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Mini opens up new Convertible

Topless fun: The Mini Convertible now has an automatic roof lowering system for the first time.

Quarter two, 2016 Australian debut for all-new Mini Convertible

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Mini logo23 Oct 2015

MINI has lifted the lid on its latest Convertible ahead of an Australian showroom debut in the second quarter of 2016.

The latest version takes the Mini Convertible moniker instead of the Cabrio nameplate which adorned the outgoing model that has been around since early 2009.

The four-seat drop-top features a “high-quality” fabric soft-top that can be automatically lowered or raised in 18 seconds at speeds up to 30km/h, as well as “invisibly integrated” roll-over protection.

A sliding roof function is also fitted, allowing the front section of the top to be retracted by up to 40cm, while a Mini Yours roof with a Union Jack theme can also be ordered as an option. A further option is a wind deflector which can be folded and stowed in the boot when not in use.

Mini says sound insulation has been optimised for the tailgate and the soft-top compartment to keep noise down in the cabin.

Styling wise, the Convertible carries the same front end design and tail-lights as the Mini three-door Hatch on which it is based. And it is 98mm longer, 44mm wider, 7mm higher and has a 28mm-longer wheelbase compared with the outgoing version.

Mini says this has improved interior space and comfort, while the new seats have more adjustment options, the rear seats have a longer seat surface, and it is more comfortable to get in and out of, according to the BMW-owned marque.

Cargo space is often an issue in cabriolets and the new Mini Convertible has an extra 25 per cent capacity, rising to 250 litres with the roof closed and 160 litres with the roof lowered.

Inside there are 50/50 split/fold rear seats, a 734mm wide ski port, the usual circular Mini theme to the instruments, the instrument panel housed on the steering column, stop-start button, and optional LED lighting display.

In Europe the Convertible will be offered as three variants, kicking off with the Cooper powered by the now ubiquitous 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 100kW/220Nm, offering 0-100km/h acceleration in 8.8 seconds (8.7s auto), a 208km/h top speed (206km/h auto) and fuel economy of 4.9-5.1 litres per 100 kilometres (5.1-5.3 auto).

The Cooper S follows its stablemates by being offered with a 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, delivering a 7.2-second 0-100km/h sprint time (7.1s auto), a 230km/h (228km/h auto) and fuel use of 6.0-6.1L/100km for the manual (5.6-5.8L/100km for auto).

Mini's Cooper D Convertible uses a 85kW/270Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-diesel that completes 0-100km/h in 9.9s for both transmissions, has a 195km/h top speed, and sips 3.8-4.0L/100km (3.9-4.1 auto).

All versions are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. While the Australian line-up is yet to be confirmed, it is likely to mirror the just announced Clubman line-up that includes the Cooper and Cooper S, but no Cooper D given the low take-up of small capacity diesels Down Under.

Mini says it has increased stiffness for Convertible by using torsional struts in the front and rear of the underbody, as well as other measures in the underbody area and side sills.

Suspension has been tweaked for the Convertible over the Hatch, while the Dynamic Damper Control system is available as an option for the first time on the drop-top.

Standard gear includes rear parking sensors, electric windows, automatic air-conditioning, central locking, keyless start, auxiliary and USB jacks, 15-inch light alloy wheels on the Cooper and 16s on the Cooper S.

As with all Minis, there is a myriad options and option packs ranging from sports steering wheel and heated seats, dual-zone air-conditioning that is regulated depending on if the roof is down, up or slid back, and an Always Open Timer which calculates the time spent with the roof down since the start of ownership.

The Convertible is available with nine metallic – including the new Carribean Aqua shown in the press images – and four non-metallic body colours.

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