We’re not entirely sure how this made it out into the wild (and where it came from) but it would appear that a MINI dealer has let slip an early rendering of a 2009 Cooper Convertible. The image appeared on a dealer website just this morning. MF reader and WRR listener Robert Rettagliata managed grabbed the full image you see here.

Based on feedback from other sources we believe this is a MINI based mock-up of what the car will look like to be used internally only.

As we’ve reported previously, the R57 MINI Convertible will be very similar to the current R52 model in it’s top design. Elsewhere the R57 will be an R56 through and through with the only changes being some additional structural bracing.

Update: This is looking more and more interesting. We’re told that images of the final car do not exist yet and that only renderings are available internally. How a dealer would have ended up with one remains a mystery. While the image has obviously been touched my photoshop, it’s consistent in it’s look (lowered stance, wheels larger than normal) to other MINI USA web images.

[ Full Image ]