R57 MINI Convertible Official Photos & Video

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After a long wait MINI has finally taken the official wraps off of the R57 MINI Convertible. Most MF readers have already seen the car when we debuted early photos. However with these photos we finally get a full look at the car at it’s new features.

Based on the R56, the R57 improves on the previous convertible in several key ways. For starters is benefits from all the performance and efficiency advances that the R56 brings. But beyond that added pop-up roll-bar protection is probably the most noticeable difference between the two cars.

Consistently Open: The New MINI Cabrio

The driving pleasure and individual style that are MINI’s signatures have been tapped to create the next-generation MINI Convertible. With its evolutionary design and increased functionality, specially tuned suspension, powerful, efficient engines and enhanced safety technology, the latest version of the four-seat convertible raises the bar.

New color choices and equipment features add up to endless options for personalization. The premium materials and finishes enhance the MINI Convertible – the only open-air car in its class – even further.

The new MINI Convertible will make its worldwide debut in January at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Orders for the MINI Convertible are being taken now; the price for the MINI Cooper Convertible is $24,550 and for the MINI Cooper S Convertible $27,450, including the $650 destination and handling charge. Delivery of the first MINI Convertibles will begin on March 28, 2009.

The new MINI Convertible’s durable soft-top with integrated sliding roof function reliably protects driver and passengers from the elements when it is up. Allowing for spontaneous open-air motoring, the soft top lowers automatically in 15 seconds flat, even when the car is in motion up to 20 mph. The unique Openometer next to the tachometer challenges the driver to log as many top-down miles as possible by recording the hours spent open-air motoring.

The new MINI Convertible offers outstanding versatility with its Easy-Load Function, folding rear-seat backrests, and generously-sized loading between the luggage and passenger compartments, which increases the car’s cargo space to 23.10 cu ft.

This level of versatility, unparalleled in the convertible segment is enabled by the innovative design and construction of the rollover protection bar. The new MINI Convertible comes with a single-piece rollover protection bar behind the rear seats that spans the entire interior width of the car, without obstructing the driver’s visibility, and moves into position automatically in the event of a potential rollover.

The new MINI Convertible will be available in two engine variants. The MINI Cooper Convertible will come equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 118 hp at 6,000 rpm. The performance-oriented MINI Cooper S Convertible will be powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection delivering 172 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm.

From the start, the MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible will be equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard with optional six-speed automatic transmission. At the same time, the new MINI Convertible owes its nimble handling characteristics to suspension technology that has been significantly upgraded and improved over the former model. Its sophisticated wheel suspension, precise electromechanical power steering, powerful brake system and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) – all standard features – allow the MINI convertible to set a new standard for agility and safety.

Design: MINI all the way, open-air motoring without compromises, and unique proportions.

The design of the MINI Convertible is the result of an evolutionary development process. Compared with the former model, the new MINI Convertible’s chiselled body panels impart a more powerful and dynamic look. The stretched side view – the rollover protection bar almost entirely concealed – gives a heightened sense of the cars sporting performance and reveals a profile clearly inspired by the classic roadster.

A chrome beltline molding encircling the entire car at shoulder-level visually connects the body with the roof and windows. The upright windscreen underscores the character and enhances the open-air experience.

The convertible model is unmistakably a MINI at very first sight. The distinct proportions, short, front- and rear- overhangs, larger wheel wells, high beltline, and other signature design cues clearly mark the car as part of the MINI family.

The front-end design features distinguish the MINI Cooper S Convertible from the MINI Cooper Convertible. Both models come with a hexagon radiator grille and large round headlamps with integrated signal indicators in typical MINI style. The MINI Cooper S Convertible is recognizable by its Powerdome, rising up almost 0.8″, the stylized 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. On the MINI Cooper Convertible, the radiator grille boasts a chrome frame and three horizontal, chrome-plated bars and a slightly upturned lower air intake scoop. Both the MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible feature positioning light units on either side of the lower air intake, and also house the foglamps that are standard on the Cooper S model.

The rear view of the new MINI Convertible also offers an enhancement of the car’s visual presence. The entire rear section is characterized by parallel horizontal that create the “steps” that emphasize the width of the car, a distinctive design cue it shares with the MINI Cooper Hardtop. The innovative, rear deck lid of the new MINI Convertible opens from the top and is hinged at bottom, creating a generous loading area.

The vertical taillights, slightly larger than those on the former model, are set, jewel-like into chrome surrounds. The particularly sporting character of the MINI Cooper S Convertible is emphasized further by the dual tailpipes, the large air intake in the rear dam, and the two-piece rear foglamp. Optimized all-round visibility ensured by even larger side windows and the retractable rollover protection bar.

The soft roof of the new MINI Convertible stands out in particular through its unique design and practical functionality. With the top up the MINI Convertible’s low roofline highlight its sporty appearance.

The high-quality, wind-tight and durable soft-top material stretches tautly across the aluminum and steel roof bars, and it resists significant changes in shape or bulging, even at high speeds. All-round visibility with the top up is improved over the former model, thanks to slightly larger side windows and the newly conceived, retractable rollover protection bar. This single-piece rollover protection bar, moving up and down as required, runs across the entire width of the car just below the rear headrests, therefore offering the driver unrestricted visibility.

The rear window is connected to the soft top by interior seals, allowing it to close flush with the surface of the roof. Made of glass, the rear window may be heated electrically whenever required to avoid any misting or icing effect. Additionally, an optional heated front windscreen is available.
Soft roof with sliding roof function – also for convenient use while driving.

The soft roof opens and closes completely within just 15 seconds, operated by fully automatic, electrohydraulic controls. After the roof has opened, it folds down snugly into the rear end of the car. The precise folding pattern efficiently removes any moisture and avoids any pressure spots or friction which might otherwise cause excessive wear or discoloration of the material. And since the outer skin of the open roof faces upwards, there is no need for a protective tonneau cover.

A toggle switch on the front roof frame activates the opening and closing mechanism. To allow for the spontaneous pleasure of open-air motoring or respond quickly to a sudden downpour, the opening and closing process may be initiated at road speeds of up to 20 mph. Additionally, the driver can open the soft top before setting out via remote control function integrated in the ignition key. The window bars and side windows on the MINI Convertible are retracted automatically when the soft roof starts to open up. The closing process is reversed, and takes place in exactly the opposite order. Both processes – 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 gives the driver the flexibility to interrupt the movement of the soft roof in any position. By briefly pressing a separate button, the driver is also able to lower the four side windows simultaneously while the roof remains closed.

The unique folding roof function on the new MINI Convertible is activated completely by electric power. Additionally, the front section of the soft top can be opened up just a bit, by up to 16 inches, again by pressing the switch on the front roof frame. Further, driver and occupants can enjoy open-air in a variety of driving conditions since the sliding roof function may be engaged at speeds of up to 75 mph.

Guarantee for unique driving pleasure: the latest generation of four-cylinder power units. Muscular, fast-revving and extremely efficient – these are the strengths of the two four-cylinder gasoline engines that will be available in the new MINI Convertible models.

Both power plants are constructed of light alloy and come with a displacement of 1,598 cc, featuring exactly the same distance between cylinders, as well as the same bore and stroke. Further, they benefit from the BMW Group’s engine development leadership and proven motorsport technology. The four-cylinder engines are built at the BMW Group’s Hams Hall Engine Plant in Great Britain, from where they go to the MINI Plant in Oxford, where the MINI Convertible is produced. Both engines are fitted into the engine bay of the MINI Convertible at an angle of 180°, with the exhaust side facing forward.

Additional features shared by both the turbocharged and naturally aspirated engines are the two-piece bedplate structure of the crankcase, a trendsetting technology carried over from motorsport, and the cylinder block and bearing housing made of a special aluminium alloy. An integrated chain box in the bearing housing saves weight, improves the car’s acoustics, and reduces the number of components.

MINI Cooper S Convertible: superior power and performance thanks to the Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection.

The new MINI Cooper S Convertible offers a more intense and thrilling experience of performance than ever before. As the more powerful of the two new models, the MINI Cooper S Convertible comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder delivering no less than 172 hp at 5,500 rpm with the help of a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection. In the range between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm, this unique power plant develops maximum torque of no less than 177 lb ft, that may be further increased briefly by the Overboost function to 192 lb ft.

The Twin-Scroll turbocharger effectively delivers a boost to the power and performance on the MINI Cooper S Convertible. The ducts of two cylinders at a time are separated from one another in the exhaust manifold and the turbocharger, serving to reduce exhaust gas counterpressure at low engine speeds in order to capitalize on the dynamic effect of the pulsating gas columns in the manifold. This enhances turbocharger’s response and delivers a particularly spontaneous build-up of engine power. As a result, the MINI Cooper S Convertible is virtually free of the “turbo gap” when accelerating so typical of a conventional turbocharged engine. Acceleration to 60 mph comes in just 7.0 seconds with the manual gearbox and 7.2 seconds with the automatic. Engine flexibility and response is truly impressive also at high speeds, and the top speed of the car is an equally impressive 138 mph (135 mph for vehicles equipped with the optional automatic transmission.)

The turbocharged four-cylinder featured in the MINI Cooper S Convertible benefits from the extra power of direct fuel injection applying the common-rail principle. The stainless-steel common rail linking all cylinders is filled with fuel by a high-pressure pump at the rear-end of the intake camshaft. Injection valves positioned at the side of the cylinder head then deliver fuel within fractions of a second and in an exact dose from the common rail directly to the combustion chamber. Four valve pockets and a combustion chamber trough positioned precisely in the middle of each piston help to provide optimum stratification of the homogeneous fuel/air mixture.

With this combination of a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, the new MINI Cooper S Convertible offers remarkable performance data in several respects: Specific output of the engine is approximately 110 hp per liter with a CO2 rating of 153 grams per kilometer.

MINI Cooper Convertible: fully variable valve management for fresh performance.

Displacing 1.6 liters, the normal-aspiration power unit in the new MINI Cooper Convertible combines fresh and sporting performance with truly outstanding economy. In this case maximum output of 118 hp comes at 6,000 rpm, torque peaking at 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.

The innovative technical features of this four-cylinder include fully variable valve management developed on the basis of the BMW Group’s unique VALVETRONIC technology. The strengths of this valve control concept is that the intake valve lift and the valve opening period adjust to the driver’s respective power and performance requirements, within fractions of a second. To achieve this superiority in engine control, the camshaft acts on the valves not directly via a follower arm, but rather through an additional intermediate lever where the pivot point is adjusted infinitely by an electrically driven eccentric shaft.

Changing over from minimum to maximum lift takes only about 300 milli¬seconds – and at the same time valve timing is varied on both the intake and exhaust side as a function of engine speed. This adjustment process is again infinite, with valve timing set to current driving conditions likewise within 300 milliseconds at the very most.

Interacting with one another, variable valve management and engine speed-related camshaft control serve to optimize both the torque curve and power output. As a result, at low speeds, the engine of the MINI Cooper Convertible delivers superior torque right from the start, while developing significantly more power than a conventional engine at high revs.

Light, innovative, efficient: most advanced drive technology for reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

Both engines featured in the new MINI Convertible are fitted crosswise at the front and convey their superior power to the front wheels. Composite – instead of cast – camshafts and the crankshaft are optimized for weight and part of the lightweight concept boasted by these all-aluminum power units. Fuel consumption is further optimized by an oil pump with volume flow control and an electronically activated water pump for the coolant circuit. And last but not least, both the MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible come as standard with the latest innovations for reducing both fuel consumption and emissions.

Six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard, six-speed automatic as an option.

Both the MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, however, both models are also available with an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

The use of six gears in both cases naturally enhances the agile and sporting character of the new MINI Convertible. With its short shift travel and precise gearshift, the manual gearbox provides ideal conditions for dynamic acceleration and driving pleasure.

Likewise, the automatic transmission — which features electronic management to shift gears with minimum interruption of power — allows sporting and dynamic driving maneuvers, combining the spontaneous and precise reactions of the automatic mode with supreme gearshift comfort. As an alternative, the driver of the Cooper S is able to shift gears individually in the manual mode by means of paddles on the steering wheel, as in a Formula 1 racing car. This allows him to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times, keeping the car under full control regardless of driving conditions.

The new MINI Convertible offers even more dynamic performance with the help of the optionally available Sports Button. Positioned in front of the gearshift or, respectively, gear selector lever on the center console, the Sports Button serves to control engine management, steering and where appropriate, the automatic transmission. Activating the sports mode at the touch of a button, the driver adjusts the gas pedal control map for a far higher standard of agility and even more direct steering response. And on cars featuring automatic transmission, finally, electronic management again helps to make the gearshift even faster.

Suspension technology on the new MINI Convertible: go-kart feeling of the highest standard.

To a large extent, the unique position of the new MINI Convertible in its segment is the result of the car’s exceptional driving characteristics. The open-air MINI therefore also offers the go-kart feeling so typical of the brand, now raised to an even higher standard of excellence.

The car’s suspension technology safely and smoothly converts the raw power of the new engines into enhanced agility and precise handling—offering even greater driving pleasure in dynamic bends, on winding country roads and in city traffic.

On the front axle, MacPherson spring struts ensure excellent wheel guidance at all times. The multi-arm axle at the rear—developed with all the know-how of the BMW Group—consistently guarantees optimum road contact through its elaborate kinematics, with aluminum longitudinal arms helping to keep weight to a minimum. Likewise, anti-rollover protection bars reduce body sway to a very low level, again contributing to the agile and safe behavior of the car.

Compared with the MINI Cooper Convertible, the suspension of the MINI Cooper S Convertible is even more sporting and dynamic. As an option, finally, both models are available with sports suspension for an even higher standard of driving pleasure.

Electrical Power Steering (EPS) makes a significant contribution to the agility of the MINI Convertible, enhancing it to an even higher standard. Power Assistance geared to road speed guarantees low steering forces when parking as well as a precise response at high speeds on the Autobahn. At the same time EPS also enhances the efficiency of the car by activating the electric motor and consuming energy only when power assistance is really required or desired by the driver. Exclusive to MINI: DSC and DTC with electronic locking function on the differential in conjunction with front-wheel drive.

Apart from the sports-tuned suspension and powerful brakes, the new MINI Convertible also comes with the most sophisticated driving stability systems. Technologies featured as standard are ABS anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Hill Start-Off Assistance.

Whenever required, DSC intervenes individually in the car’s brakes and reduces engine output to provide extra stability, thus preventing the car from swerving out of control either at the front or at the rear under particularly dynamic conditions and on slippery surfaces.

The Brake Assistant also included in the DSC package recognizes emergency application of the brakes and immediately builds up maximum brake power whenever necessary, keeping the car’s stopping distance as short as possible.

As an option, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is able to increase the response thresholds of the car’s driving stability control system and allow carefully controlled slip on the drive wheels. MINI is indeed the only car maker the world over to offer this function on a front-wheel-drive vehicle. To activate DTC, all the driver has to do is press a button, then setting off in the MINI Convertible with the wheels slightly spinning – for example on a snowbound road or loose sand – or approaching the car’s physical driving limits even more dynamically whenever required. Then, when reaching the limit, DSC will cut in as usual also in the DTC mode.

As an option the driver may completely deactivate DSC whenever desired. Then, in the DSC-Off mode, another function again absolutely unique on front-wheel-drive vehicles ensures optimum drive power and perfect traction in particularly dynamic bends. This is the electronically controlled locking function on the rear axle differential available as part of the DTC function on the new MINI Convertible. Referred to as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this high-tech system serves to apply the brakes appropriately on a drive wheel spinning in a tight bend, thus promoting the car’s drive power and traction without exerting a negative influence on the steering behavior of the MINI Convertible, which therefore takes bends even more smoothly and faster than before.

The MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible run on 16-inch light-alloy wheels and 195/55 R 16 runflat tires, enabling the driver to continue even after a complete puncture with full loss of pressure. As an option both models are available with 17-inch rims in Black Star Bullet Design developed exclusively for the MINI Convertible.

Optimized occupant safety ensured by the new rollover safety system, four airbags and central safety electronics.

Sophisticated suspension technology and the most advanced driving stability systems in the new MINI Convertible significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Suitable precautions are also taken for situations the driver is not able to influence, including: an increase in passenger cell stiffness by ten percent over the former model, high load-resistant carrier structures and precisely defined deformation zones, which ensure appropriate diversion and absorption of impact energy in the event of a head-on, side or rear-end collision.

To meet the specific needs of an open-air car, the newly constructed floorpan, as well as A-pillars and side-sills, are reinforced to an even higher standard than on the hardtop MINI—providing additional strength and stability.

The new MINI Convertible comes as standard with frontal airbags and side head/torso airbags integrated in the outer flanks of the front seat backrest and protecting the head, the upper body and the hips of the occupants from injury in the event of a side-on collision. All four seats feature three-point inertia-reel seat belts with additional belt force limiters and optimized belt tensioners on the front seats.

All restraint systems are controlled by the car’s central safety electronics and are activated as a function of the type and severity of a collision.

The safety system in the MINI Convertible also comprises a rollover sensor activating the newly developed rollover protection bar as well as the belt latch tensioners and the head/torso airbags in the event of a rollover. Interacting with the windscreen frame appropriately reinforced for the Convertible, the new rollover protection bar moving up electromechanically within 150 milliseconds whenever required acts as part of the passenger cell ensuring maximum occupant safety and protection.

In its all-round safety concept, the new MINI Convertible is designed to fulfill not only the legal requirements in all international car markets, but also to achieve outstanding results in all relevant crash tests and consumer safety inspections the world over.

The interior: spacious, variable, sophisticated.

Through its design and construction, the new rollover protection bar enhances not only occupant safety, but also the everyday driving qualities of the new MINI Convertible. Made of one single piece of aluminum, the rollover protection bar extends across the entire width of the interior behind the rear seats. The two ends of the rollover protection bars rest in holders that move up the entire safety unit electromechanically whenever required. In its basic position, on the other hand, the rollover protection bar is no higher than the rear headrests, thus remaining out of sight when the driver is in looking to the rear.

Designed as a single-piece element, the rollover protection bar further serves to integrate a large loading facility between the luggage and the passenger compartment, giving the new MINI Convertible additional variability.

Depending on requirements, the rear-seat backrest—split down the middle—folds down either in a 50:50 subdivision or completely from right to left. With the roof closed, this increases luggage compartment capacity to 23.10 cubic, feet, exceeding the capacity available in the former model by 1.93 cubic feet. Maximum load, in turn, is up by 66 lb to 948 lb.

Like its predecessor, the new MINI Convertible again comes with an Easy-Load system. With the rear lid swiveling down conveniently, the entire lid also serves as a storage tray able to carry a load of up to 176 lb.

A further important point is that the rear roof frame swivels up by approximately 35°, creating a generous luggage compartment opening for much easier loading of bulky objects.

With the roof open, in turn, the new MINI Convertible offers luggage capacity of 4.38 cubic feet. As long as the roof is closed, the parcel shelf—which rests on two guide rails and holds the roof when open—swivels up to the top, increasing luggage capacity to 5.95 cubic feet.

As an option, the MINI Convertible is also available with a new rear rack installation kit, with holders in the rear bumper serving to take up a bicycle carrier available as special equipment.

Again, this gives the new MINI Convertible a unique combination of driving pleasure and function. And even the influence of the wind rushing by with the roof open may be adjusted to individual requirements via the optionally available wind deflector, which serves to significantly reduce air swirl within the interior. Fitted in position behind the front seats, the wind deflector moves up quickly and easily in one simple operation.

Premium quality and diverse style within the interior.

Over and above the thrilling pleasure of driving the new MINI Convertible, the first impression the new MINI Convertible will leave on its beholder is determined by quality enhanced to an even higher level than before; modern controls and instruments design; top-quality materials; and attractive color combinations.

Even in standard trim, the MINI Convertible clearly expresses its exceptional position as the world’s only premium convertible in its segment. The wide range of paintwork and roof colors, interior variants and special equipment simply begs the enthusiast to take a closer look at the car – especially because the new MINI Convertible comes with a complete choice of customization options so typical of the brand, making each and every car a personally configured one-off showpiece. The body of the new MINI Convertible is available in no less than 12 paintwork colors, including Horizon Blue and Midnight Black metallic—featured for the first time, as well as Interchange Yellow, which is exclusive to this stunning car. The soft roof comes as standard either in Black or classic Hot Chocolate Brown. As an option there is also the Denim Blue roof color, characterized by a particularly sporting and robust flair of material, a silver effect generated by gloss threads woven into the roof, and Orange-colored seams.

In regular trim, the interior of the MINI Cooper Convertible comes with Black/Gray Leatherette, and when ordered with the Sport Seat option, there is no charge for Carbon Black cloth upholstery. The MINI Cooper S Convertible, in turn, features sports seats standard in either Black/Gray Leatherette or Carbon Black Checkered cloth.

Furthermore, both the MINI Cooper Convertible and the MINI Cooper S Convertible are available with three versions of leather in Carbon Black, Tuscan Beige and Hot Chocolate. Also, three other cloth/leather combination upholsteries are available: two-tone Cream White/Black, Rooster Red/Black and Interchange Yellow/Black.

The interior surfaces are also finished with specific features on each model: the MINI Cooper Convertible boasts trim surfaces on the dashboard, elliptic door rings and seven trim rings in Fine White Silver; while the MINI Cooper S Convertible comes with Checkered trim at the same points, with the number of silver trim rings increased to sixteen.

As an option, the interior trim surfaces are also available in Fluid Silver, Piano Black, Brushed Alloy and English Oak, as well as Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue—exclusive to the MINI Convertible and corresponding with the body color.

As yet another styling feature, the optional Color Line accentuates the lower section of the instrument panel and the armrests on the doors in Dark Grey, Cream White, Rooster Red, Pacific Blue or Hot Chocolate.

Likewise available as an option within the interior, the Chromeline Package provides a sophisticated glossy finish around the instrument panel and the center console, with chrome elements additionally highlighting the sophisticated character of the rollover protection bar system.

The interior illumination of the MINI Convertible featured as standard provides a harmonious, anti-dazzle light effect and allows the driver to use the controls and instruments safely and without problems at night. Over and above illumination of the glove box and luggage compartment, reading lights supplementing the interior illumination on the front roof frame also come as standard. Additional footwell and exit lights as well as discreet light sources around the center console are standard. The ambient illumination function sets a particular highlight in the interior of the MINI Convertible, serving to provide a discreet “waterfall” light effect from above and indirectly illuminating the center console, the door pockets and door handle shells, as well as the side panels at the rear, to give the interior a truly unique ambience. At the touch of a button, the driver or passengers are able to vary the emotional mood generated by the ambient lights from warm orange to sporting blue.

Optional automatic air conditioning with a Convertible mode.

As an option the new MINI Convertible comes with either manual air conditioning (standard) or automatic climate control (optional). The automatic unit even 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 wind rushing by.

Whenever the a/c compressor is not used it is automatically switched off in the interest of enhanced efficiency. And in low outside temperatures the heating in the footwells is automatically intensified to provide a pleasant climate inside the car as quickly as possible.

Top-end audio and navigation systems, integration of the Apple iPod and Apple iPhone. Like the MINI Hardtop and the MINI Clubman, the new MINI Convertible may also be upgraded with particularly sophisticated entertainment and navigation systems. The controls for the audio system and the 6.5-inch TFT colored display for the optional navigation unit are housed in the central circular instrument.

The audio system featured as standard comes with a CD player and six loudspeakers. When equipped with a navigation system, the display is positioned within the centrally-located speedometer. To choose the functions presented in the display the driver uses a special joystick on the center console. External music players may be integrated without problems in the audio systems of the new MINI Convertible. Using the standard AUX IN port featured, the driver or passengers are able, for example, to play music saved on an MP3 player via the audio system.

A special interface for full integration of an Apple iPod is likewise available as an accessory, allowing the user to select music files via the audio controls.

To ensure optimum and safe communication while driving, the MINI Convertible is available with an optional mobile phone preparation kit and an integrated hands-free telephone unit, each equipped with a Bluetooth interface and a USB port. This allows simple integration of numerous modern mobile phones as well as the connection of external audio units and USB media. And last but not least, there is also an interface for integrated control of audio and telephone functions specifically for the latest Smartphone models, such as the Apple iPhone.

Every minute counts: the Openometer.

The new MINI Convertible is also available with an optional, very special new feature highlighting the thrill of driving in the open air. Positioned to the left of the rev counter, the Openometer specifies precisely, down to the last minute, how long the driver and passengers have enjoyed their car with the roof down.

This special instrument is activated once the driver starts the engine of the MINI Convertible and the soft top is fully open. An analog indicator moving on a scale from 0 – 60 then counts the time spent driving in the open air in minutes. After one hour of such driving pleasure, 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 Openometer 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 whenever he wishes.

The Openometer is a truly unique instrument clearly expressing—in straightforward facts and figures—the exceptional pleasure of driving the MINI Convertible with the roof down. Indeed, it prompts the driver and passengers to enjoy the thrilling features of everyday traffic as often as they can. And at the same time it symbolizes the invitation by the MINI Convertible to enjoy a particularly appealing driving experience.

With all these qualities and features, this innovative instrument raises the style and character of this open four-seater to yet another charming highlight: The MINI Convertible is the ideal companion for the motorist who seeks thrilling, open-air motoring at all times and wishes to enjoy these special moments in a style that only MINI can offer.

MINI Cooper S Cabrio:

  • Four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.
  • Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 128 kW/175 hp at 5,500 rpm.
  • Max torque: 240 Nm from 1,600-5,000 rpm (260 Nm with Overboost).
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 7.4 sec, Top speed: 222 km/h.
  • Average fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 171 g/km.

MINI Cooper Cabrio:

  • Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology.
  • Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 88 kW/120 hp at 6,000 rpm.
  • Max torque: 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm.
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.8 sec, Top speed: 198 km/h.
  • Average fuel consumption: 6.1 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 145 g/km.

Official US Specifications

+ MINI Convertible Specifications / Official PDF

  • minimalist

    Sad to see a British built car launched on German number plates and left hand drive.

  • John

    It’s interesting to see they spent so much time engineering the frivolous “innovative” Openometer but still can’t seem to offer a Temperature, Oil, or Boost gauge.

  • Billy

    I can’t insist enough how much brigher Interchange Yellow is in the metal. That looks more like Mellow Yellow! Better get to that dealership guys n girls.

  • C4

    I like it a lot. One nice feature is the automatic A/C management with the roof top down. Should prove nice for us folks in hotter climates.

    One caveat: Still no side airbag head protection for rear passengers. Huge safety oversight IMHO.

    Other than the safety hiccup, I think the car is a winner. Thumbs up!

  • Marcus

    I want one. MCS in Pepper White with JCW Aero kit and Hot Chocolate Leather Lounge please!

  • bee1000

    Why does MINI insist on putting that ridiculous antenna on top of the windshield? Just build an antenna into the windshield glass for crying out loud!

  • ChrisP

    Wow, other than the wheels, the car looks really, really…cheap and plasticy. It also looks naked without the roll bars. Sorry to say, I don’t think MINI got it right this time. Sad but looks like the convertible wont be what it once was. Appealing and fun! 🙁

  • ChrisP

    One other thing…Could the video of the car be any more uninspiring? BORING video just like the next generation of the car. Totally not what I expected.

  • Eliot R.

    Three things stick out to me:

    1. It looks great without the exposed boot hinges.

    2. The “Openometer” is the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard of in a long time. It better be optional.

    3. $24,650 for the base Cooper Convertible seems very steep to me.

  • Josh

    I have to agree minimalist..first post. I am happy about the Germans taking over the Mini name and redoing it and all, but it pure British heritage they are messing with.

  • Edge

    One point that nobody has commented on yet – based upon the very end of the video, they have strengthened the rear hatch so that it is strong enough to be sat on now. That is a notable (albeit small) improvement over the R52.

  • lavardera

    I really like those new black and sliver wheels. Never much of a vert person but I like this so much more than the R52 which I never gave much thought. The yellow interior trim looks great with the yellow car. I can’t quite figure out what’s going on with the seats – seem to have a brown, or yellow bias panel in the center to jive with the color?

  • rkw

    Edge, the R52’s rear lid is specified to carry 175 lbs and it was marketed that it could be sat on. The video doesn’t inspire confidence that the R57 lid is any more rugged than the R52.

    The “Openometer” is the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard of in a long time. It better be optional.

    Thankfully, the press release says it’s optional, and the yellow cabrio in the video and photos doesn’t have one. I can’t imagine someone paying extra to specifically get it. However, it may be included with some packages. People will be gutting it to put in their own gauges.

  • C4

    Roof mounted antennas provide better reception quality than glass embedded ones.

  • karl

    Glad to see all these posters keeping up the tradition of whining about everything.

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a bunch of crybabies.

  • C4

    Karl, do you have a problem with opinions that do not agree with yours? Last I heard, MF is a site where differeing points of view are welcomed. This (and I hope I am right) is not a “Fanboi” site.

    I like the R57 a lot. Find it more visually acceptable than the R56 hardtop. But I dislike the 10% price hike over the previous vert and the fact that rear seat passengers still get no airbag protection whatsoever.

  • C4

    Another positive from looking at the photos is that the rear seat looks a little wider and the bottom cushion more comfortable. There has to be an improvement in shoulder room over the previous R52 ‘vert.

    I still lament the lack of head side airbag protection for rear passengers, which is standard equipment in the hardtops and the Clubman.

  • eto

    My favorite part is the drive-by of the cows. I swear one of them is saying, “Hey is that the new MINI Convertible?”

  • robble

    Did anyone else notice the car only had 3 kilometers on it yet the top open gauge read over an hour? They must a been crawling…..

  • R554M

    Are the drawings at the end the best representations to date of Horizon Blue? Does anyone have confirmation that is replacing Lighting Blue across all models? This presser could be read either way.

  • Edge
    Edge, the R52’s rear lid is specified to carry 175 lbs and it was marketed that it could be sat on. The video doesn’t inspire confidence that the R57 lid is any more rugged than the R52.

    Ah OK… I guess that since I’m 225 pounds, I’ve always thought that the R52’s decklid couldn’t handle an adult’s weight. I guess it can… just not THIS adult. LOL.

    Did anyone else notice the car only had 3 kilometers on it yet the top open gauge read over an hour? They must a been crawling…

    robble, I think you’re reading the gauge wrong. I think it was indicating the OUTER ring, meaning it was displaying about 7 minutes of time. I suspect that once it gets all the way to 60 minutes, the gauge kinda “resets” and starts to indicate the inner ring. As though the needle is the “minute” hand for the first hour, then becomes the “hour” hand after that.

    Just a hunch.

  • bobby_vinton

    Isn’t the price hike the real story here?

  • msh441

    I like the change to the rear roll hoops. I always thought they were pretty silly looking before and were the one big visual detractor of the previous version. But to each his/her own.

    I also think the lack of Britishness argument might be a little late coming. Not to state the obvious… but MINI, though manufactured in GB, is now a German car company under BMW. Its better for it too, IMO.

  • greg

    I like it better than the coupe. Just works well for me.

  • Nick

    Besides the unsightly antenna sticking from the windshield, I think it actually looks pretty neat

  • Pingback: R57...when??? - Page 10 - MINI2 - MINI Forum()

  • Ian

    I ordered my R57 in August 2006, so have already been waiting more than 2 years! I’m beginning to wonder why I bothered – the new model does not really seem as special as my current one. And I really was hoping finally for a nice metallic red unique to this model. No such luck! I also note the comments made about how the new roof will not create pressure points to wear or discolor the fabric – so I guess that’s something they learned (the hard way) from the first generation model. I don’t think I’ll be confirming my order after all – I have so much fun in my July 04 model, and ther appears to be no compelling reason to trade up…..

  • Brian

    So what about the JCW cabrio

  • GregW

    Well, the top when folded down still looks like a duvet cover on a bed and the C pillar could have a see-through panel. And why do the Germans think back seat passengers have stick-like legs and restrict leg room and like sitting with a straight vertical back? The rear seats are a waste of space so they may as well just make it a two seater with a rumble-seat. Good to see drop down seat backs have been retained, and the pop-up roll bars are a great improvement. Most other and European countries use the roof antenna – so get over it. Radio antennas in rear screens often require amplifiers as they are ineffective in undulating and hilly regions.

  • Didn’t see any other mention of the RWD feature mentioned in the Press Release!

    This is the electronically controlled locking function on the rear axle differential available as part of the DTC function on the new MINI Convertible.

    Cut and paste error from BMW materials?

  • robble

    aww man – someone did it again. that’s not really interchange yellow, it’s mellow yellow.

    sorrry!! I couldn’t resist (it is in fact the interchange)

  • Cabrio King

    Where the fu*K is the mention of the JCW Cabrio?!?!? It was meant to come out simultaneously with the other models. LIES!! LIESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! OH MY GAWDDDDDDDDDDDDD.

  • gokartride

    It’s about time!!!! The updates are most welcome!

  • Lee L

    I like it. I actually think it looks more like Liquid Yellow than Mellow Yellow. I guess I need to see it in person though.

  • eager2own

    I was worried about the complete loss of the chrome roll bars (I’m one of those who likes the look of them) and the potential loss of a usable pass-thru to the boot due to the active roll-over system. I think MINI has done an outstanding job at improving visibility while not completely sacrificing those two items (much better than BMW has done with the pass thru in models using the same roll-over system). Well done.

  • ohiocooper

    Bummer about no head airbags for the rear seats.

  • drew

    Some issues with the UK cars, the openometer is on the wrong side! it should be on the right of the rev counter. being on the left it blocks one of the air vents and is very close to the indicator stork! mini needs to sort this quick.