The Mini’s cult status is about to be heightened further, as the new Convertible edges nearer to its UK launch in June. The cheekily styled soft-top – finally unveiled this week – will make its public debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show and be built alongside the hatch at Mini’s Oxford plant.
Prices are not yet fixed, but company sources indicate that the Convertible will cost around £2500 over the existing Mini on a model-for-model basis. That means the base version is likely to set you back £13,000 – some £1700 less than Peugeot’s popular 206 CC.
However, unlike Peugeot’s folding hard-top and the new Vauxhall Tigra, the Mini Convertible sticks to a traditional cloth hood, with a glass rear screen and electro-hydraulic operation as standard.
Developed in partnership with German roof specialist Webasto, it can retract by 400mm to provide what Mini describes as an ‘open sunroof effect’. A second prod of the dashboard-mounted button makes the multi-layer hood fold completely and stows it in a space behind the rear seats. Lowering the soft-top takes 15 seconds and there are no manual latches. The Mini’s snug four-seat interior layout is retained, but the boot shrinks by 45 litres when the hood is lowered – down to a risible 120 litres.