Further expanding MINI's product line, the MINI Convertible makes its U.S. debut at the 2004 New York International Auto Show. 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 will be offered in the U.S. market in two model variations and will 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.
Not just a convertible -- a MINI Convertible
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 when the top is retracted. And although this car is all about open-top motoring, with the top up, the MINI Convertible also retains MINI's unmistakable signature roof silhouette.
The MINI Convertible soft top incorporates a "sunroof" feature unheard of in the segment. The first 16 inches of the soft top slides open and closed along the top rails just like a sunroof and can be operated at speeds of up to 75 miles-per-hour. Leave it to MINI to give "motorers" a choice of how they want to experience the elements.
The fully automatic soft top on the MINI Convertible makes open-top motoring quick and easy. Opening automatically in just 15 seconds, the roof columns automatically retract and the rear side windows move down simultaneously. With the single touch of a button, the intelligent top design mechanism opens and folds away without the need for a tonneau cover. The fully insulated soft top will be available in three colors -- black, green and blue - and features a heated glass rear window.
With its roof down, a chrome strip along the base of the window line accentuates the car's distinctive profile. MINI's upright windscreen, the absence of a B-pillar "basket handle" support, 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.
Top Up or Down -- the MINI Convertible can still carry the load
The MINI Convertible is also designed to optimize available storage space, despite the car's compact dimensions. MINI offers a truly unique feature by creating an expandable opening to the rear boot. With the top in the up position, the lower rear edge of the top hinges upward to expand the size of the boot opening to allow stowage of bulky or odd-shaped items.
Additionally, like MINI's first generation predecessor, the rear trunk lid is bottom-hinged to open downwards and is suspended with high strength supports that can hold up to 176 pounds. The rear compartment also incorporates 50/50 flip fold-down rear seats with a large pass-through opening to accommodate longer items. This is possible due to the car's very rigid chassis that requires no need for a bulkhead. These clever features all help to maximize the available cargo capacity for the MINI Convertible.
A Unique Interior
Befitting a car that is "open" for all to see, the MINI Convertible comes with unique interior design elements. The dashboard and door trim are available to coordinate with the exterior body colors, specifically the MINI Convertible's two signature exterior colors -- Hot Orange and Cool Blue. Options for interior trim also include silver, anthracite and aluminium-style trim. The interior can also be dressed with an optional Chrome Package for the rev counter surrounds, central instruments and the cup-holders.
The optional cockpit Chrono Gauge Package emphasizes the cars sporting character with the central instrument cluster featuring dials for fuel, oil and coolant temperature, as well as oil pressure. This package moves the speedometer up to the steering column along side the tachometer. Sporty motoring is further accentuated by a new three-spoke leather sports steering wheel. With the optional multi-function steering wheel controls drivers can control audio, telematics and cruise-control features.
Handling and Agility make this Convertible a true MINI
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 body shell 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 -- all of the attributes of a go-kart, now including the open air experience too.
At the front McPherson spring struts further enhanced by an anti-roll bar ensure sporty handling while maintaining excellent stability. The multi-arm rear suspension of the MINI Convertible remains unique in a car this size, and works with the anti-roll bar to deliver optimum handling and cornering abilities.
Electro-hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering (EHPAS) in the MINI Convertible offers very direct, to-the-point driving characteristics -- again, emphasizing the go-kart-like driving which has long become the symbol of the MINI brand.
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 aluminum tubes, and combined with the integrated headrests, offer high levels of passenger safety.
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.
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) -- all to help to provide superior driving and tracking stability in extreme situations.
Customization -- the MINI of your choice
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 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 will go on sale in the U.S. market in late summer as a 2005 model. Pricing will be announced prior to market launch.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Corp. in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW passenger car centers, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 76 MINI passenger car dealers, and 25 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
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