GoAutoLogo
MENU

New models - Mini - Convertible

First drive: Mini's breath of fresh air

Premium: The soft-top adds $6400 to the price of the Mini Cooper hatch.

Mini launches stylish new Cabrio for a reasonable premium in Australia

Mini logo10 Dec 2004

By TIM BRITTEN

TRANSFORMING a brick-shaped object into a half-decent soft-top car would be an insurmountable challenge for some car-makers, but the just-launched Mini Cabrio proves styling judgments should never be made in advance.

The convertible-roof Mini arrives here with style, and a certain amount of practicality, to supplement a successful marketing ploy that has seen the BMW-managed Mini brand emerge as a viable entity long after the Leyland original disappeared from view.

It also aims to extend market appeal beyond males, who currently account for the bulk of Mini purchases.

Like the hardtop versions, the rag-top will be available in 85kW Cooper and 125kW Cooper S form (but not in Chilli livery) in both manual or optional CVT transmission In a first for the brand, from March 2005 the option of an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission in the Cooper S version will also be available.

The soft-top Mini adds $6400 to the price of regular hard-top versions and is an interesting variant on the soft-top tradition.

For a start, it’s the only convertible on the market that comes with a sunroof that can be brought into play if the full roof-down configuration is not required, and it is definitely the first convertible doubling as an (almost) five-door hatchback.

This sort of practicality is something of a surprise in a car that has not been known – so far – as anything other than a two-door status symbol with a nodding acquaintance to rear-seat passengers.

The cabriolet offers nominal seating for four passengers along with a split-fold backrest and a maximum load capacity, with two people on board, of 605 litres.

39 center image The cabriolet roof is fully automatic and closes or opens in about 15 seconds. It also has a glass rear window with demisting wires and folds without taking up excessive space and without the need for a tonneau cover.

The claim is that the Mini Cabrio offers the same levels of crash protection as the hard-top versions. It has been given a decent toughening-up in terms of body rigidity to compensate for the deletion of the roof and is equipped with two solid rollover bars behind the rear seat should the worst happen.

In deference to the fact that rear vision is not equal to the hardtop, rear park-distance monitors are standard on both Cooper and Cooper S.

The body gets extra reinforcement in the doorsills and cross members, as well as extra struts connecting the body to the rear axle and linking the front suspension and the engine mounts. Dual front airbags and head-thorax side airbags are also standard.

The bootlid is bottom-hinged, just like the original, and gives access to a small boot that can be expanded via a clever manipulation of the convertible roof to give similar loading ability to a hatchback.

The convertible roof adds around 100kg to the weight of the Mini, but management says acceleration is not unduly affected – particularly in the Cooper S version which, according to official figures, will reach 100km/h in 7.4 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating four-seat convertible under $100,000.

Suspension settings have been softened slightly to compensate for the inevitable flex in the body.

The Cooper gets a milder spring/shock absorber set-up, while the Cooper S Cabrio, in lieu of the Sports-plus settings on the hardtop, gets a straight Sports set-up.

Wheels on the Cooper Cabrio are 16-inch alloys, while the Cooper S gets 17-inch alloys.

Standard equipment on Cooper versions includes anti-lock brakes, cornering brake control, park-distance sensors, air-conditioning and trip computer, while the Cooper S picks up automatic stability control, run-flat tyres, cruise control and a six-speed manual transmission in place of the Cooper’s five-speed gearbox.

PRICING:
Mini Cooper Cabriolet $35,900
Mini Cooper S Cabriolet $44,900 Major options:
Six-speed automatic transmission (Cooper S only) $2200
CVT transmission (Cooper only) $2200
John Cooper Works tuning kit (Cooper S) $9850

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Convertible

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Share with your friends

Mini models