in the new MINI Convertible, according to preference. Another optional feature is Dynamic Damper Control.

The exterior dimensions of the new MINI Convertible have increased as compared to the predecessor model as follows: 98 millimetres in length to 3 821 millimetres (MINI Cooper S Convertible: 3 850 millimetres), 44 millimetres in width to 1 727 Millimetres and 1 millimetre in height to 1 415 millimetres. The wheelbase has been extended by 28 millimetres to 2 495 millimetres, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42 millimetres and at the rear by 34 millimetres to a total of 1 501 millimetres in each case (MINI Cooper S Convertible: 1 485 millimetres). The new dimensions preserve the model's typical proportions while ensuring that occupants on all four seats benefit from a noticeable increase in freedom of movement. The luggage compartment volume of the new MINI Convertible is also significantly larger than in the previous model. What is more, stowage of larger luggage items is facilitated by the Easy Load function, which allows the soft top frame to be raised when the roof is closed, and also a wide through-loading facility.

There are numerous innovative driver assistance systems available for the new MINI Convertible. Park Distance Control wîth sensors at the rear of the car comes as standard. The range of options developed for the new MINI generation includes the MINI Head-Úp Display, the Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning wîth initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, Parking Assistant and rear view camera. In addition, the program of special equipment includes LED headlamps, LED fog lamps and the MINI Excitement Package, which comprises LED interior and ambient lighting as well as a projection of the MINI logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver's side when the car is opened. The range is rounded off wîth exclusive MINI Yours and John Cooper Works equipment features.

The MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is more varied than ever. The new MINI Convertible can be equipped wîth a SIM card which is permanently fitted in the car. This means that Intelligent Emergency Call wîth automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity is available, as well as MINI TeleServices. The MINI Connected XL Journey Mate provides an innovative form of travel planning and support. Other functions from the areas of infotainment and social media can be integrated in the car via smartphone by means of apps and then used intuitively, conveniently and safely wîth the MINI operating system. For example the current version of the MINI Connected App offers enhanced driving fun and optimised comfort wîth the functions Streetwise, online search, Sports Instruments and Force Meter.

Exterior design: sporty, elegant, high-quality - the product of a progressive evolution

The exterior design authentically expresses the additional driving fun, technological advancement and refined premium characteristics associated wîth the change of generation in the MINI Convertible.

The new edition of the open-top 4-seater is the outcome of a progressive evolution and reflects a distinct character. Lines and surface design in typical MINI styling guarantee an unmistakable high-quality appearance, whether the soft top is open or closed. The characteristic balance between sporty flair and elegance that is characteristic of the MINI Convertible is emphasised by the elongated silhouette, the chrome band that runs horizontally along the shoulder line, the short overhangs and expressively modelled surfaces. The new MINI Convertible also exhibits traditional design features that have been further refined for the latest model generation. Large circular headlamps wîth chrome rings, the hexagonal radiator grille, the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles and the black periphery around the bottom edge of the body all clearly signal the model's kinship wîth the British premium brand.

The hexagonal contour of the radiator grille is emphasised by the chrome frame typical of the brand and also takes in the bumper trim below. In conjunction wîth the optional Chrome Line exterior, the lower air inlet also features a chrome surround. In the models MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper D Convertible, the ribs of the radiator grille and also the bumper trim that serves as a number plate carrier are finished in high-gloss black. The sporty appearance of the new MINI Cooper S Convertible is highlighted by means of an additional opening in the engine compartment lid and brake air ducts in the lower air inlet. In addition, the chrome rib of the radiator grille bears an 'S' logo in red that is echoed in the side scuttle elements.

The hallmark brand proportions of the new MINI Convertible are clearly conveyed when the model is viewed from the side. After opening, the soft top is folded compactly behind the rear seats. This produces the classic convertible effect of an elegantly elongated silhouette. At the same time, the sporty driving properties and solid body structure of the new MINI Convertible are suggested by the powerfully modelled surface in the area of the wheel arches and doors as well as a side line that rises slightly towards the rear.

Sporty elegance is also conveyed by the rear of the new MINI Convertible. The large, vertically oriented rear lights are positioned far to the outside and feature chrome surrounds. These together wîth the robust tailgate handle strip above the number plate carrier, the strikingly shaped bumper and the widening of the body towards the bottom define the typical brand-style appearance of the rear view. From this perspective, the new MINI Cooper S Convertible can be identified by two centrally positioned exhaust tailpipes and a model-specific rear apron complete wîth diffuser. An opening surrounded by painted surfaces echoes the structure of the front apron wîth its black honeycomb grille and the externally arranged units for the rear fog light and reflectors. The other engine variants have a closed rear apron and a centrally positioned rear fog light.

In the new generation of the MINI Convertible, the tailgate once again opens downwards and can support a weight of up to 80 kilograms as a surface on which to place luggage items.

When the soft top is closed, the luggage compartment opening can be expanded by means of the Easy Load function, which comes as standard. Two locking handles enable the soft top frame to be swung higher up than in the predecessor model so as to facilitate stowage of large-format luggage items. The luggage compartment volume of the new MINI Convertible is 160 litres wîth the soft top open and 215 litres when it is closed. This is approximately 25 per cent more than in the predecessor model in each case. Thanks to the standard 50 : 50 split and folding rear backrest as well as a through-loading facility which has been widened by 8 millimetres to 734 millimetres, it is simple to securely accommodate skiing equipment, snowboards and other bulky transport items required for leisure and everyday activities. What is more, optimised sound insulation for the tailgate and soft top compartment enhances acoustic comfort when travelling wîth the roof open and closed.

Fully automatic textile soft top wîth low-noise electric drive, sliding roof function and unique MINI Yours design variant

Traditionally, a textile soft top protects MINI Convertible occupants from the wind and weather. The soft top developed for the new edition of the open-top 4-seater features optimised trim for the convertible top linkage, a particularly high-quality liner and a heatable rear window. It offers unlimited suitability for all-year-round use as well as further optimised acoustic insulation. For the first time, soft top operation in the new MINI Convertible is by means of electric power only and therefore especially quiet.

For spontaneous open-air pleasure and a quick reaction to sudden changes in the weather, the soft top can even be fully automatically opened and closed during travel at speeds of up to 30 km/h. The two operations are activated by means of a toggle switch on the front roof frame. When the vehicle is stationary, the soft top can also be operated by means of a button on the remote key. Within the space of 18 seconds, first the window bars and side windows are lowered and then the soft top is retracted. Closing of the soft top is carried out in the reverse order and takes the same amount of time. An additional convertible-specific button is provided in the control box located in the door trim on the driver's side for simultaneous opening or closing of the four side windows.

The soft top of the new MINI Convertible also offers a sliding roof function which allows the front section of the top to be retracted to continuously variable levels by up to 40 centimetres. Controlled fresh air supply is also activated by means of a toggle switch on the roof frame and can be used at all speeds.

As an alternative to the standard version of the soft top in black, a MINI Yours soft top is available for the first time as a special equipment feature comprising an integrated woven graphic - an innovative and unique way to individualise the new MINI Convertible. As a reference to the British home of the brand and based on the relevant MINI roof graphic, the textile surface features a black and grey Únion Jack motif in a high-end herringbone pattern. Another option is a newly developed wind deflector which is particularly simple to use and offers reduced weight. The wind deflector can easily be locked into position behind the driver and front passenger seats so to provide protection from unwanted air turbulence during open-top driving, while after use it can be folded down very compactly and stowed in the luggage compartment.

The selection of paint finishes has also been expanded to include a new offer. For the first time, the variant Caribbean Aqua metallic is now available for the new MINI Convertible. In addition there are eight other metallic and four non-metallic paint finishes to choose from. All body finishes can be combined wîth the standard variant of the soft top and wîth the MINI Yours soft top. Other customisation options include exterior mirror caps and bonnet stripes in various colours and graphics as well as the Chrome Line exterior.

Interior: high-quality design for an exclusive driving experience

When driving wîth an open top in the new MINI Convertible, all occupants can be sure of a place on the sunny side. Intense open-air pleasure is ensured by the upright windscreen and the elongated shoulder line. In addition, the interior of the new MINI Convertible features a design that is both high-end and harmonious, as well as offering premium material and workmanship quality along wîth significantly increased space comfort as compared to the predecessor model.

The extended adjustment range of the front seats ensures convenient entry and exit for rear passengers. The extended seat surfaces and increased headroom also contribute to optimised space comfort in the second row. The single-seat character of the two rear seats results in optimised lateral support. Knee space has also been expanded by 36 millimetres.

At both front and rear there are cupholders and storage spaces for drinks and travel utensils. Bottles of up to 1.5 litres fit in the door pockets. A storage package is available as an optional extra which comprises storage nets for the luggage compartment and passenger footwell as well as a 12-volt socket in the luggage compartment.

The matured character of the open-top 4-seater is also reflected in precise design details. For example the belt feeds on the front and rear seats are designed in the same style, wîth the holders at the rear also acting as a cover for the rollover protection, now invisibly integrated. The sun visors, A-column covers, aerial base and roof frame control panel surround are all elegant and discreet in style. In conjunction wîth the design features conceived for the new MINI generation - cockpit, display and control elements as well as door trim - this creates a modern and exclusive ambience.

As an alternative to the standard type and in addition to the sport seats (standard in the MINI Cooper S Convertible, seats are also available in the MINI tube design as well as in the new Chester variant wîth a leather surface in the colour Malt Brown. For an interior design geared precisely towards personal style, there is also a broad selection of upholstery colours, interior surfaces, cockpit facia frames, Colour Lines and other features including Chrome Line for the interior, three variants of the MINI Yours interior style and the lighting package.

3 and 4-cylinder engines wîth MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology

The latest generation of 3 and 4-cylinder engines wîth MINI TwinPower Technology ensures increased driving fun and optimised efficiency in the new MINI Convertible. The petrol engines of the models MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible feature turbocharging, direct fuel injection wîth centrally positioned injectors, variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC, as patented by the BMW Group. The 2.0-litre power unit of the new MINI Cooper S Convertible mobilises a peak output of 141 kW/192 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Newton metres that goes on stream at just 1 250 rpm and can be briefly increased to 300 Newton metres by means of the overboost function. The spontaneous power delivery of the engine allows acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds (automatic: 7.1 seconds). The top speed of the new MINI Cooper S Convertible is 230 km/h (228 km/h). This sporty temperament is combined wîth an average fuel consumption of 6.1 to 6.0 litres (5.8 to 5.6 litres) per 100 kilometres and a CO2 emissions level of 142 to 139 grams per kilometre (134 to 131 g/km; EÚ test cycle figures, dependent on tyre format selected).

The new MINI Cooper Convertible demonstrates exciting performance figures thanks to a 3-cylinder petrol engine that mobilises a peak output of 100 kW/136 hp from a capacity of 1.5 litres as well as a maximum torque of 220 Newton metres that goes on stream at 1 250 rpm (230 Nm wîth overboost). The sprint from standing to 100 km/h takes 8.8 seconds (automatic: (8.7 seconds), while the top speed is 208 km/h (206 km/h). The average fuel consumption of the new MINI Cooper Convertible is between 5.1 and 4.9 litres (5.3 to 5.1 litres) per 100 kilometres, while its level of CO2 emissions is 118 to 114 grams per kilometre (123 to 119 g/km; EÚ test cycle figures, dependent on tyre format selected).

The technology package for the 3-cylinder diesel engine in the new MINI Cooper D Convertible has turbocharging wîth variable intake geometry and common rail direct injection of the latest generation which feeds the fuel to the combustion chambers at a very high pressure and in precise dosage. This benefits both the pulling power and the efficiency of the 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine, which delivers a peak output of 85 kW/116 hp and a maximum torque of 270 Newton metres between 1 750 and 2 250 rpm. Regardless of the transmission variant selected, the new MINI Cooper D Convertible accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds in each case, reaching a top speed of 195 km/h. The driving fun this provides is combined wîth exemplary fuel consumption and CO2 levels of 4.0 to 3.8 litres (automatic: 4.1 - 3.9 litres) per 100 kilometres and 105 to 100 grams per kilometre (109 - 104 g/km; EÚ test cycle figures, dependent on tyre format selected).

Newly developed transmissions, extensive MINIMALISM technology, optimised aerodynamic properties, optional MINI Driving Modes

Vital Stats
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 189 hp
Torque: 206 ft-lbs

6-speed Manual
The engines available for the new MINI Convertible are combined as standard wîth a 6-speed manual transmission. (posted on With increased efficiency, optimised acoustic and vibration response and enhanced shift comfort, the likewise newly developed transmission contributes to the sophisticated characteristics of the drive system. A gear sensor enables active engine speed adaptation for especially sporty shifting when accelerating and increased comfort when shifting down.

The new version of the optionally available 6-speed Steptronic transmission is more efficient, comfortable and athletic than ever. It offers both automatic and manual changes in drive position using the gear selector switch. For the new MINI Cooper S Convertible, a 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission is also available that offers very short shift times, can be operated using shift paddles at the §teering wheel in manual mode and also features a Launch Control function for traction-optimised acceleration from standing. Both automatic variants have a transmission control system that is able to draw on navigation data for the purpose of gear and shift point selection. This means that in cars fitted wîth a navigation system, shift control is also based on the route profile.

The standard MINIMALISM technology includes an auto start/stop function in conjunction wîth both manual and Steptronic transmission, brake energy recuperation, shift point display and electromechanical power §teering. In addition to the map-controlled oil pumps, needs-based control of the fuel and coolant pumps also contributes to the efficiency of the engines. An optimised preheating process reduces the energy required to start the diesel engine in the MINI Cooper D Convertible by around 50 per cent. Extensive underbody panelling optimises the aerodynamic properties of the new MINI Convertible.

The optional MINI Driving Modes enable individual vehicle set-up by means of a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selective lever. In addition to the standard MID mode there is a choice of SPORT and GREEN mode. Adjustments here influence the characteristic curves of the accelerator, §teering and also - if the car is fitted accordingly - the shift characteristics of 6-speed Steptronic transmission and the Dynamic Damper Control program map. In SPORT mode, the overall set-up is geared towards active driving fun, for example. Meanwhile, GREEN mode supports relaxed and fuel-efficient driving. A contributing factor here is the efficiency-optimised control of energy and climate management as well as shift point display. In cars fitted wîth 6-speed Steptronic transmission it is also possible to use the coasting function. Here the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h as soon as the driver's foot is removed from the accelerator pedal.

Suspension: optimised technology and precise set-up for typical MINI go-kart feeling

The increase in wheelbase and track width as compared to the predecessor model, the concept of power transmission to the front wheels that is typical of the brand, the low centre of gravity and the high-quality suspension technology refined wîth numerous newly designed components provide the ideal basis for characteristic go-kart feeling in the new MINI Convertible. The combination of single-joint strut front axle and multilink rear axle - unique in the small car §egmènt - and a set-up of wheel suspension, body mounting, vehicle suspension and damping that is geared in detail towards the vehicle characteristics of the open-top 4-seater guarantees not just agile handling but also optimised ride comfort. In order to increase component rigidity and reduce weight, the front axle is fitted wîth aluminium swivel bearings. Components made of high-strength steel are used in the front and rear axle as well as tube-shaped anti-roll bars. A sports suspension is optionally available which has a set-up geared towards dynamic driving.

The electromechanical power §teering includes speed-related Servotronic §teering support for maximum precision when cornering at speed and for comfortable manoeuvring at low speeds. A first-time option now available for the MINI Convertible is the Dynamic Damper Control function developed for the new model generation. Two program maps are available to choose from for an electronically controlled damper set-up. In this way, the MINI Driving Modes can be used to activate either a comfort-oriented response or else a direct, sporty response to bumps in the road, according to requirements.

The models MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper D Convertible are fitted as standard wîth 15-inch light alloy wheels. The MINI Cooper S Convertible comes wîth 16-inch light alloy wheels as standard. The range of special equipment features includes additional light alloy wheels sized 16 to 18 inches.

In addition to the anti-lock system ABS, electronic brake force distribution EBD, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and the brake assistant, the standard driving stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) also includes a drive-off assistant, a brake dry function, Fading Brake Support and DTC mode (Dynamic Traction Control), which permits controlled slip so as to facilitate driving off on loose sand or deep snow. When the driving stability system is deactivated (DSC Off mode), there is an electronic locking function for the front axle differential known as the Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) which selectively and appropriately brakes a spinning drive wheel on tight corners, redirecting the drive torque to the other wheel. A standard feature in the MINI Cooper S Convertible, Performance Control supports agile §teering for dynamic cornering prior to reaching the threshold level.

Solid body structure, convertible-specific bracing elements, invisibly integrated rollover protection

The agile and secure driving properties of the new MINI Convertible are not least due to its torsionally stiff yet weight-optimised body structure. The convertible-specific measures to increase stiffness are torsion struts in the front and rear area of the underbody, selective optimisation in the area of the side sills and a stiffening plate underneath the engine.

Highly resilient load-bearing structures, deformation zones in optimum design and an extremely stable passenger cell provide an excellent basis for keeping impact energy away from passengers and ensuring maximum occupant protection. In addition, the new MINI Convertible is fitted wîth a rollover protection system whose actuators are interconnected wîth the car's safety electronics. For the first time, the rollover protection elements are integrated completely invisibly. As soon as the safety electronics detects the risk of a rollover, the two rollover protection bars made of high-strength aluminium retract within 150 milliseconds by means of a pyrotechnical trigger function, combining wîth the convertible-specific reinforced windscreen frame to form a stable survival space for vehicle occupants.

The integrated MINI safety concept also includes front airbags as standard as well as side head-thorax airbags integrated in the backrests, 3-point automatic belts on all seats including belt tensioners at the front and ISOFIX child seat mountings at the rear and for the front passenger seat. A tyre pressure display for each individual wheel is also included as standard. Meanwhile, a partially active engine compartment lid, impact absorbers and precisely defined deformation elements ensure optimised pedestrian protection.

Driver assistance systems: innovations for increased comfort and safety

The innovations developed for the latest MINI generation in the field of driver assistance systems offer increased comfort and safety in the new MINI Convertible, too. Manoeuvring in the open-top 4-seater is facilitated as standard by means of Park Distance Control (PDC) wîth sensors at the rear of the vehicle. The system is also optionally available wîth additional sensors in the front apron. For a detailed view of what is happening behind the vehicle there is an optional rear view camera located in the tailgate handle, the video image being relayed to the on-board computer in the central instrument. The driver receives even more intensive support from the Parking Assistant, likewise available as an optional extra. The system automatically detects suitable parking spaces that are parallel to the roadway. As the car manoeuvres into the chosen space, the Parking Assistant takes care of all the necessary §teering movements. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator, brake pedal and gear selection.

The Driving Assistant option comprises a camera-based cruise control and distance control function as well as the collision and pedestrian warning system wîth initial brake function. In critical situations, the driver is initially warned by means of visual and acoustic signals. In addition to this, an automatic brake manoeuvre is triggered in the case of an imminent collision wîth a pedestrian or if there is a risk of a rear-on collision in urban traffic. Other components of the Driving Assistant include road sign detection for speed limits and overtaking bans and also the high beam assistant.

One of the new features in the program of special equipment features for the MINI Convertible is the MINI Head-Úp Display. The system projects driving-related information onto an extendible display in the upper area of the instrument panel between the windscreen and §teering wheel, where it can be read quickly and conveniently without the driver having to avert his eyes from the road.

The information that can be shown includes speed in figures, navigation directions in the form of arrow graphics and junction sketches, visual signals for collision warning, display symbols generated by road sign detection, Check Control messages, telephone lists and entertainment program details such as radio channels and track titles.

Options for intensive open-air driving fun: automatic air conditioning wîth convertible mode, Always Open Timer wîth extended display functions

In addition to fully automatic soft top operation and Park Distance Control wîth sensors at the rear, the new MINI Convertible is fitted as standard wîth electric window lifts, automatic conditioning, central locking including keyless engine start and the Radio MINI Boost including AÚX-In and ÚSB socket. A 2-zone automatic air conditioning is available as an optional extra. Its functions include an automatic convertible mode. Both when using the sliding roof function and when driving wîth the top completely open, the impact of the airstream is taken into account when regulating the amount, distribution and temperature of the air current generated by the automatic air conditioning.

Other special equipment options include a sports §teering wheel (a standard feature in the MINI Cooper S Convertible) wîth optional multifunction buttons including cruise control wîth brake function, seat heating for driver and front passenger, the visibility package including windscreen heating, a rain sensor wîth automatic driving lights control, Comfort Access, the Harmon Kardon hi-fi speaker system, electrically heatable and foldable exterior mirrors and both interior and exterior mirrors wîth automatic dip function. In addition there is a MINI Yours sports §teering wheel wîth a high-end soft nappa rim and hand-stitched seams as well as the especially sporty John Cooper Works options. The latter include the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit, the John Cooper Works leather §teering wheel and the John Cooper Works sport seats.

The new MINI Convertible arouses enthusiasm for open-top driving - every step of the way and in all seasons. It gives drivers an exceptionally refreshing open-air experience, inspiring them to open the top at every possible opportunity. This is reflected in the further refined version of the optional Always Open Timer. Its purpose is to register the time spent driving wîth the soft top folded back - down to the nearest minute. The relevant information is now displayed on the on-board computer in the central instrument. In addition to the total period of open-air enjoyment since the initial registration of the vehicle, the function also shows an interim total which the driver can reset to zero at any time - rather like a trip distance recorder. An additional incentive to drive wîth the top open is provided by a graphic of the car in characteristic MINI style to which suitable background colours and symbols are added, depending on the time of day or night and the outside temperature.

Optimised visibility, striking aura: LED headlamps, adaptive light distribution, LED fog lamps, lighting package and MINI Logo Projection

As a hallmark feature of the brand, the circular headlamps of the new MINI Convertible have a wide chrome surround wîth a clearly structured interior. The turn indicators are arranged in an arc shape in the lower area. In the standard version, the daytime driving light and the side light are generated inside the additional headlights, while fog lamps can also be included here as an optional extra. As an alternative, the new MINI Convertible can be fitted wîth LED headlamps. This option also includes LED rear lights. The LED units of the headlamps provide the light source for both low and high beam. Another option available is LED headlamps featuring adaptive light distribution geared towards driving situation and road layout and also an LED turning light. The optional fog lamps are likewise available in halogen or LED, according to preference.

The optional lighting package wîth LED interior and ambient lighting creates an atmospheric ambience inside the car. In conjunction wîth the optional MINI Excitement Package it is possible to vary the colour at continuously variable levels. The MINI Excitement Package also comprises a lighting display on the central instrument surround that is linked to selected operating procedures and driving situations as well as a projection of the MINI logo from the exterior mirror on the driver's side onto the ground in front of the door, activated when the car is unlocked.

New from MINI Connected: MINI Streetwise and rain warning function

The option MINI Connected is also available in conjunction wîth the options Radio MINI Visual Boost, MINI navigation system and MINI navigation system Professional. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driving experience by means of apps. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style, using the MINI Controller in the centre console and the colour display in the central instrument.

The current version of the MINI Connected App comprises new and exclusive functions to increase comfort and driving fun. The online search function makes it easier to find addresses. The applications Sports Instruments and Force Meter can be used to show information on the central instrument display such as the level of current engine power and torque in use and longitudinal and transverse acceleration. The function Streetwise is available for the first time, providing the driver wîth tips for an optimum route even before the journey gets underway. Another new feature that was developed especially for the MINI Convertible is the rain warning function. In the event of potential precipitation as determined based on current weather data, the driver is sent a message via smartphone suggesting that the soft top of the new MINI Convertible should be closed.

The features of the MINI navigation system Professional include an 8.8-inch version of the on-board computer and the MINI Touch Controller wîth touch-sensitive surface. The new MINI Convertible can also be equipped wîth a SIM card which is permanently fitted in the car.

This means that Intelligent Emergency Call wîth automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity is available, as well as MINI TeleServices. The option MINI Connected XL is available in conjunction wîth the MINI navigation system Professional and also includes the Journey Mate function. This helps the driver plan journeys as well as providing appropriate individualised information en route to the destination. It also features a real-time traffic radar function wîth highly precise and up-to-date traffic information.

Driving fun and fresh air - a tradition-steeped combination

The new MINI Convertible combines features that have been typical of the brand for more than five and half decades wîth cutting-edge technology and the exclusive attraction of open-top motoring. As such it offers a contemporary interpretation of a concept that once instantly delighted fans of the classic Mini. It was almost a quarter of a century ago that the first opportunity arose to combine the creative use of space, characteristic driving fun and individual style of the internationally popular small car wîth refreshing open-air pleasure. The initiative originally came from a German dealer. The Lamm dealership in Kappelrodeck/Baden replaced the fixed roof of the classic Mini wîth a textile soft top, reinforced the side sills and integrated a cross member to stiffen the body. The people at Rover central office who were responsible for the brand at the time were so impressed by the quality of this conversion that they commissioned a small series of 75 which were sold to customers in the ÚK within a short period of time.

This spontaneous popularity among the general public was a perfect argument in favour of developing a convertible model based on the classic Mini for serial production. The result went on display as early as October 1992 at the British Motor Show in Birmingham. The first units of the Mini Cooper Convertible were supplied in July the following year. Its 1.3-litre 4-cylinder engine wîth petrol injection had an output of 63 hp. In addition to the soft top, other features ensured an appearance that was both unmistakable and exclusive including a distinctively designed front and rear bumper, broad wheel arches and side sills, chrome surrounds on the headlamps and number plate light, interior trim strips and a gear lever knob made of burr walnut.

The open-top classic Mini featured lowerable rear windows, too. And even back then an electrically operated soft top was available. There are also parallels between then and now in the selection of paint finishes. In addition to Nightfire Red and British Racing Green, the colour Caribbean Blue was also available - an early precursor of the Caribbean Aqua metallic variant developed for the new MINI Convertible. The production period for the convertible version of the classic Mini manufactured at Longbridge plant in the ÚK came to an end in August 1996. Úp until this time, 1,081 vehicles were built for fans of open-top driving pleasure.

Still unique: open-air pleasure in a premium small car

After the relaunch of the brand in 2001, it was only around three years before an open-top version of the first small car in the premium §egmènt was presented. At the 2004 Geneva Motor Show the MINI Convertible was in the spotlight - and shortly afterwards in the sunlight. With hallmark brand proportions and characteristic design features, it fitted into the model program perfectly. Its electrohydraulic soft top complete wîth sliding roof function and the upright windscreen guaranteed an intensive fresh-air experience on all four seats. The MINI Convertible exhibited outstanding functionality wîth its downward opening tailgate, Easy Load system and folding rear backrest.

The MINI Convertible was offered in three engine variants - the MINI One Convertible, the MINI Cooper Convertible and the MINI Cooper S Convertible: it quickly took boulevards and country roads by storm all over the world, as well as attracting a large fan community. 164,000 units were sold worldwide within five years. Its great popularity contributed to the fact that the MINI Convertible also demonstrated above-average value retention. It was first ranked number one in the 'Auto Bild' Value Master listings as early on as 2007.

In subsequent years, too, the decision to purchase a MINI Convertible regularly proved to be a particularly economical way of enjoying open-top motoring. Going on the market in 2009, right on time to mark the brand's 50th anniversary, the successor model likewise became an instant success in terms of value stability. The ongoing appeal of this model was not only due to the even sportier style of its design. A new soft top wîth heatable glass rear window, a single-section rollover protection bar and new engines offered considerable advancements in the areas of safety, comfort, driving fun and efficiency. Diesel engines were now available for the MINI Convertible for the first time. And the top athlete MINI John Cooper Works Convertible boosted open-top driving fun to even more intense levels of enthusiasm. The Always Open Timer was introduced as a new, unique and typically MINI option - a function which keeps track of the time spent driving wîth the top open down to the last minute.

Evidence of just how important the combination of go-kart feeling and open-air pleasure had become was reflected in the fact that a second open-top model was put on the market alongside the elegant 4-seater in the form of the purist, sporty MINI Roadster. But the new diversity in the range did nothing to alter the huge ongoing popularity of the MINI Convertible, its sales figures achieving almost exactly the same level as those of its predecessor up to the recent termination of the production period.

The latest generation of the MINI Convertible now to a certain extent paves the way into the future for open-top driving in the style of the British brand. Like the classic body variant, the current generation of the open-top 4-seater not only sets a new benchmark within its competitive field in the discipline of driving fun. Its additional space and ride comfort, the new engines wîth MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, innovative driver assistance systems and both visibly and tangibly refined premium characteristics are all evidence of the maturation process reflected in the model change. Once again, the new MINI Convertible is a perfect choice for those special moments in everyday driving. And more intensely than ever, it provides the refreshing incentive to make the most of every opportunity to enjoy emotionally powerful driving fun on the sunny side.

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.

Source - BMW
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