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PressClub United Kingdom · Article.

Out in the open: The new MINI Convertible

Second incarnation of Britain's favourite sun-loving small car ready for launch in spring

Convertible
·
MINI Convertible

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Dan Connell
BMW Group

Tel: +44-1344-480-739
Fax: +44-1344-480-306

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The new MINI Convertible is set to make a welcome return to UK roads in 2009,
with a completely new version of the British-built favourite due to go on sale
on 28 March 2009.

MINI Cooper and Cooper S derivatives featuring innovative engine technologies
will be offered at launch, meaning fans of the compact, premium new MINI
Convertible are guaranteed performance, frugality, minimal running costs and a
unique image as standard. The MINI Cooper Convertible will be priced at
£15,995 OTR and the MINI Cooper S Convertible will be offered from £18,995 OTR.

The first-generation MINI Convertible experienced remarkable sales success in
Britain and was a best seller in the UK in the small convertible segment
between 2004 and 2008. Approximately 164,000 MINI Convertibles were delivered
to owners around the world during its lifecycle. Demand for its successor,
complete with an array of technological and design advances, is sure to be
strong.


Exterior design highlights
The unique aesthetics of MINI are clearly present in the new MINI Convertible.
With a raised shoulder line, highlighted by a chrome strip which extends around
the body of the car, the new MINI Convertible has a more purposeful and dynamic
stance than its predecessor. The low roofline, wheels in each corner and short
overhangs at both the front and rear of the car denote the MINI Convertible's
sporting intent.

Specific design cues differentiate the Cooper and Cooper S models. Both
derivatives feature MINI's trademark hexagon radiator grille and large round
headlamps with integrated indicators. The high-performance MINI Cooper S
Convertible sets itself apart visually through the presence of an enhanced
'powerdome', which sits 20 millimetres higher than the MINI Cooper's bonnet and
houses a large air scoop. At the rear end, large twin tailpipes, a large
diffuser in the rear bumper and a two-piece rear fog lamp mark it out.

An hexagonal grid pattern on the radiator grille of the Cooper S is its
finishing touch. In contrast, the new MINI Cooper Convertible's grille boasts
a chrome frame and three horizontal, chrome-plated bars.

Exclusive to the new drop-top will be two all-new colours to feature on a MINI.
Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue will make their debuts on the
second-generation new MINI Convertible. Contrasting roof options add visual
appeal to the newcomer, and British customers will be able to pick from Black,
Denim Blue and Hot Chocolate when specifying their perfect MINI.

For the first-time in a MINI Convertible, Air Conditioning will be fitted as
standard. An added benefit to owners will be that the lockable glovebox will
receive cooled air and ensure its contents remain icey, while passengers enjoy
the sun.


Top up to top down in just 15 seconds
The automatic canvas roof of the second-generation new MINI Convertible can be
fully retracted or closed using a roof-frame mounted toggle switch in just 15
seconds. In the event of a driver being caught unexpectedly by a sudden
downpour, this function will fully operate with the car at speeds of up to 20
mph.

As an alternative to the complete top-down driving experience, the full-width
of the electric roof can be retracted by approximately 40 centimetres to create
the effect of a sunroof. This function can be operated at speeds of up to 75
mph.

A unique feature typical of MINI will be the Openometer. Offered as an option,
the Openometer records the time spent by the owner driving with the top down,
meaning passengers can measure their visual coolness inside, even if it's cold
outside.

Unlike its predecessor's fixed anti-roll bars the new model features a
single-piece roll bar situated behind the rear seats, ensuring passenger safety
in the event of a crash. The roll bar will extend in milliseconds at the point
of impact to protect the car's occupants should the car overturn. Remarkably,
this new arrangement in no way obstructs the driver's line of visibility when
looking out of the rear window.

In contrast to the first iteration of the new MINI Convertible, rear passengers
will be able to adjust the height of their head rests at will, unlike the
preceding car's fixed-position arrangement.

The body structure, floorplan, A-pillars and side sills have all been
strengthened to offer greater crash protection. This also significantly reduces
'scuttle shake', whilst body stiffness is further improved over the first
generation MINI Convertible. The car's weight is also reduced by 10
kilogrammes.

Clever use of space means the luggage capacity of the new car is greater than
that of the first generation model. The easy-load boot compartment now has a
capacity of 125 litres (up from 120) with the roof open and 170 litres with the
roof closed (previously 165). With the rear seat folded down and roof closed,
luggage space totals 660 litres, 55 litres more than the previous MINI
Convertible.

Bike rack preparation will be supplied with the car as standard. The mounting
points are obscured from view and positioned behind the rear bumper, meaning
owners are able to easily affix multi-function carriers as and when required.


Proven power plants provide typical MINI performance
The case for the new MINI Convertible is strengthened further by the presence
of award-winning engines, allied to short-shifting and precise six-speed manual
gearboxes. Both models are available as an option with a six-speed automatic
transmission.

The MINI Cooper Convertible is fitted with a four-cylinder petrol engine with
fully variable valve management, using technology based on BMW Group's
VALVETRONIC technology.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine with
Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection. This engine currently holds
the title of International Engine of the Year, in the 1.4-1.8-litre category.

Both engines feature elsewhere in the current MINI range. In Hatch and Clubman
guise, outstanding fuel economy, low CO2 emissions and high performance equate
to low running costs, minimised environmental impact and a grin-inducing
driving experience. Combined with the thrill of top-down motoring, the new
MINI Convertible will be a tempting ownership prospect to British car buyers.


MINIMALISM technology
Technologies based on BMW's EfficientDynamics systems are central to dramatic
improvements in fuel efficiency and C02 emissions. Auto Start Stop, Brake
Energy Regeneration and Shift Point Display complete the line-up of MINIMALISM
technologies supplied with the new MINI Convertible Cooper and Cooper S models.

Performance data
MODEL POWER (HP) MAX TORQUE (Nm) TOP SPEED (mph) 0-62 mph MPG (Combined) CO2
(g/km)
Cooper 120 160 123 9.8 49.6 137
Cooper S 175 240* 138 7.4 44.1 153
*260 Nm with Overboost


The performance data for the new model compares very favourably with its
predecessor. Significant reductions in C02 output and a big improvement in
fuel efficiency will be music to the ears of savvy potential owners.


MODEL C02 (g/km) MPG (Combined) BIK Tax VED band
2007 MINI Cooper Convertible 174 38.7 22 % E
2008 New MINI Cooper Convertible 137(-37g or 21% ) 49.6(+10.9mpg or 22%) 15 %
C
2007 MINI Cooper S Convertible 199 34.0 27 % F
2008 New MINI Cooper S Convertible 153 (-46 or 23%) 44.1 (+10.1 mpg or 23%) 18
% D


Dynamic driving with uncompromised safety
The engines in both new models supply power which is transmitted to the front
wheels. The chassis technology employed to manage the safe delivery of power
is tailored specifically to the new MINI Convertible. The following
technologies are standard features of this model:

• Electromechanical Power Steering (EPS)
• Brake system with anti-lock brakes (ABS)
• Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
• Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Brake Assist
• Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Start-Off Assistant

A boost for car manufacturing in Britain
The second-generation new MINI Convertible will be built in Britain. The body
shells will be pressed at MINI Plant Swindon, the engines will be built at BMW
Group Hams Hall and assembly of the entire cars will take place at MINI's Plant
Oxford production facility, alongside the MINI Hatch and MINI Clubman.


Ends.


For further information please contact:
Dan Connell, Press Officer, MINI UK
Tel: 01344 480 739 Email: dan.connell@mini.co.uk

Mark Harrison, Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: 01344 480 113 / 07768 567 583 Email: mark.harrison@bmw.co.uk

www.press.bmwgroup.com

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CO2 emission information.

The values for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption shown were determined in a standardised test cycle according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version currently applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers transmission (automatic or manual) and the different wheels and tyres available on the selected model and may vary during the configuration.

The values of the vehicles labelled with (*), are already based on the test cycle according to the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to allow a comparison between vehicles. More information on the transition from NEDC to WLTP test procedures can be found here.

These figures are intended for comparison purposes and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. For plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles the figures have been obtained using a combination of battery power and petrol fuel after the battery had been fully charged. Plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles require mains electricity for charging. The CO2 emissions labels are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the Passenger Car (Fuel consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations 2001, as amended. They are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle.

A guide on fuel economy and CO2 emissions which contains data for all new passenger car models is available at any point of sale free of charge. For further information you can also visit this link.

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