Mini has revealed the first official pictures of its new Convertible. The latest version of the best-selling soft-top will go on sale in March next year.
The new Mini Convertible shares the hatchback’s front end, but gets a raised shoulder line to accommodate the folding fabric roof.
At launch there will be two models, the Mini Cooper and the turbocharged Mini Cooper S. It’s likely that an ultra-efficient diesel version will be launched later next year.
The 1.6-litre motor from the standard Mini is retained for both petrol Coopers, offering more power but lower emissions than the old Convertible.
BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology has also been introduced to the Convertible. Systems like stop-start and brake energy regeneration help both Mini Convertible models to reduce CO2 emissions, putting them two road-tax bands below the outgoing models.
Structural strength and body stiffness have been improved, which should aid handling, reduce scuttle shake and boost safety. Despite the improved rigidity, the Mini’s weight has also been reduced by 10kg.
Other safety enhancements include a new single-piece roll bar behind the rear seats that can extend milliseconds before a crash to protect occupants should the car roll onto its roof.
It takes 15 seconds for the fully automatic fabric roof to open or close, and it can do so at speeds of up to 20mph. The roof can also partially retract by 40cm to create the effect of a sunroof.
Luggage capacity is 170 litres with the roof down (up from the old model’s 165 litres). With the rear seats folded down and the roof up, the Mini Convertible offers 660 litres of space (55 litres more than the old car).