Our spy photographers have snapped the new Mini Convertible being tested ahead of its official launch next year.
The current ‘R56’ Mini hatchback has been on sale for nearly two years, but the previous-generation ‘R50’ cabriolet remained on sale until early this year.
As with the hatchback, the visual differences between the old and new versions of the Convertible are minimal, and the new car retains the current model’s folding hood.
But with the roof down the new car looks much neater, with its rollbar hoops hidden away – they will only pop-up in the event of a roll-over.
This prototype is the Cooper S model, which will uses the 175bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which endows the hatch with 140mph and 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds.
The Convertible won’t be able to match the hatchback’s figures due to the greater weight imposed by the folding roof mechanism and strengthened chassis, but it should still be the quickest open-top supermini on the market.
The Convertible will also be available with a diesel option coupled with BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology for the first time, using the Cooper D’s 1.6-litre 110bhp engine – which should be able to return a combined fuel economy of over 70mpg.
We’re expecting the Mini Convertible to be launched at the Detroit motor show in January, and go on sale in the UK in the spring. Prices are likely to rise slightly over the current car, meaning this Cooper S will cost around £18,500.