October 22, 2015 - 6:00 pm ET
The redesigned Mini Convertible based on a new BMW architecture goes on sale next March.
The car, like all of Mini’s redesigned models, will be powered by BMW Group engines. It is one of Mini’s five “superhero,” or core, models as the brand moves to focus on volume cars rather than expand into more niches.
Mini said pricing for the four-seat soft-top convertible will be announced in January. The three- and four-cylinder engines with TwinPower turbocharging are mated to a base six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
The convertible will be offered as a base Cooper or high-performance Cooper S model.
Mini will offer the convertible with an extended range of optional exterior colors and interior trim as part of its move to position the brand’s vehicles away from volume products. The optional interiors include a brown leather with diamond stitching reminiscent of a British Chesterfield sofa.
The convertible top can be ordered with an optional embroidered Union Jack herringbone.
“The new Mini Convertible has a great balance of playful personalization and sophistication,” said David Duncan, vice president of Mini of the Americas. “The bespoke levels of customization set it apart from other convertibles on the market, while the front wheel drive BMW architecture and engines make it fun-to-drive and practical in any driving conditions.”
Mini said the convertible’s rigid frame and invisible roll bar improve safety and acoustics.
Standard features include a 6.5-inch screen and an optional 8.8-inch screen packaged with navigation. A rain warning app alerts drivers a storm is approaching and it’s time to put the top up.
On the fun side, the convertible has Mini’s “always open timer,” a gauge that tells owners how many hours they have driven with the top down.