Greetings from the UK!

While waiting for a friend who works for MINI in Oxford to come and pick us up for a quick run to a country pub – something quite unexpected showed up. In fact it was the car just ahead of him. The Cooper Cabrio was being driven by an employee doing a long term test. It had over 1000 miles on it and was missing some of it's interior bits (for the final engineering process most likely) but otherwise in final production trim. The person doing the testing was simply on his way home probably to put it in his garage for the night.

Regardless he was more than happy to let me not only take photos but to crawl inside and really experience it first hand.

One of the most impressive things I think people will find is that with the A-pilars are so far out ahead (as on all MINIs) on the car that you really get the feel that you are in an open top car. With cars like the 3 series convertible the top of the A-pilar is over your head giving you the forward view of a standard fixed roof car. With the MINI Cabrio you get a much more “open air feeling”. Really quite something different.

Here are some other things I noticed or found out about the Cabrio:

  • The Hot Orange is quite nice in person. It looks a little more subdued and less metallic in a mostly cloudy day.
  • The other thing you notice in person is the roof-line is noticeably lower than the fixed roof car.
  • In an effort to give the Cabrio more structural integrity the door frames are approximately 3 millimeters thick while the standard cars makes due 1 millimeter steel.
  • The MINI uses 2 pulse welding when it comes to the Cabrio. This is also in an effort to battle the obvious effects of cutting the roof off of a car.

I've also managed to see an all black Cooper Cabrio on the A34 heading south from Oxford. And to give you a sneak peak at my upcoming Oxford Plant tour story I actually saw about every color cabrio in various states of production. Several including a Chili Red Cooper completely finished. Let me be the first to say the red interior looks amazing.

Here are the photos of our chance meeting lastnight: Photo Gallery.