2009 R57 MINI Convertible Revealed

(Photos Removed)

(Updated: all photos have removed due to a BMW/MINI legal request) Images of the R57 MINI Convertible, scheduled to debut this winter at the Detroit Auto Show, have surfaced thanks to a tipster. While there aren’t many surprises in these photos thanks previous information we’ve reported, there are a couple of new items shown. For one it looks as if MINI is adding a black trip options on the headlights and on the belt-line trim that has been traditionally chrome.

New Color choices

As seen above are the new two colors exclusive for the R57, Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue (similar to the much loved Space Blue). Also seen above for the first time is the Hot Chocolate canvass top. Not shown is the “Denim” blue top also making a debut on the R57.

The Roll-bar Goes Away

The R57’s top design will be a slightly updated version of the current R52 convertible with a larger glass rear window. Also making it’s debut is a pop-up roll-bar system that will take the place of the current vision robbing set-up. The system will be similar to the one found in the 1 and 3 Series BMWs.

Always Open Gauge

Also seen for the time above (and unique to the convertible) will be an “always open” guage which will measure the amount of miles driven with the top open. The idea is that it will encourage owners to live the “always open” lifestyle MINI marketing has created for this car. The gauge will be located to the left side of the rev-counter.

Interior Trim

The long rumored “black chrome” interior trim that we reported on over a year ago will finally be available on the R57. This addition will be an option much like the chrome-line interior trim on the current range.

JCW for the R57

Our sources are reporting that the R57 convertible will be available as a factory JCW from day one. It will also be available with the dealer installed JCW engine kit.


As previously reported the R57 will go on-sale in Spring of 2009. We’ve heard an exact time-line of March but that could always slip a week or two. Expect the launch to happen worldwide with the Cooper, Cooper S and JCW models to eventually follow.

We’ll have more on the R57 and details of the trim updates soon.

Written By: Gabe

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  • lavardera

    The housing for the open guage on the vert may spawn an intrument package for the coupe – no telling.

    As far as the gas cap – I did not realize that the internal clearance of the S & cooper gas fillers were any different. I thought it was just a cosmetic change.

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  • eager2own

    ScottRiqui- flipping between the 2 photos (#4 and 7 above) is really creapy — there is no way to correlate the 2 . . . except to assume that serious photshopping has been done.
    My guess is that photo #4 has been editted to omit the folds in the canvas as the boot lid is raised.

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  • rkw
    The Always Open gauge is an additional novelty to add to the character of the car.

    Cabrio King, then you acknowledge that it is nothing more than a novelty. Maybe I’m stuck up and boring but I saw it as a missed opportunity for a better car. An analog clock wouldn’t be my first choice. I’d prefer a temp and/or pressure gauge. But hell yes I’d choose an analog clock over a roof meter.

    Given the history of MINI cabrio tops, someone on MINI2 suggested that it should be a count down to roof replacement.

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  • greg

    My two cents. I think the “open” gauge is a GREAT idea and is alot of fun. That’s what a Mini is all about. Wish I could have it on my ’08 cabrio.

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  • eager2own

    Actually, my top is down (even when parked) from Feb. until Nov. … and I still think the gauge is dumb. My top is down and I don’t need a gimmicky novelty “gauge” to tell me that it is. This is very disappointing if it’s what MINI had hinted at as “redifining top down motoring” in early talks of the R57. If this means I’m a “senile old prune” who doesn’t “get” how much fun this new gauge will be for months and years to come — then I guess that’s what I am… now, a gauge that told me what percentage of the time I was in the redline — that would be fun.

  • pablum

    Hmmmmm…. Anyone else notice the brown / hot chocolate color line? Was that an announced addition? And is that dash piano black or does it match the exterior… too hard to tell from this photo.

    I really like the interchange yellow. :-) Is it too early to trade my 08 mcs in? ;-)

  • pablum

    Yep, it appears to be blue, but that could be a photographic/processing artifact. Take a look at the large version of the always open gauge on the flickr account. You’ll see that it does appear to be blue behind the gauges….

  • MrChips

    I sense an “Always Open Guage Delete” option coming soon after the release? ;-)

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  • Brian

    Interchange Yellow JCW with all the options…. Yea Baby.

  • http://www.kaesminiclub.com DavidB
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  • lavardera

    they still have the photos up, and they added their own water mark over the MotoringFile watermark…

  • Brian

    Yup all the other web site still have the photos

  • SCOTT27

    I am absolutely seething about the leak.

    As much still has to be done to the final marketing of the MINI cabrio. There is still a lot of final shooting to commence and the Benny Benassi music is not finished.

    The main talking point regarding MINI at this current time is the MINI Concept Car. The MINI Cabrio is not due until November.

  • SFRedMCc

    The Auto Express’ headline is: “Images LEAK of the brand new MINI Convertible – way ahead of its Detroit Motor Show debut.” Do you think maybe it’s a British attempt to be humorous?

  • eto

    Wow… I think this is the first time I’ve seen a true leak through MotoringFile. I am puzzled at the release here, because there wasn’t much in the article indicating this was an unofficial leak of R57 images. MF has always been supportive of MINI, and hesitant to break media releases until the specified time unless others did so prior.

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  • GregW

    Why convertible sports cars are made by the English, where it rains or is overcast most of the time, and where a fine summers day is a rarity, and drivers wrap up in coats, caps, and turn the heater on full, is an enigma! However, I am told that to quote the song “it never rains in California, but man it pours”.

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  • http://MINIpassion.co.za Timmee

    Why have AutoExpress added their own watermark over the MF one?

    I know it is not particularly pleasant to be served with a cease & desist, having had one myself with the JCW spec leak earlier this year. Nobody that is a brand proponent wants to fight with MINI anyway.

  • f650 rider

    What’s not to love? Beauty in the eye of the beholder–I’m signing up.

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