new MINI Cooper S convertible:
Arriving for its world debut, the
new MINI Convertible is one of the chic stars of the
2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in
Detroit (public days from 17 to 25 January 2009),
alongside the electric MINI
E (see the MINI
E presentation) and the rest of the MINI
Entering the U.S. market this
March, the MINI Convertible (or cabriolet, as some
might prefer to call it) is available from the start
in the MINI Cooper S Convertible (128 kW/175 hp) and
the MINI Cooper Convertible (88 kW/120 hp) versions.
Compared with their respective predecessors, both
offer enhanced performance on less fuel and lower
Other highlights at MINI are the 2009
MINI Hatch and MINI
Clubman, in addition to the latest additions to
the range, the MINI
John Cooper Works and the MINI
John Cooper Works Clubman. Both are powered by a
155 kW/211 hp four-cylinder with a twin-scroll
turbocharger and direct
Out of a total production volume of
some 164,000 MINI Convertibles of the first
generation, more than 37,000 units (about 23%) were
sold in the United States.
MINI says it new convertible comes
with improved design, suspension, performance and a
rollover safety system. The roof
opens or closes fully automatically within 15 seconds,
at the press of a button. Even while
driving at a speed of up to 30 km/h or 20 mph, the
soft top (more details) folds
back at the press of a button.
Timer next to the rev counter shows the driver and
passengers the time they have spent driving with the
roof down... for those who love statistics to such a
Engines - The new
MINI Convertible will be launched with two versions of
the BMW / PSA (Peugeot - Citroën) jointly developed
cover, as the outer skin of the roof
1 - MINI Cooper Convertible:
88 kW/120 hp 1.6-litre, normally aspirated
four-cylinder engine, with fully variable valve
management developed on the basis of the BMW Group’s
Valvetronic technology. It accelerates
to 100 km/h or 62 mph in 9.8 seconds and has a top
speed of 198 km/h or 123 mph. Fuel consumption in the
EU test cycle is 5.7 litres/100 kilometres (41.1 U.S.
mpg - 49.33 imperial mpg), and the CO2
rating is 127 grams per kilometre.
2 - MINI Cooper S Convertible:
the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit but with
maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp thanks to the twin-scroll
turbocharger and direct
gasoline injection, accelerating to 100 km/h (62
mph) in 7.4 seconds, Top speed is 222 km/h or 138 mph.
Average fuel consumption in the EU test
cycle is 6.4 litres (36.6 U.S mpg, or 43.93 imp. mpg),
and the emission rating is 153 grams per kilometre.
6-speed manual or optional 6-speed
Both engine variants come as
standard with the latest technologies for reducing
both fuel consumption and emissions, including Brake
Energy Regeneration as well as Auto
Start Stop and a gearshift
point indicator on the 6-speed manual gearbox
Benefiting from this efficient
drive technology, fuel consumption and CO2
emissions on the new MINI Convertible are reduced by
up to 23 per cent compared with the cars’ respective
Both Convertible versions will be
available with the standard six-speed manual gearbox
or the optional six-speed automatic one. With
the automatic transmission, the driver can shift gears
individually in the manual mode by means of paddles on
the steering wheel
driver can open the soft top with the
At the same time the suspension is
significantly enhanced and upgraded over the former
model. The electromechanical
power steering, the powerful brake system and DSC
Dynamic Stability Control are all standard.
As an option, Dynamic Stability
Control may be further upgraded by the DTC
optimised traction mode available exclusively on the
MINI as the only front-wheel-drive car with this
technology and an electrical locking
function on the drive wheel differential.
Safety is further enhanced by the
new rollover system moving up electromechanically
whenever required. The single-piece rollbar rests
almost out of sight behind the rear seats, moving up
within fractions of a second only when the electronic
safety control registers the risk of a rollover.
rear seats backrest can be split in
one or two parts.
Design: Compared with
the former MINI generation, the new design is rather
evolutionary, with chiselled body surfaces giving the
new Convertible a more dynamic look.
A chrome bar extending round the
body horizontally at shoulder level connects the body
of the car with the roof and windows. The proportions
of the car with short overhangs front and rear, larger
wheel cut-outs, the height of the waistline and other
design features remain characteristic of the brand.
Both versions come with a hexagon
radiator grille and large round headlights with
integrated direction indicators in typical MINI style.
The MINI Cooper S Convertible is
recognisable by its powerdome rising up 20 millimetres
or almost 0.8", the stylised opening on the
engine compartment lid, and the hexagonal grid pattern
on the radiator grille as well as the extra-large
lower air intake scoop.
Cooper convertible (white) and Cooper
On the MINI Cooper Convertible the
radiator grille boasts a chrome frame and three
horizontal, chrome-plated bars. The edges on the lower
air intake scoop flow slightly upwards, with both the
MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper
Convertible featuring positioning light units on
either side of the lower air intake also housing the
optionally available fog lamps.
The rear section is characterised
by horizontal lines running parallel to one another. The
rear lid of the new MINI Convertible opening up to the
bottom comes with hinges mounted on the inside, giving
the entire rear section a smooth and homogeneous
The rear lights are somewhat larger
than on the former model. As on the MINI
Hatch, they are surrounded by chrome frames
disconnected from the lights themselves.
The sporting character of the MINI
Cooper S Convertible is emphasised further at the rear
by dual tailpipes in the middle, the large air intake
in the rear dam, and the two-piece rear fog lamp.
- With the roof closed the MINI Convertible comes with
the proportions typical of the car, and a sporting
look emphasised by the low roofline.
A wind-tight and hard-wearing
textile material rests firmly on the roof bars made of
steel and aluminium, thus avoiding change in shape or
bulging effect even at high speeds.
All-round visibility with the roof
closed is improved over the former model thanks to the
slightly larger side windows and the newly conceived, retractable
rollbar. This single-piece rollbar moving
up and down as required runs across the entire width
of the car just below the rear headrests, thus
offering the driver unrestricted visibility without
any obstruction to the rear.
Cooper convertible (white) and Cooper
The rear window is connected to the
soft top by seals on the inside, thus closing flush
with the surface of the roof. Made of glass, the rear
window may be heated electrically to eliminate misting
or icing effect. As an option, the new MINI
Convertible is also available with a heated
The soft roof opens and closes
completely within 15 seconds, with fully automatic,
electrohydraulic control. After the roof has opened,
it folds down into the rear end of the car. Since the
outer skin of the open roof faces upwards, there is no
need for a tonneau cover.
The opening and closing mechanism
is activated by a toggle switch on the front roof
frame, and may be initiated at road speeds of up to 30
km/h or 20 mph. The driver can even open the soft top
before setting out by means of the remote control
integrated in the ignition key.
The window bars and side windows
are retracted electrically as soon as the soft roof
starts to move back in a fully automated process.
The closing process takes place in
exactly the opposite order.
Opening and closing are performed
in a continuous flow, as long as the driver keeps the
switch on the roof frame or the button on the remote
control pressed down. This also allows him / her to
interrupt the movement of the soft roof in any
position. By briefly pressing a separate button, the
driver can also lower the four side windows together
while the roof remains closed.
roof function: may be activated below
120 km/h (75 mph).
A Sliding roof function on
the new MINI Convertible allows to move back the front
section of the soft top by up to 40 centimetres or
approximately 16 inches, also by pressing the switch
on the front roof frame. The sliding roof function may
be activated at speeds of up to 120 km/h or 75 mph.
Passive safety - To provide
the additional strength and stability needed in an
open-air car, the newly constructed floorpan as well
as A-pillars and side-sills are reinforced to a higher
standard than on the closed versions.
The new MINI Convertible comes with
standard frontal airbags and side head/thorax airbags
integrated in the outer flanks of the front seat
backrest and protecting both the head, the upper body
and the hips of the occupants in the event of a side
All four seats feature three-point
inertia-reel seat belts with additional belt force
limiters and optimised belt tensioners on the front
The safety system in the MINI
Convertible also comprises the rollover sensor
activating the new rollbar
as well as the belt latch tensioners and the
head/thorax airbags in the event of a rollover.
Interacting with the reinforced windscreen frame, the
new rollbar moves up electromechanically within 150
milliseconds whenever required.
constructed floorpan and reinforced
A-pillars and sills.
Interior - Through
its design and construction, the new rollbar
enhances not only safety, but also the everyday
practicality. Made of one single piece of aluminium,
the rollbar extends across the entire width of the
interior behind the rear seats. The two ends of the
rollbars rest in holders moving up the entire safety
unit electromechanically whenever required. In its
basic position, on the other hand, the rollbar is no
higher than the rear headrests, thus remaining outside
of the driver’s area of visibility in looking to the
Designed as a single-piece element,
the rollbar furthermore serves to integrate a large
through-loading facility between the luggage and the
passenger compartment, giving additional modularity.
Load system with the rear seats
backrest folded down.
Depending on requirements, the
rear-seat backrest folds down either in a 50:50
subdivision or completely from right to left. With the
roof closed, the luggage compartment capacity is 660
litres or 23.3 cubic, feet, exceeding the capacity
available in the former model by 55 litres or 1.94
cubic feet. Maximum load, in turn, is up by 30 kg (66
lb) to 430 kg (948 lb).
Like its predecessor, the new MINI
Convertible comes with an Easy-Load system.
With the rear lid swivelling down, the entire lid also
serves as a storage tray able to carry a load of up to
80 kg or176 lb.
The rear roof frame swivels up by
approximately 35°, to enhance the luggage compartment
opening for easier loading of bulky objects.
roof: luggage capacity is reduced from
660 to 125 litres.
With the roof open, luggage
capacity is reduced to 125 litres or 4.4 cubic feet, 5
litres more than in the former model. As long as the
roof is closed, the parcel shelf (resting on two guide
rails and holding the roof when open) swivels up to
the top, increasing luggage capacity to 170 litres or
6 cubic feet, also 5 litres more than on the former
Option - The range of
options for customising the new MINI Convertible has
also been extended with new body colours, three
different colour and trim variants on the roof and a
number of upholstery options, interior surfaces and
The new convertible is also
available with a new wind deflector to reduce air
swirl within the interior. Fitted in position behind
the front seats, the wind deflector moves up in one
wind deflector moves up in one operation.
An optional Lights Package includes
additional footwell and exit lights as well as
discreet light sources around the centre console.
Ambient illumination included in the package sets a
particular highlight in the interior with a discreet
“waterfall” light effect from above and indirectly
illuminating the centre console, the door pockets and
the door handle shells, as well as the side panels at
the rear. At the touch of a button, the driver or
passengers can vary the mood generated by the ambient
lights from warm orange to sporting blue.
The new convertible comes
optionally with either air conditioning or automatic
climate control. The latter one comprises a special
convertible mode activated automatically as soon as
the roof is opened. In the convertible mode the
temperature set by the driver and passengers is
consistently maintained even under the influence of
The standard audio system comes
with a CD player and six loudspeakers. When ordered
with a navigation system, the display is positioned
beneath the central instrument. To choose the
functions presented in the display the driver uses a
special joystick on the centre console.
External music players may be
integrated in the audio systems. Using the AUX port
fitted as standard, the driver or passengers are able
to play music stored on an MP3 player, via the audio
A special interface for full
integration of an Apple iPod is likewise available as
an accessory, allowing the selection of music files
via the audio controls (other accessories and options
Like the MINI
Hatch and the MINI
Clubman, the new MINI Convertible may also be
upgraded by fitting entertainment and navigation
systems. The controls for the audio system and the
6.5-inch TFT coloured display for the optional
navigation unit are housed in the central circular
Cooper Convertible "Always-Open
For statistics lovers, the new MINI
Convertible is also available as an option with the Always-Open
Timer. Positioned to the left of the rev
counter, the Always-Open Timer displays how long the
car has been driven with the roof down. This
instrument is activated once the driver starts the
engine and the soft top is fully open. An analogue
indicator moving on a scale from 0 – 60 then counts
the time spent driving in the open air in minutes.
After one hour, the indicator moves back to its
starting point and the first LED light on a six-light
scale will come on within the circular instrument. In
all, therefore, the Always-Open Timer is able to
present an overall driving period in the open air of 6
hours and 59 minutes.
The period spent driving with the
roof open is also determined by the on-board computer,
an indicator in the lower section of the rev counter
allowing the user to check out both an interim reading
and the overall time spent driving in the open air.
And like on a trip counter, the driver is able to
re-set the interim result.
The MINI Cooper Convertible comes
as standard on 15-inch light-alloy wheels with 175/65
R 15 tyres. The MINI Cooper S Convertible runs on
16-inch light-alloy wheels and 195/55 R 16 runflat
Both models are optionally
available with exclusive 17-inch rims in Black Star