Yenra : Autos : Mini Convertible : Sliding room in soft top, automatic roof retraction, and structural enhancements for crash protection

Mini Convertible - BMW AG Photo

Further expanding Mini's product line, the Mini Convertible makes it world debut at the 2004 Geneva International Motor Salon. The Mini Convertible brings the fun of open-top motoring to Mini and is the next significant model introduction for the brand.

The Mini Convertible is a fully-fledged four-seater that is fun yet functional. Carrying on Mini's unmistakable design, the car has a very clean look with much of the top recessing into the rear deck area. And although this car is all about open-top motoring, with the top up, the Mini Convertible retains Mini's signature roof silhouette.

The roof is in three colors and opens up automatically in just 15 seconds. As the soft roof folds, the roof columns automatically retract and the rear side windows move down at the same time. The intelligent top design mechanism allows the complete roof to fold up without the need for a tonneau cover.

The sliding roof integrated in the soft top can also be opened up 16 inches while driving up to 75 mph - an unprecedented feature in the convertible market. The roof also features a glass, heated rear screen.

With its roof down, a chrome strip along the base of the window line accentuates the car's distinctive profile. The raked windscreen, the absence of a B-pillar, along with the high-strength aluminum roll bars behind the rear-seat backrest, and the compact, folding roof all give the Mini Convertible a clean, open look.

The Mini Convertible is also designed to optimize available storage space. The rear compartment incorporates flip fold-down rear seats with a large pass-through opening to accommodate long or bulky items. With the top closed, the storage well for the top can retract to allow for more space in the rear boot. Additionally like Mini's first generation predecessor, the rear boot lid is hinged to swing down and is suspended with high strength supports that can hold up to 176 pounds. This further maximizes the available cargo capacity for the Mini Convertible.

Performance safety and rigidity are all part of the equations. Much like the hard top Mini Cooper and Cooper S, the Mini Convertible combines a very stiff bodyshell with a taut chassis and nimble handling. The Mini Convertible offers a low center of gravity, a wide stance, multi-link rear suspension and very direct steering. This all comes together to provide the foundation for the Mini Convertible's excellent driving characteristics and go-kart feel.

The Mini Convertible will be offered in the U.S. market in two model variations and offer responsive power and performance already well know in the hard tops. The Mini Cooper Convertible comes with a normally aspirated 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine and the Mini Cooper S Convertible comes with the supercharged 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine.

The Mini Convertible offers occupants optimum crash protection with an extremely stiff body structure along with two "intelligent" front impact airbags and two side-impact head/thorax airbags integrated into the seats - all standard.

Structural enhancements have been made to achieve a high standard of torsional stiffness and crash protection. The doorsills have been strengthened to help reduce deformation in the event of a side impact. In the unlikely event of a rollover, the A-pillars incorporate ultra-strong tubular steel designed to withstand high loads. At the rear the double roll-bars are made of high-strength aluminium tubes, and combined with the integrated headrests, offer high levels of passenger safety.

A high standard of active safety includes four-wheel disc brakes, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Also available are Automatic Stability and Traction Control (ASC+T) as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to help to provide superior driving and tracking stability in extreme situations.

The Mini Convertible comes with a host of options, features and exciting colors to give customers a wide array of choices to individualize their cars. New colors are available including two colors that are exclusive to the Mini Convertible - Hot Orange and Cool Blue. A wide range of light-alloy wheels is also available to compliment the car's appearance.

Standard equipment includes a fully automatic power top with sliding roof function and a heated glass rear window, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), a tire monitoring system, power windows and side-view mirrors, electro-hydraulic power steering, Park Distance Control (PDC), height adjustable front seats and tilt wheel, as well as central remote locking - just to name a few.

A sampling of optional equipment includes xenon headlights, onboard navigation system, Harman Kardon audio system, automatic air conditioning, cruise control with a multi-function steering wheel, a rain sensor, and interior rear-view mirror with anti-dazzle function.

The Mini Convertible is expected to go on sale in the U.S. market in late summer as a 2005 model. Although pricing is not currently available it will be announced prior to market launch.