(Photos Removed)

(Updated: all photos have removed due to a BMW/MINI legal request) Images of the R57 MINI Convertible, scheduled to debut this winter at the Detroit Auto Show, have surfaced thanks to a tipster. While there aren’t many surprises in these photos thanks previous information we’ve reported, there are a couple of new items shown. For one it looks as if MINI is adding a black trip options on the headlights and on the belt-line trim that has been traditionally chrome.

New Color choices

As seen above are the new two colors exclusive for the R57, Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue (similar to the much loved Space Blue). Also seen above for the first time is the Hot Chocolate canvass top. Not shown is the “Denim” blue top also making a debut on the R57.

The Roll-bar Goes Away

The R57’s top design will be a slightly updated version of the current R52 convertible with a larger glass rear window. Also making it’s debut is a pop-up roll-bar system that will take the place of the current vision robbing set-up. The system will be similar to the one found in the 1 and 3 Series BMWs.

Always Open Gauge

Also seen for the time above (and unique to the convertible) will be an “always open” guage which will measure the amount of miles driven with the top open. The idea is that it will encourage owners to live the “always open” lifestyle MINI marketing has created for this car. The gauge will be located to the left side of the rev-counter.

Interior Trim

The long rumored “black chrome” interior trim that we reported on over a year ago will finally be available on the R57. This addition will be an option much like the chrome-line interior trim on the current range.

JCW for the R57

Our sources are reporting that the R57 convertible will be available as a factory JCW from day one. It will also be available with the dealer installed JCW engine kit.


As previously reported the R57 will go on-sale in Spring of 2009. We’ve heard an exact time-line of March but that could always slip a week or two. Expect the launch to happen worldwide with the Cooper, Cooper S and JCW models to eventually follow.

We’ll have more on the R57 and details of the trim updates soon.