A quick note for all those convertible fans out there. The next generation MINI convertible (based on the R56 platform) started test production at the Oxford Plant this past Monday. The car was an Astro Black Cooper with almost no options as is customary with production mules.

Like the R56 (Coupe) before it, the R57 Convertible will undergo an extensive redesign using the new “Prince” family of engines. Not a surprise to most MINI enthusiasts. However what will be a surprise to some is the automatic roll-over system that will replaces the vision impairing roll-bar hoops on the current (R52) model. This is the same system we reported on last summer that will be technically similar to the one in the 1 and 3 series convertibles.

Expect the new MINI convertible to debut in the fall of 2008 for European markets and the Spring of 2009 in North America.


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