The Future of the MINI Convertible

R57 Snow

The current MINI convertible was introduced in early 2009 just after the Clubman. Immediately it was a sales success quickly surpassing the R52 1st generation convertible in both favorable reviews and sales. However as it customary with cars that have limited functionality (ie toys for many people) sales have dropped off dramatically as the years have passed by. In fact for 2011, the R57 MINI convertible is down over 25% as compared to 2010.

To make matters worse for the R57 MINI will be bringing to market the new Roadster. A sleeker and sportier looking iteration of the convertible, the R59 Roadster is destined to steal even more sales away from the R57. So case closed right? MINI will just end R57 production surely? Read on to find out.

R57 Snow

It may surprise more than a few but MINI intends to continue producing the convertible for another three years. MINI’s plan all along has been to produce the R57 convertible until late 2014 when the switch-over to the F57 next generation MINI convertible will take place. That would give the R57 a standard (in BMW terms) six year life-cycle typically needed to make the car profitable.

So for those that have been asking MF, yes that means MINI will have two open-top cars on the market for at least a year and a half as production cycles overlap.

Written By: Gabe

  • b-

    That is good news! Gabe you wrote R54 for the first gen. not R52.

  • Sdennis

    i am glad i was not the only one who noticed that R54 thing

  • Sdennis

    i am glad i was not the only one who noticed that R54 thing

  • jbkONE

    i LOVE that picture at the top!  Amazing.  And having 2 convertible models for sale at the same time is a plus for consumers.

  • JonPD

    I actually don’t think selling to convertibles at the same time is a much bigger risk than the R58 pulling some sales from the R56. Two seat cars normally have sacrifices that a lot of people cannot contend with that will mean the R57 will continue to see a measure of sales. I however do expect that we will see the R57 sales continue to drop as it gets closer to the F -series production.

  • Brian

    Gabe,  approx when does the R59 go on sale? Also, based on the article, the F57 wont be at the lots until late 2014 or 2015?

    • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

      As reported… the R58 will hit dealers next Spring (the month will depend on the market). 

  • Mark Garrigan

    Where were these pictures taken?

  • AMS

    You know, both my 1988 Chevy Beretta and my 1995 Saturn SL1 had window controls mounted in the middle of the car. Is that really the company you want to be keeping?

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      As did BMW until they were forced by consumer surveys in the US to change.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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