Mini used the wintery background of Detroit to launch their new four-seat convertible at the North American International Auto Show.

Mini used the wintery background of Detroit to launch their new four-seat convertible at the North American International Auto Show.

According to Mini the new convertible offers improvements in design, quality, handling, performance, efficiency and functionality when compared to its predecessor. On the design side the new convertible is all Mini, as it features an evolutionally philosophy that mixes the look of the old convertible with the more recent Mini Cooper and Mini Clubman. The biggest news is the addition of a new electromechanically operated roll bar that pops up in the event of a rollover accident, this allows the new convertible to forgo the unattractive fixed bar that was used on the previous generation.

Power comes from a new generation of 1.6-liter four cylinder engines which feature high-tech innovations that increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. The Mini Cooper Convertible is rated at 118 hp while the S version produces 172 hp thanks to the use of a turbocharger and direct injection.

The car's roof can be automatically opened or closed at speeds up to 20 mph (32km/h) while a new gimmick called the "Openometer" displays how long the convertible top has been lowered. Other changes include run-flat tires, a tire pressure monitoring system, an upgraded stability system, and an optional storage system that maximizes cargo capacity.

Delivers of the new Mini drop top will begin on March 28 with prices starting at $24,550 for the Mini Cooper Convertible and $27,450 for the Mini Cooper S Convertible.

 

Be part of something big

VIDEO: Mini Cooper Convertible Debuts at 2009 NAIAS