The new MINI has been caught with its top off! This is the all-new Convertible, snapped on test by our spies.
It’s the first time the production-ready drop-top has been seen undisguised.
Insiders at MINI have exclusively revealed to Auto Express that the cabrio will make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January, with production starting shortly afterwards to ensure sales are in full swing for summer 2009. According to sources close to the firm, the Convertible features a ‘multi-functional’ folding cloth top, which can be opened like a sunroof, as well as fully stowed.
Based on these snaps, the hood seems to follow the blueprint set by the current model: a ‘pram roof’ set-up that sits on the rear shelf. But the new top appears to take up less space when open.
The roll bars of the current model have gone, too. They are replaced by a single pop-up unit that engages when required, but is otherwise hidden behind the rear seat backrests. Other features carried over include the bottom-hinged bootlid and the optional transparent wind deflector between the front and rear seats.
Second-generation MINI Convertibles have been spotted testing since as far back as 2006, although it is understood that bosses have delayed production of the new model due to the success of the MkI, which continues to sell well.
The car in these pictures is a Cooper version, although the Convertible will be offered in every model guise as before – including, for more frugally minded sunshine seekers, the Cooper D.