The next Mini Convertible is spied ahead of its official 2009 launch
21 October 2008

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.

Dan Stevens

Join the debate

Comments
5

21 October 2008

Hairdressers the world over will be saving their pennies for this one.

21 October 2008

I've seen other scoop photos of the new convertible and although they have tried to show otherwise, Mini have actually done away with the ridiculous external boot hinges on this new model.

21 October 2008

Why is the Mini convertible being relesed so late into the new Mini's lifecycle? I mean, why did it take so long to release it?

22 October 2008

[quote evanstim]

Why is the Mini convertible being relesed so late into the new Mini's lifecycle? I mean, why did it take so long to release it?

[/quote]

It's because the MK1 convertible was launched so long after the hatchback and BMW wanted to recoup the development costs.

22 October 2008

Will you still not be allowed to take a driving test in it? Not that BMW will care, but it will mean a significant design fault hasn't been corrected. Serious lack of rear visibility thanks to the hood design must make parking such a small car a chore. As for joining motorways... Is that why the roll-bars have disappeared?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals